19 May 2000
Proposal to the United Nations Foundation/UNFIP
[without budget details]
[Not all of these activities were approved for bridge funding,
and some proposals for governance mechanisms have since been modified]
Project Title: International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN)
Duration: Phase I: May 1999 - June 2000; Extension of phase I until Dec 2000 has been requested
UN Agency involved:
The International Coral Reef Action Network, a joint initiative by UNEP, ICLARM and a number of UN and non-UN partners, is an umbrella project designed to reverse the decline of the world's coral reefs. ICRAN consists of a set of highly inter-linked, complementary activities which, operating together, will facilitate the proliferation of good practices for coral reef management and conservation. The project consists of a one-year start-up phase, now ongoing, and a four-year action phase from mid-2000 to mid-2004. The start-up phase was designed to allow the project to develop a strategy for implementation of the second phase of ICRAN together with project partners, to develop the fund raising component of the strategy and to initiate start-up activities in three regions (Caribbean, Eastern Africa and South East Asia).
During the start-up phase, the ICRAN project in cooperation with potential project partners has developed a strategy for implementation of the second phase of ICRAN based on an assessment of needs in each region with coral reefs. The ICRAN strategy will be discussed and further refined at the ICRI CPC Meeting in Noumea, 25-26 May 2000 to be in agreement with all project partners. The ICRAN project has also undertaken startup activities in Eastern Africa, Caribbean and South East Asia.
The strategy will be reworked into a formal funding proposal and submitted to UNFIP in the autumn of 2000. An extension in the duration of start-up phase of the project has been requested to allow phase I to continue while the proposal for the phase II is being processed.
The current proposal requests funding to bridge project activities of the start-up phase with the second phase of ICRAN, and allow crucial activities to continue while the strategy is turned into a proper full sized funding proposal and subsequently a project document.
During the extension period the ICRAN project will continue with the project activities initiated during the start-up phase to bridge these with the second phase. In addition to coordination costs, funding is requested to allow the governance structure to be established and an ICRAN Inception Meeting to be held in conjunction to the Regional Seas Global Meeting (activities 1, 2 and 3), ICLARM to organize a Donor's Meeting and provide additional input on ongoing activities (activities 4 and 5) and the ICRAN public awareness campaign initiated (activity 6).
1) Engagement of Project Director
Overall coordination and oversight of the project, within the framework of the decisions made by the Steering Committee, will be the responsibility of the UNEP Division of Environmental Information, Assessment and Early Warning (DEIA&EW), in collaboration with the Division for Environmental Conventions. As outlined In the ICRAN Strategic Plan, a Project Secretariat consisting of a Project Director and support staff, engaged through UNEP, will be responsible for the implementation and day-to-day management of the project.
Engagement of a project Director within the extended first phase of ICRAN would allow for the project governance structure to be put in place in preparation for the major implementation phase of ICRAN.
2) First Meeting of the ICRAN Steering Committee
The ICRAN Steering Committee will provide strategic and overall management decisions and provide guidance to the project management. The membership of the Steering Committee will initially comprise ICRAN's founding partners – UNEP, ICLARM, ICRI, GCRMN, WCMC, WRI, CORAL and FAO – together with UNF and UNFIP. Additional members, e.g., UNDP, UNESCO/IOC, and DOALOS, can be appointed in accordance with criteria to be determined by the Steering Committee.
A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) consisting of five experts will be selected on the basis of their technical capacity by the Steering Committee. The TAG will be responsible for providing scientific and technical advice on the programme strategy, action plan and activities of the project to the Steering Committee and the Project Director. The TAG will also review and evaluate project performance and progress and provide guidance and direction for improvements and revisions to the Project Director.
During the first meeting of the ICRAN Steering Committee, the members will:
Adopt procedures for the operation of the
3) Workshop for Regional Seas Coordinators
The Regional Seas Secretariats responsible for the implementation of the ICRAN strategy will be invited to attend the 3rd Global Meeting for the Regional Seas Coordinators. The meeting will be held in November in Monaco, hosted by UNEP in close collaboration with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The ICRAN project will take advantage of the presence of all Regional Seas Coordinators to convene an Inception Meeting with Regional Seas Coordinators and experts and programme officers within the Regional Seas directly responsible for implementation to prepare for the implementation of the ICRAN strategy within the framework of the Regional Seas.
4) Continued coordination, consultancy and travel for ICLARM (please see Attachment 1)
ICLARM coordination is required for organization of the ICRAN Project Partner's Meeting and to coordinate the ICLARM activities during the extension period for phase I. The continuous engagement of the ICLARM consultant for the ICRAN project is necessary for the organization of a Donor's Meeting, support to the Partner's Meeting and for preparations and liaisons with potential donors in anticipation of the second phase of ICRAN.
5) Publications and additional input to the Reefs at Risk (please see Attachment 1)
Additional resources are requested for publication of the ICLARM analysis of the ICRI Framework for Action, and for an ICLARM publication on population interdependencies in South East Asia to facilitate the start-up of the larval dispersal assessment in phase II. Funds are also needed for additional input to strengthen the socio-economic component of the regional Reefs at Risk report for South East Asia.
6) Initiation of the ICRAN awareness campaign (please see Attachment 2)
The ICRAN public awareness campaign will be coordinated by the NGO Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). Engagement of a full time Director for the public awareness and support to core staff will allow CORAL to complete the strategic planning of the ICRAN public awareness campaign, and to put essential elements in place for the second phase, e.g. select coral reef materials for wide distribution during phase II.
