Jumat, 18 September 2009

Strengthening Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific Phase 1

By. Fahry Bima For Coastal Save.

(Cofinanced by the Government of Finland and the Global Environment Facility)
From : Asian Development Bank

1. This regional technical assistance (RETA), which is consistent with the framework of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Pacific Region Environmental Strategy and the Pacific Regional Operational Business Plan, responds to key concerns regarding management of coastal and marine resources as raised by five Pacific countries,1 which lie within or border the coral triangle.2 This RETA will assist Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste in fulfilling Coral Triangle Initiative 3 (CTI)-related objectives and in engaging with the Fiji Islands and Vanuatu in these efforts. A separate ADB RETA will assist Southeast Asian CTI countries in fulfilling CTI objectives.

4 The five Pacific countries mentioned have demonstrated their interest in cooperating with the Global Environment Facility—Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS).5 Since there are strong complementarities between the CTI and GEF-PAS objectives and both are eligible for Global Environment Facility (GEF) cofinancing, this RETA has integrated marine protected areas management with efforts to control damage from pollutants derived from onshore activities. In addition, given that the broader CTI and ADB partners such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and WorldFish Center are addressing offshore commercial fishing threats and related capacity and enforcement issues, this RETA will focus on the challenges for inshore fisheries, marine managed areas, and land-based pollution affecting coastal waters.

2. A draft CTI plan of action was discussed at the first CTI senior officials’ meeting in December 2007, and the Fiji Islands and Vanuatu also endorsed a “ridge-to-reef” GEF-PAS proposal to support greater attention to pollutants that flow from the land to the sea. ADB has been designated as the lead GEF agency in formulating the CTI, including for Pacific countries, and the GEF council has endorsed a broad proposal for action.6 All five countries have formally endorsed this proposed structure, and the need for the RETA was reaffirmed during a fact-finding mission held from 11 February to 7 March 2008.7 Two other Pacific developing member countries, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau, will be involved in an information-sharing role in the RETA.8

3. The coral triangle is the most species-rich coastal and marine environment in the world, and its resources support the livelihoods of a significant proportion of the populations of the countries in or adjacent to the coral triangle through products and services linked with fisheries, ecotourism, and other coastal economic activity. Production systems are largely based on these natural resources. Growth must be sustainable to drastically reduce the incidence of poverty. For many people involved in coastal and small-scale fisheries, marine resources are the only source of cash income, with households living hand-to-mouth. Development without sustainable management of coastal and marine resources risks exacerbating poverty. While stakeholders and contemporary research agree that the coral triangle area reefs are in generally good condition, there are significant coastal development and fishing-related pressures including overexploitation of coastal areas and overharvesting of valuable species. Reef fish have been heavily exploited by small-scale commercial enterprises, local fishing communities, and commercial fishing. There are also indications of coastal and marine ecosystem damage due to destructive fishing practices and sediment and effluent discharge from neighboring catchments. In addition, weak management of natural resources systems in Pacific countries risks progressive degradation of the region’s economic base, especially fish stocks. Predicted climate change impacts, such as rising sea levels and temperature, will also likely degrade resources, resulting in economic disruption and social flow-on effects for the coral triangle countries. Goods and services provided by coastal and marine ecosystems include rich and often endemic biological diversity, which in turn sustains complex livelihood systems and supports unique cultural practices with traditional customary practices relating to the management and use of these resources.

4. Many threats to biological resources in the coral triangle are regional in scope; therefore, coral triangle countries would benefit from well-coordinated policy, institutional, and technical responses at the national and regional levels. Areas for cooperation include those addressing (i) destructive practices used in the live reef food fish trade; (ii) illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing across the region; (iii) climate change impacts; and (iv) depletion of highly migratory marine animals that cross national boundaries. A coordinated multilateral partnership among coral triangle countries is also much more likely to attract significant public and private funding from external sources.

5. These countries are facing significant challenges when creating effective coastal and marine resources management programs. Staff and budget resources are usually extremely limited for governmental environment agencies. Efforts tend to be primarily focused on the productive sectors’ resources management, rather than on conservation. In addition, stronger coordination and cooperation are needed among the many government agencies and levels responsible for the environment and natural resources, as well as between government and nongovernment organizations (NGOs). While capacity limitations are notable across all five countries, capacity needs in Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste are particularly high.
The views expressed herein are those of the consultant and do not necessarily represent those of ADB’s members, Board of Directors, Management, or staff, and may be preliminary in nature. 6. Consultations with the donor community revealed that substantial international resources have been invested in the Pacific to better manage the region’s environment. However, the efforts are largely disparate and have sometimes not received the required ownership and support at the country-level, especially whole-of-government engagement. To succeed, coastal and marine resources management assistance must be supported at the country level, with strong engagement from coordinating and sectoral agencies alike, as well as local level government representatives.

A. Impact and Outcome
7. This RETA will complete a design (phase 1) for a follow-on RETA (phase 2) to strengthen management of coastal and marine resources in coral triangle countries at the local and national levels to prevent environmental degradation and to achieve both global and local benefits from improved environmental management. The impact of both RETAs will be enhanced and sustained Pacific coastal and marine systems. The outcome of this RETA (phase 1) will be an agreed design of a 4-year coastal and marine resources management plan (phase 2) to be implemented from 2010 to 2013.9 The design and monitoring framework is in Appendix 1.

