The 29 course participants come from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. The MFF National Coordinating Bodies have nominated 22 participants as representatives of both government and civil society. In addition, seven participants have joined from the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) Project.
The curriculum will provide the participants with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge on integrated coastal management, and with a good understanding of the main coastal and marine ecosystems in the Asia region. The training course will also provide the participants with tools and skills on designing, implementing and monitoring projects that integrate across sectors, involve diverse stakeholders and give consideration to the potential impacts of climate change.
It is expected that the participants upon completion of the course, will be able to use their training to develop the national capacities in their home countries for implementation of Integrated Coastal Management in collaboration with for MFF and other regional programmes.
The course launch on Friday 9 September included a reception where AIT President Dr. Said Irandoust and IUCN Asia Regional Director Ms Aban Marker Kabraji officially welcomed the course participants.
Dr. Irandoust emphasized the importance of the course as a milestone in AIT's commitment to professional development of coastal managers in the region. Ms. Kabraji emphasized the contribution of the course to developing solid partnerships among key institutions in the region.
Welcome remarks were also shared by the AIT faculty directly managing the course. Messages of encouragement and support were also given by MFF partners BOBLME and Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC). Course participant Mr. Deepak Apte, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India, affirmed the importance of this course for improving skills of coastal managers in the region. On behalf of all the participants, he expressed gratitude to the course sponsors.
The course consists of four modules covering: Marine and Coastal Ecosystems; Principles of Integrated Coastal Management; Tools for Integrated Coastal Management; and Coastal Management and Evaluation.
In addition to teaching by experienced AIT faculty staff, the modules will include seminars and other special sessions conducted by experts from MFF and other regional programmes and organizations based in Thailand.
The course will run for five weeks from 2 September to 8 October at the AIT campus in Pathumthani, 40km north of Bangkok. The course culminates in a supervised project assignment to be completed in the participant's home country and submitted to AIT and MFF for evaluation.
Participants will receive an AIT certificate upon successful completion of the course.