Draft of 23 June 2000
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The International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) is a joint initiative by several partners of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) designed to reverse the decline in health of the world's coral reefs1. The project partners will conduct a set of inter-linked, highly complementary activities that will enable the proliferation of good practices for coral reef management and conservation. Strategic on-the-ground action is combined with assessment and information to enhance effective management of people's actions and their impacts upon coral reefs.
ICRAN is a catalytic effort that, up until now, has never been attempted on a global scale. It represents a unique collaboration with some of the most important international organizations in coral reef science and conservation. This coordination among key partners, who are already working toward reversing the decline of coral reefs around the world, is a remarkable attempt to combine efforts to achieve the urgent, common goal identified in the ICRI Call to Action2. The United Nations Foundation (UNF) is providing the means to begin this crucial work. However, ICRAN is not simply a continuation of works in progress; the purpose of the Network is to accelerate and more effectively integrate key information with good management practices and increased awareness of coral reef resources.
The UNF has funded the one-year Start-up Phase to begin many of ICRAN's core activities. The achievements of the project during theStart-up Phase are listed in the section on Progress from ICRAN's Start-up Phase. This Strategic Plan presents the priorities for the four-year Action Phase - from 2001 to 2004 - and specifies the actions and costs required. With initial UNF support, ICRAN aims to create a functioning network in selected coral reef regions of the world. ICRAN then intends to expand its global network, and seek counterpart funding that will eventually replace and sustain its key activities.
ICRAN is based on three major spheres of operation¯Implementation, Assessment and Communication (see Figure 1 above). UNEP will provide the overall coordination of the project. In addition, UNEP will focus on the implementation component through the Regional Seas Programmes (RSP), and the other founding partners will be responsible for the assessment and communication components. This Strategic Plan identifies each ICRAN component in detail, and presents the priorities of the Action Phase, the specific activities to be undertaken, the partners involved, the outputs and timing expected and the specific costs (not in web version).
In separate sections, the governance and resource mobilization strategies required to meet ICRAN's goal are described. The Plan also discusses how this catalytic effort relates to other coral reef conservation initiatives aimed at similar goals.
ICRAN has clearly defined the expected outcomes and products resulting from the Strategic Plan. These are presented separately under each of the components, but are summarized as follows:
1. A global network of demonstration sites for Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) will serve as models in demonstrating how good governance, with the full involvement and integration of local communities, can lead to better protection of the coral reef environment combined with social and economic development.
2. Training materials and workshops at local levels, will be provided to ensure that coastal communities near coral reefs around the world can learn from the models and implement similar management efforts.
3. A set of public information materials will be published as separate, stand-alone reports, and as part of a compiled global atlas for coral reef management. These information materials will be aimed at increasing interest and improving knowledge about coral reefs world-wide. The atlas will include best-practice guidelines for coral reef management, and will address the following topics:
- Establishment of ICM and MPA sites
4. A series of high profile regional Reefs at Risk publications, released annually. Like the global report, these will be prepared by ICRAN partners in close collaboration with local expertise. They will be released with a major press and publicity campaign in the regions, serving to raise awareness of regional issues.
5. Enhanced awareness of coral reef conservation and proper management through a worldwide public information campaign, including both mass media and the provision of materials to NGOs and schools. The campaign will use the Internet, videos, pamphlets, posters, booklets and the media. It will capitalize on materials already in existence as well as creating new materials linked closely to work of the other ICRAN partners, and will further seek to work in close collaboration with existing NGOs and networks operating at local levels.
6. Enhancement of ReefBase as the global repository for data on coral reefs, published on CD-ROM and the Internet providing access to all information assembled and generated under the ICRAN - and other initiatives to monitor and conserve coral reefs.
7. Enhancement of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) to provide critically needed data on coral reef health and on the status of reef-dependent peoples, and to empower a wide range of people to understand and protect their coral reef resources.
8. Further enhancement of the International Coral Reef Initiative Secretariat's capacity to specifically promote and affect policy reforms around the world and encourage the commitment of governments and international agencies to protect coral reef resources for future generations.
9. Training materials tailored to the needs of coral reef managers in all regions, and a global network of trained coastal management trainers.
10. Establishment of a Coral Reef Fund and mechanisms (from local to global scales) to support coral reef management and conservation activities for the Action Phase and beyond the project period.
11. Through the combined activities outlined in this report, demonstrate a documented improvement in management practices leading to reduced threats to coral reefs and a net increase in coral reef health.
The current Strategic Plan has been developed by the UNEP and ICLARM in partnership with project partners for the action phase. In addition, the resources provided to ICRAN during its Start-up Phase have supported several initial components of ICRAN and have resulted in several outcomes and products, namely:
- The regional system of demonstration sites for MPA management in the Caribbean has been initiated, serving as training centers to ensure widespread effective coral reef management.
- A training manual for Marine Protected Area management with regionally adapted training material and case studies has been developed by the UNEP CAR/RCU. The manual is available in both Spanish and English.
- Regional train-the trainer's courses in MPA management has been conducted at the demonstration sites in both English and Spanish.
The Start-up Phase of ICRAN has included an analysis of approaches to ICM and MPA management in the Eastern African region in a participatory and capacity building process led by regional experts.
- National Workshops for a critical analysis of MPA management in Mozambique convened (Iñhaca Island Marine Reserve 19-22 April and Bazaruto Marine Park 2-5 May)
- A series of local workshops for stakeholders and managers of three MPAs in Kenya is ongoing under the leadership of Kenya Wildlife Service
- Draft Reports on the status of MPAs in Madagascar, Seychelles and Comoros have been prepared
Reefs at Risk in South East Asian region
- Draft maps and preliminary models have been produced
- Reefs at Risk Regional Workshop for South East Asia held in Manila, 3-4 April to refine the modeling methods and revise the preliminary maps in cooperation with regional experts
- Revised models and maps are under production
Resource Mobilization Component
An ICRAN consultant was retained during the Start-up phase to examine resource mobilization, and to make contact with potential ICRAN co-funders.
- A database of potential counterpart funding has been developed and will be used to track contacts and on-going communication
- A non-broadcast information video about ICRAN has been developed to be used in informing the public and potential counter-part donors
1 The ICRAN
founding partners include the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources
Management (ICLARM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), The
World Resources Institute (WRI), the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring
Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) the
International Coral Reef Initiative-Secretariat (ICRI-Secretariat), and
The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). See Section
IX for a brief description of each partner's contribution to the Network.