B. Methodology and Key Activities
8. This RETA will prepare a design for phase 2 within 9 months (September 2008 to May 2009). It will adopt the following strategies: (i) using research-based information to define options and to make decisions for sustainable coastal and marine resources management; (ii) engaging multisector and multilevel stakeholder participation to ensure broad-based design ownership and support; (iii) building on existing strategies, policies, plans, intercountry agreements, and institutional history to consolidate gains and accelerate progress; (iv) securing long-term commitments from stakeholders and development partners to sustain design implementation results in a complex implementation setting; and (v) noting the interaction of factors shaping common threats and opportunities for environmental protection to generate a coordinated response for the participating countries.10 Major assumptions and risks include the availability of country data and government and stakeholder capacity to participate in RETA activities.

9. The following activities will be carried out during design formulation:
(i) Prepare environmental and socioeconomic profiles of participating countries. The profiles will determine: (a) the environmental and socioeconomic characteristics of the individual countries and the coral triangle subregion; (b) common environmental issues and trends and the impact of socioeconomic activities on environmental degradation; (c) gaps in information and data management systems and methods; (d) watershed conditions and their interface with marine and coastal habitats; (e) threats from land-based activities to coral reefs, near-shore habitats, and associated fisheries; (f) regional and national climate change impacts on coastal and marine resources; and (g) other issues that a strategy for strengthened coastal and marine resources management in the subregion must address.

(ii) Assess laws, regulations, policies, and institutional capacities. The legislation and policy assessment will review national policies, strategies, regulations, and laws, assessing the relevance and appropriateness of these instruments to the major environmental issues and trends in the subregion as defined in the environmental and socioeconomic profiles, as well as the effectiveness with which the policies and regulations are being implemented and enforced. Gaps in these instruments will be identified and recommendations made. The planning and project management capacity of implementing government agencies will be assessed, drawing on existing national capacity self-assessments. The results of the assessment will indicate capabilities and shortfalls and will be drawn upon for likely interventions under phase 2.

(iii) Formulate a 4-year project design. The aim is to draw stakeholder inputs and support for the design, especially from government but also communities, NGOs, and the private sector. In consultation meetings, stakeholders—led by the GEF focal point and lead environment counterpart agency for the RETA and involving the whole-of-government coordination mechanism in each country—will identify issues, define sustainability indicators for the subregion, and propose future courses of action. The meetings will result in the following: (a) list of priority actions and associated cost estimates to be carried out at the country level, and (b) coordination and information sharing at the regional level, as appropriate.

(iv) Generate government support and forging partnerships for action. The proposed project design will be submitted for review to the participating countries’ governments. Their representatives and ADB will consult and agree on any needed design revisions or adjustments, and then the design will be circulated to the CTI secretariat, development partners, Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies,11 NGOs, and the private sector for their suggestions.

C. Cost and Financing
10. The RETA is estimated to cost the equivalent of $1,125,000: $550,000 of which will be financed on a grant basis by the Government of Finland12 and $300,000 of which will be financed on a grant basis by the GEF through a project preparation grant.13 The RETA will be administered by ADB. The remaining amount of $275,000 will be contributed by the governments of the five participating countries, and each country will finalize its contribution before RETA implementation. The detailed cost estimates and financing plan is in Appendix 2. Although the cost estimates and financing plan for the phase 2 RETA will be decided as an outcome of this RETA, the funding envelope—including direct and parallel cofinancing—is expected to be over $40 million.14

D. Implementation Arrangements
11. ADB’s Pacific Department (PARD) will serve as the executing agency for the RETA. Counterpart implementing agencies will be the lead environment agencies in each of the five participating countries.15 To ensure whole-of-government engagement and coordination, a steering committee mechanism in each country, which will include the GEF focal point and the lead environmental agency, will be utilized.16 These committee mechanisms will consult with civil society and the private sector to ensure various stakeholders’ input. At the regional level, PARD and GEF will facilitate regional information sharing through CTI, GEF-PAS, and ADB processes.17 No-objection in writing will be obtained from each of the participating countries prior to commencing or financing activities under the RETA in the territory of such participating country. Links will also be formed with CTI focal points for the three core CTI countries (PNG, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste). Further implementation arrangement details in each country can be found in the aide mémoire of the fact-finding mission.

12. The RETA will require international (18 person-months) and national (21 person-months) facilitator services. Consultants will be recruited through a firm using quality- and cost-based selection (90:10) with a simplified technical proposal. Five national facilitators (one per country, international or national consultants) working closely with their respective GEF focal points will report to the team leader, who in turn will report to a PARD staff consultant, all under the supervision of the PARD governance specialist. International consultants will be selected and hired by ADB, and the national facilitators by ADB in consultation with participating governments, according to ADB’s Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2007, as amended from time to time). Outline terms of reference for the consultants is in Appendix 3, and a proposed organizational structure for implementation is provided in Appendix 4. Upon RETA completion, all equipment purchased will be provided to the participating governments.

13. Capacity needs and constraints in participating countries were discussed in detail with stakeholders during the fact-finding mission and documented in country-specific appendixes to the aide-mémoire, which will be drawn upon by the consultant team. RETA consultations will include governments, the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and CROP agencies, the Coral Reef Initiative for the South Pacific, and NGOs, as well as the private sector, which can play an important role with respect to promoting sustainable livelihoods.

14. The President, acting under the authority delegated by the Board, has approved (i) ADB administering technical assistance not exceeding the equivalent of $300,000 to be financed on a grant basis by the Global Environment Facility, and (ii) ADB administering technical assistance not exceeding the equivalent of $550,000 to be financed on a grant basis by the Government of Finland for Strengthening Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific Phase 1, and hereby reports this action to the Board.

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