Seventh Regional Steering Committee Meeting (RSC-7) of the Mangroves for the Future Initiative
About Mangroves for the Future
Mangroves for the Future (MFF) is a unique partner-led initiative to promote investment in coastal ecosystem conservation for sustainable development. It provides a collaborative platform among the many different agencies, sectors and countries which are addressing challenges to coastal ecosystem and livelihood issues, to work towards a common goal.
MFF initially focused on the countries worst-affected by the tsunami; India, Indonesia, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. MFF has recently expanded to include Pakistan and Viet Nam. MFF will continue to reach out to other countries of the region that face similar issues, with an overall aim to promote an integrated ocean wide approach to coastal zone management.
MFF seeks to achieve demonstrable results in influencing regional cooperation, national programme support, private sector engagement and community action. This will be achieved using a strategy of generating knowledge, empowering institutions and individuals to promote good governance in coastal ecosystem management. More details are at www.mangrovesforthefuture.org
About the Seventh Regional Steering Committee (RSC-7)
The Regional Steering Committee (RSC) is the highest decision making body of MFF. It includes representatives from India, Indonesia, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and Thailand and Viet Nam as well as MFF’s institutional partners, including IUCN, UNDP, CARE, FAO, UNEP, Wetlands International, and its main donor partners Norad and Sida.
The Seventh Regional Steering Committee meeting of MFF was held from 1-5 November at The Blue Water in Wadduwa, Sri Lanka. Representatives from all eight Focal countries, partners and donor organizations were present. Bangladesh and Cambodia also participated as outreach countries that may join MFF at a later stage. The inauguration ceremony held on 1 November was graced by Hon Faiszer Musthapha, Deputy Minister of Environment.
Learning from experience
The RSC # 7 meeting was followed up with a field visit and two Learning Events. The participants visited the Madu Ganga Ramsar Site on 4 November, and were briefed on the ecological significance and threats to the site by the Coast Conservation Department. The participants also visited one of the small grantee sites at Madu Ganga where successful cage culture of fish is being undertaken.
A Learning Event was held on 4 November at the Blue Water Hotel primarily for RSC Members to share knowledge and learning from the Small Grants and Large Projects representing about USD 3 million in funding for coastal conservation. This year, for the first time, focal countries were able to showcase their communication and learning materials to highlight their achievements during MFF Phase 1 (2007-2010). The theme of the learning event was: “Building environmental and livelihood resilience in coastal and other vulnerable communities” and included several short seminars.
In a mini-expo style, the Open Learning day was aimed at the RSC and members of the NCB Sri Lanka, MFF project holders, other invited organizations. The range of products from across the region which were on display included videos, audio recordings, brochures, posters, books, tool-kits and handicrafts turned out by small grantees.