Draft of 23 June 2000
Parts V - IX
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UNEP and the Project Director will continuously monitor the quality and timeliness of the implementation of the project with the assistance of the TAG, providing guidance to the Project Director to improve implementation and adjust progress as necessary.
Provision will also be made, in consultation with the principal executing bodies (e.g. UNEP, ICLARM) for the Project Director to engage an external consultant for independent review of the ICRAN project implementation. Internal evaluations will also be regularly undertaken and the lessons learned will be presented as formal evaluation reports.
The evaluation of ICRAN will require a
set of tangible indicators of success to evauluate the progress of the
project. The following sets of indicators will be further developed and
more indicators added with the help of the Technical Advisory Group:
- Human resources capacity built by the
project (e.g. number of managers and government/project staff trained in
- Improved efficiency in management of
coastal resources (e.g. management plans developed and implemented)
- Improved stakeholder involvement in decision-making
(e.g. stakeholder consultation meetings)
Since the founding of the International Coral Reef Initiative in 1995, there has been a consistent increase in the number of projects and activities around the world that address coral reef ecosystems. Some of these activities have been implemented by NGOs working at local levels. Other initiatives have been national or regional in focus, because of the transboundary nature of environmental problems and the belief that management efforts can be appropriately addressed at a broader scale. In fact, within the ICRI Framework for Action, as well as with the GCRMN's operations, the devolution of activities from a global to a regional level is a specific objective.
While ICRI's strength lies in its diplomacy, influence and coordination between governments, ICRAN is in a position to serve as a management catalyst - a connector and integrator of management interventions and assessment activities both within and between regions and partners. ICRAN is structured to operate across a range of management and assessment scales - local, national, regional and global. While the coordination of ICRAN's implementation component is focused at the regional level, a major emphasis of its on-the-ground effort will be in the form of village-to-village transfer of knowledge.
There are other significant projects and activities taking place around the world that will complement ICRAN, but ICRAN has the potential to serve an important integrating function between these other efforts. The activities discussed below are not comprehensive for all coral reef regions or organizations, because compiling this information is currently underway by several partners within ICRI. However, the following information identifies major efforts that are underway.
WWF has been experimenting with new ways to achieve more conservation impact in a shorter time frame, and on a larger scale – through its global campaigns, Action Network, and ecoregion-based conservation (ERBC). Recently WWF has explored how these approaches might be combined into one integrated approach for more effective coral reef conservation. Coined CoralWeb, this new integrated approach will not create a new campaign or programs within WWF but rather add value, provide additional resources and help focus existing campaigns, programs and field activities on coral reef conservation priorities and key threats. Currently WWF manages numerous conservation projects around the world. These apply a variety of strategies, from co-management and innovative financing to marine reserve networks for fisheries management. Yet most of these projects still operate in relative isolation. CoralWeb will strengthen WWF's capacity to implement effective on-the-ground conservation. It will create a network of ecoregional programmes, which will enable information and lessons learned to be disseminated in a more strategic manner. CoralWeb will also focus on those activities that help better understand and mitigate the global threats that have the greatest impact on coral reefs.
CoralWeb will focus its efforts around
the following coral reef ecoregions:
WWF intends for CoralWeb to be the organization's
contribution to the combined efforts of many institutions and organizations
under ICRI. Representatives from WWF have been in communication with ICRAN,
and Coral Web will seek to maximize it partnership and coordination with
The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) was established by President Clinton in June 1998 though Executive Order #13089 on Coral Reef Protection to lead the U.S. response to this growing, global environmental concern. Chaired by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce, the USCRTF is composed of the heads of 11 federal agencies and the Governors of 7 states, territories or commonwealths with responsibilities for coral reefs. This includes Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Florida, Hawaii, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
To date, the USCRTF has held four official meetings at locations around the US and its territories, and during its fourth meeting officially adopted a national coral reef management plan.
The USCRTF is responsible for overseeing
implementation of the Executive Order, and developing and implementing
coordinated efforts to:
Members of the USCRTF include the Department of the Interior, Department of Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of State, and the Agency for International Development. Within the USCRTF an International Working Group has been established and is supportive of ICRAN's goals and objectives. The ICRAN project will coordinate its mapping and monitoring activities closely with those of the US Coral Reef Task Force to make best use of available resources.
The World Bank's portfolio of coral reef projects has been estimated at over $125 million from a period of about 1991 - 2001. The GEF has been a major partner in financing Bank activities for coral reefs, contributing over half the value of these investments. The distribution of GEF and supported Bank projects has also expanded during this period to include all major coral reef regions of the world. A major focus has been on biodiversity conservation, primarily through the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (e.g. the Seychelles, Egypt, and Mauritius). However, the World Bank has also begun to address environmental problems through the support of transboundary, regionally focussed projects, such the Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Project in Indonesia (COREMAP), the Strategic Action Programme for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef System in the Caribbean. Within each of these activities, the nature and scope of interventions vary depending on scale, but mechanisms such as ICM, use of MPAs, community-based approaches, capacity building and training, monitoring and policy reform are the common tools being used to address coral reef conservation and sustainable use.