1) The Project Director is hired and the establishment of the Project Secretariat has been initiated
2) The first meeting of the Steering Committee has been convened:
- Procedures of the Steering Committee
has been adopted jointly by the members of the Steering Committee
3) ICRAN Inception Meeting for Regional Seas Coordinators convened:
- Inter-regional coordination strengthened
to generate synergy in phase II
4) Continued ICLARM coordination and engagement of consultant for:
- Donor's Meeting and Partners Meeting
5) ICLARM publications and Reef at Risk analysis:
- Publication on analysis of the ICRI Framework
6) Planning of ICRAN public awareness finalized and essential elements in place:
- Tourism strategy identifying five key
audiences and target messages
Workplan and Timetable:
ICLARM Component of ICRAN
A cost-effective public awareness strategy is an essential element of the ICRAN program. It provides an important complement to conservation and monitoring programs. It also provides a public face for ICRAN; this public education about coral reefs and promotion of ICRAN activities will be crucial for ICRAN's efforts to obtain continued support from funders, governments and other stakeholders.
As part of the request for bridge funding from the UNF, support is requested for activities of The International Coral Reef Information Network (ICRIN) from June through December 2000. The entire ICRIN program is discussed in the full ICRAN proposal; ICRIN's preliminary objectives during the bridge funding period are described below.
Purpose of Bridge Funding
Bridge funding is needed to put the essential elements of the ICRIN public awareness program in place from June through December 2000. While production of outreach and educational materials is not planned until January 2001, we will not be able to meet this deadline unless we are able to start in June on the strategic planning, hiring of core personnel and fundraising. Organizers of the Pacific Year of the Coral Reef, the Year of the Oceans and the International Year of the Reef have all concluded that at least one year of lead time is needed in order to prepare an effective public awareness program. While ICRIN began this process in early 1999, progress has been slow because there has been no funding to support the strategic planning needed before messages for the public can be developed. Before materials can be produced and distributed, a series of strategic decisions must be made, including: Which are the key target audiences? What types of messages have they been introduced to and which have worked? What are the primary obstacles to success and how can we overcome them? What are the most cost-effective means of getting our messages across? Who are the best messengers? Where are potential sources of outside funding or in-kind donations that will help leverage the public awareness budget?
Bridge funding would allow ICRIN to hire
a full-time Director for ICRIN and to support core staff from June through
December 2000 in order to complete this strategic planning. Specific projects
the would be accomplished during this period include:
Component 3: Communication and Information Dissemination
The third emphasis of ICRAN will be to effectively communicate the value and importance of the world's coral reefs, the threats to the reefs' sustainability and the actions needed to protect coral reefs. This communication and information dissemination component will ensure that the information obtained from the other ICRAN components would be widely available and put to the best possible use in support of ICRAN's implementation, as well as coral reef management and conservation in general.
The public information network to be developed as part of this component will operate at global, regional and local levels. Outreach and education efforts will use the power and cost-effectiveness of the Internet and electronic messaging whenever possible to minimize the expense of linking communities and sharing information and lessons learned; low-tech alternatives will be employed where electronic communication is not practical.
A. Public Information Campaign (CORAL)
ICRAN will build on the success of the International Year of the Reef 1997 Public Awareness Campaign to launch a cost-effective public information campaign: The International Coral Reef Information Network (ICRIN).
ICRIN will include: 1) a core program which will use a broad range of media, the Internet, videos, advertisements and press releases to educate the public, draw attention to coral reef issues of global importance and to promote the work of ICRAN; 2) outreach efforts targeted at specific regions and sectors with an initial focus on key decision makers in those areas; and 3) a village-level component which would include area-specific educational packages to be used by local NGOs, schools and community groups, particularly in developing countries with coral reefs.
Whenever possible, ICRIN will act as a reference for existing materials and programs rather than developing new ones. ICRIN will facilitate the production of essential information resources when it is determined that they do not already exist. To maximize efficiency, ICRIN will be coordinated with national and regional public outreach and education efforts including the United States Coral Reef Task Force. ICRIN will take advantage of the photogenic qualities of coral reefs by making extensive use of film, video, still images and graphics in its public awareness campaigns. Certain target audiences will be polled before and after public awareness projects to evaluate those projects' impact, and to assist in the continuous improvement of outreach techniques and materials.
Priorities Outputs & Costs
The global ICRIN program will provide the overall strategy and coordination of public information projects. It will create and maintain a database of available outreach materials, research effectiveness of materials and techniques, select materials to be translated and widely distributed, act as clearinghouse for selected materials, identify gaps in existing materials and assist with the development of new materials as needed. It will also oversee Internet communications (web site and email lists) and help manage publicity (including media relations) for ICRAN projects. A coral reef image bank that makes copyright-free photographs and video images (of healthy and damaged reefs) available to coral reef conservation and education organizations, would be an important output of this program.
The sectoral and regional priorities for ICRIN will parallel those of ICRAN as a whole, focusing initially on key sectors (such as tourism and fishing) and in geographic regions (such as the Caribbean and East Africa) where significant ICRAN activities are taking place. Outputs will include reports aimed at influential private sector and government leaders, and public information messages tailored to specific audiences, such as educational videos for airline and cruise passengers. The village-level approach will use proven, low-technology materials and techniques (such as posters, teaching kits for schools and community dramas) to support efforts by local NGOs, educational and community groups to reach village populations in remote coral reef areas.
Under the minimum funding scenario, the basic global program would be supported, the equivalent of 2 million education pages would be distributed over 4 years (in many forms and languages) and several thousand copies of videos distributed. The optimum scenario more than doubles the materials output, allows greater focus on target audiences and includes research, advertising, media relations, and high-visibility special events. The minimum full-time equivalent (FTE) positions needed to staff the minimum-funding scenario is 2.5 employees per year, with the optimum being about 7 FTEs, including part-time regional coordinators located in each key ICRAN geographic area.