Mapping and enhancing natural resource governance in Small Island Communities

 
Koh Samui one of the largest island in the south of Thailand. The Island attrack hi end tourists from all around the world. Raising cost of living the local are struckle to make ends meet.

Koh Samui attracts high-end tourists; raises cost of living ... , Thailand © MFF

Objectives

The project aimed to enable and support natural resource governance on small islands that integrates and builds on the respective strengths of local and community-based management as well as national policy and legal frameworks at different levels, with the following specific objectives:

1. To generate a detailed understanding of natural resource governance frameworks, including local and community-based management practices, on small islands in the target countries, identifying how decisions affecting natural resources and ecosystem services are made as well as gaps and complementarities between the “formal” and “informal” governance frameworks;

2. To support governance reforms and ongoing processes of decentralization by identifying opportunities for governance change that reconciles overlaps, overcomes gaps, and harnesses the capacity and comparative advantage of different actors;

3. To build capacity among key stakeholder groups for natural resource governance and governance reform, with a primary focus on local communities and local government institutions/administration.

he project seeks to enable and support natural resource governance on small islands that
integrates and builds on the respective strengths of local and community-based management as
well as national policy and legal frameworks at different levels, with the following specific objectives:
I. To generate a detailed understanding of natural resource governance frameworks, including
local and community-based management practices, on small islands in the target countries,
identifying how decisions affecting natural resources and ecosystem services are made as
well as gaps and complementarities between the “formal” and “informal” governance
frameworks;
II. To support governance reforms and ongoing processes of decentralization by identifying
opportunities for governance change that reconciles overlaps, overcomes gaps, and
harnesses the capacity and comparative advantage of different actors;
III. To build capacity among key stakeholder groups for natural resource governance and
governance reform, with a primary focus on local communities and local government
institutions/administration.

 

Background

The project aided in filling a critical knowledge gap regarding how governance systems operate in small island environments, and contributed to better utilization of the respective strengths of different stakeholders in natural resource governance. In doing so it supported ongoing efforts to decentralize environmental management and enhance public participation in decision-making. This project enhanced prospects for sustainable and inclusive natural resource governance in island countries and countries with small islands by identifying and understanding island-specific challenges and constraints, and addressing these through targeted interventions.

The project mapped governance mandates, institutions, stakeholders and practices, from national to local level, identifying gaps and needs. Findings were published in review reports on natural resource governance frameworks, decision processes and community involvement practices. Recommendations for governance reform have been developed, including identification of opportunities and synthesis of available approaches and tools. A draft resource toolkit for community involvement in natural resource governance in small islands has been developed, targeted primarily at communities, community groups and local organizations as well as local government.

The resource toolkit provides a framework for integration of community stakeholders and practices into local and provincial planning/decision making. Capacity building interventions include targeted training among key stakeholder groups, notably communities and local government and/or pilot-scale demonstration interventions for small island natural resource governance reform. The project provides a foundation on which further interventions, including through MFF small and medium sized grants, can be implemented.

The study/initiative will fill a critical knowledge gap regarding how governance systems operate in
small island environments, and will contribute to better utilization of the respective strengths of
different stakeholders in natural resource governance. In doing so it will support ongoing efforts to
decentralize environmental management and enhance public participation in decision-making.
This project seeks to enhance prospects for sustainable and inclusive natural resource governance in
island countries and countries with small islands by identifying and understanding island-specific
challenges and constraints, and addressing these through targeted interventions. The project will map
governance mandates, institutions, stakeholders and practices, from national to local level, identifying
gaps and needs. Findings will be published in review reports on natural resource governance
frameworks, decision processes and community involvement practices. Recommendations for
governance reform will be developed, including identification of opportunities and synthesis of available
approaches and tools. A resource toolkit for community involvement in natural resource
governance in small islands will be developed, targeted primarily at communities, community
groups and local organizations as well as local government. The resource toolkit will provide a
framework for integration of community stakeholders and practices into local and provincial
planning/decision making. Capacity building interventions will include targeted training among
key stakeholder groups, notably communities and local government and/or pilot-scale
demonstration interventions for small island natural resource governance reform. The project
provides a foundation on which further interventions, including through MFF small and medium
sized grants, can be implemented.

 

Target beneficiaries

Stakeholders in Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Outputs

The project aimed to deliver the following outputs:

1. Review reports on natural resource governance frameworks

2. Resource toolkit for community involvement in natural resource governance in small islands

3. Capacity building and pilot-scale interventions

4. Dissemination and sharing of outputs, project findings and lessons learned (communications materials)

 

 

Accomplishments and challenges

Accomplishments

1. Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Thailand have completed their review reports on natural resource governance frameworks in their country.

2. A draft resource toolkit for community involvement in natural resource governance in small islands has been created. 

3. Capacity building and pilot-scale interventions:

  • Thailand: workshop in Chumporn Province and DMCR to provide a broad understanding on natural resources governance using the case study of the Koh Tao pilot. 
  • Sri Lanka: training workshop on coastal resources governance in small island communities in Kondavil, Jaffna. 
  • Seychelles: introductory workshop on vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) and community workshop on climate change and coastal erosion in Bel Ombre, Male. 
  • Maldives: training on laws and regulations relevant to natural resource governance and training on the Right to Information Act of Maldives in Felidhoo. 

4. Project activities and outputs; including project findings and lessons learned and recommendations, were generally communicated and shared by national partner institutions through meetings, workshops, websites and newsletters, facebook and twitter postings and policy briefs.

Country

Location

Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand

Topic

Duration

1st Jan 2013 to 31st Dec 2014

MFF Grant Amount

USD199,994

Co-financing Partner

USD 50,000 in kind: USD 10,000 from UNEP; USD 10,000 each from national implementing partners in four countries.

Implementing Partner

Regional implementing partner:

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

 

Jerker Tamelander, Head, UNEP Coral Reef Unit
Ellik Adler, COBSEA Coordinator

National implementing partners:

Maldives – UNDP Maldives/Maldives National University (MNU) 

Seychelles – Seychelles National Parks

Sri Lanka – IUCN Sri Lanka

Thailand – IUCN Thailand/Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR)

 

Contact:

- Jerker Tamelander, Head UNEP Coral Reef Unit

- Reynaldo Molina, COBSEA Project Coordinator

Related Publications

Mapping and enhancing natural resources governance in small island communities

Author: UNEP

Publisher: UNEP

Posted on: 14th Nov 2013

Category:

Size: 2.9 MB

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