However, these activities generally operate independently of one another, without a consistent, large-scale transfer of information or knowledge between them. As a network, ICRAN presents the opportunity to tie current activities together and can serve as a guide for current and future project development.
CORDIO, which stands for Coral Reef Degradation in the Indian Ocean, is a project that was initiated in response to the extensive bleaching and mortality of corals that occurred during 1998. CORDIO is supported by Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), the World Bank, FRN (Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research), MISTRA (Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) and WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature). Activities within the project are conducted in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Seychelles, Reunion, Comoros, Mauritius, Maldives, India and Sri Lanka and coordinated from sub-regional secretariats in Kenya, Sri Lanka and Reunion. In the western Indian Ocean region coral reefs are key ecosystems that support large sectors of the countries' populations and economies, through artisanal fisheries, tourism and large-scale investments. Research within CORDIO focus on determining a) the bio-physical impacts of coral degradation as a result of bleaching and other disturbances, and the long term prospects for recovery, b) the socio-economic impacts of coral mortality and options for mitigating these through management and development of alternative livelihoods and c) the prospects of restoration and rehabilitation of reefs to accelerate the ecological and economic recovery. The ICRAN project will build upon the achievements and results obtained by the CORDIO project, and may provide a mechanism for applying the results of CORDIO research directly in the management of coral reef areas.
Coral Reef Theme under IGOS (http://www.igospartners.org)
The Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Partnership of space agencies, observing systems, international organizations and global research programmes recently (Geneva 7 June 2000) decided to initiate the development of a Coral Reef theme under IGOS with UNEP as the lead agency. Likely partners include NOAA, IGBP, WCMC, GCRMN and ICRI. The initiative aims to improve the integration of observing activities and data derived from a variety of existing initiatives, with a particular focus on the combination of remote sensing and in situ approaches, in order to generate information products useful for reef conservation and management. These would not only be relevant to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem management, but also to climate change impacts, the carbon cycle and coastal area management. IGOS themes aim to meet the needs of a range of users from the research community through to routine operational data for resource users and managers, and to assess progress under multilateral environmental agreements. The IGOS Partners see coral reefs as a first step towards a broader coastal theme, which would eventually give similar treatment to mangroves, seagrasses and other coastal ecosystems.
A theme that is adopted by IGOS has a potential to stimulate commitments from the space agencies to coral reef observations and to establish linkages with other relevant research and assessment programmes like the Millennium Assessment and work under the Convention on Biological Diversity. As the lead for this initiative is under the same Division within UNEP as ICRAN, the two initiatives will be very closely linked.
The success of ICRAN will be largely contingent upon its ability to gather momentum, devise co-financing mechanisms for each component's activities, and deliver its products to support on-the-ground change. Co-financing will be essential for ICRAN to sustain its key activities over time, and to eventually reduce reliance on only one or a few sources of major support.
under revision - not included in this web version]
ICRAN Founding Partners and Collaborating Agencies
The primary focus of the United Nations Environment Programme will be to ensure that a global system of model sites is established in which effective programs of locally managed ICM and MPAs are ongoing. UNEP will ensure that programs are established to bring representatives of communities to the model sites to encourage proliferation of ICM and MPAs throughout coral reef areas. Activities will include the reduction of stress on the environment through the establishment of alternative livelihoods via small business enterprises and micro-credit systems. In accomplishing this task, UNEP will work closely with several partners, including FAO and UNDP.
The International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management will focus on expanding the scope of ReefBase, conducting a global assessment of reef value and fisheries and mariculture production, evaluating national policies influencing reef management, and developing a training-of-trainers program in support of ICM and MPA development. It will also conduct an analysis of the probable source-sink linkages by which populations of reef organisms are interdependent among groups of reefs. ICLARM will also assist WRI in conducting the Reefs at Risk analyses.
Within the context of ICRAN, the Secretariat of the International Coral Reef Initiative will take steps to promote the global proliferation of improved coral reef management, particularly by encouraging government and NGO activities in support of the global Framework for Action and its regional counterparts. The ICRI-CPC and Secretariat, through its expertise and experience in coral reef projects, is also expected to contribute as an advisory body to the ICRAN.
The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network is an operational unit of the International Coral Reef Initiative or ICRI that provides data and information on the status and trends in coral reefs to the international community to improve conservation. The GCRMN operates through regional nodes, based on and coordinated by the UNEP Regional Seas Convention coordinating units and equivalent agencies, that provide countries and regions with the capacity to monitor their coral reefs and to link them into an international network of cooperating countries and agencies. Monitoring is a powerful awareness-raising tool that demonstrates to both the person monitoring and the government the problems facing reefs and the need for management. The GCRMN will coordinate the further development of the global system of coral reef monitoring that has been established previously to ensure that empirical information will be available in support of national, regional and global assessments. Activities of Reef Check, the volunteer reef monitoring program, in support of ICRAN will be coordinated through the GCRMN.
The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre was originally established about twenty years ago, and has become the major international data center holding biodiversity information for the world. In 1988 WCMC produced the highly acclaimed 3-volume Coral Reefs of the World. Through the 1990s WCMC has been compiling and developing the most detailed global maps of the world's coral reefs on its Geographical Information Systems. At the same time it has been collaborating with many of the other ICRAN partners in such projects as ReefBase and Reefs at Risk, and has also been compiling other critical data sets on threatened species, marine protected areas, coral trade and coral diseases. Since July, 2000, WCMC has been incorporated into the UNEP system as its global biodiversity information and assessment center. WCMC will continue to produce digital maps of the world's coral reefs and associated habitats in support of management and analysis efforts, and will further support site-based mapping for the demonstration sites, and into enhancing existing regional maps using remote sensing. These maps will provide a critical base for regional seas work, Reefs at Risk, and ReefBase. WCMC will also continue to maintain the global marine protected areas database on behalf of the World Commission of Protected Areas, and manage this data on behalf of ICRAN. It will act in close collaboration with WRI in the Reefs at Risk analyses, and will liaise closely with ReefBase and other ICRAN partners in other ongoing coral reef work, including work relating to coral diseases and trade in corals and other marine ornamental species.
The World Resources Institute will play a leading role in the conduct of the regional Reefs at Risk analyses. In particular, it will supervise the geographic information system (GIS) analyses of potential threats to coral reefs, and assist in determining priority areas for management action. In the final year of the Action Phase, WRI will combine results of the regional analyses into a revised global assessment.
The Coral Reef Alliance will develop a public information campaign in support of the improved management of coral reefs. This will include a mass-media campaign directed toward the general public, and activities designed to assist other groups to inform local residents in coral reef areas about conservation and management. CORAL will ensure that the results of the ICRAN activities will be widely disseminated to the public, policy makers, funding agencies, reef managers and reef stakeholders.
Other Collaborating UN Agencies:
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is implementing the Eastern African component of the start-up phase of ICRAN, and has taken part in the design of ICRAN. FAO will especially contribute to the ICRAN project with its expertise in respect to inshore fisheries management, international agreements relating to fisheries, in association with policy analysis, and will advise on the global analyses of coral reef fisheries and mariculture. FAO has the expertise and mandate to develop strategies for management of fisheries and to implement these strategies within the wider context of ICM.
The ICM Training Materials / Training-of-Trainers Activity is a direct outgrowth of the Train-Sea-Coast (TSC) Programme of the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, in which ICLARM and others have collaborated in developing, testing and refining an ICM training program for the Philippines. The TSC training program is part of a larger effort to improve training within the United Nations, with increased emphasis on addressing user requirements through formal needs assessment. ICRAN will collaborate with the TSC, and in particular the GEF activity with which it is associated. ICRAN will also operate with the many small business activities of the UNDP, such as the Small Enterprise Development Programme, to develop alternative livelihood programs, and with UNDP offices in coral reef areas to coordinate activities with other ongoing and upcoming activities. Particular emphasis will be placed on supporting the UNDP Small Grants GEF Programme in their integrated management activities in connection with the World Heritage Sites.
At least twelve World Heritage Sites incorporate coral reefs. ICRAN will provide information through its reef linkage analyses that will be crucial to ensuring the sustainable management of existing World Heritage Sites with coral reefs and the planning of new ones. The ICRAN's ICM activities will have implications for managing the Sites, and the small MPAs associated with the ICM areas will play a role in supporting populations of organisms linked via life-history stages to the Sites. Similarly, coral reefs are included within the Ramsar Wetlands and Man and Biosphere programs, and the activities of the ICRAN will play a cross-supportive role with those programs.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic
Commission founded the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, in support
of the International Coral Reef Initiative. Currently, it co-sponsors the
GCRMN with the IUCN and UNEP, but continues to take the lead in terms of
guidance and fund-raising for GCRMN coordination. The GCRMN published the
Status of Coral Reefs of the World 1998 report and is preparing the next
status report, due in October 2000. The GCRMN seeks to involve all governments
in GCRMN level coral reef monitoring, while simultaneously stimulating
communities and volunteers to monitor reefs using Reef Check methodology.