'Green Coast gives us the opportunity to take action and restore what the tsunami took from us. What we do is important not only for the protection of nature but also for future livelihoods here.’
Kamarrudin, village chief in Meulaboh, Aceh
Mangrove replanting, eradication of invasive species, eco-tourism or new methods of rice cultivation... Just a few examples of the many community-based projects that Green Coast supports to help people restore their livelihoods and rehabilitate coastal nature. At the end of September 2006, 154 projects have been approved and many have already started operations or are even completed!
In Aceh 58 projects have been approved and are being implemented by 47 local NGOs and CBOs. A total budget of app. 790,000 euro has been committed to these community-based projects. These initiatives will rehabilitate an estimated coastal area of more that 600 ha: 206 ha of mangroves (1,004.000 saplings) and 394 ha of beach trees and other coastal vegetation (187.600 saplings). Till September 2006 a total number of 572,000 mangrove seedlings (8 species) & 130,000 seedlings of beach trees (24 species, including fruit trees) have been planted, covering an area of 400 ha.
Green Coast staff conducts training in technical aspects of coastal rehabilitation. Because partners are obliged to replace dead seedlings, the survival rate has reached an average of 70–90%! Other projects of Green Coast finance the rehabilitation and sustainable management of 40 ha of coral reef and the establishment of two community-based marine protected areas. In addition projects support village based policy development for wise use of coastal and marine area and the publication of environmental awareness materials (leaflet, posters, billboard).
Along with the ecosystem rehabilitation, 280,000 euro of small grants in the form of financial capital is provided to local communities for the development of livelihood activities. Most grants support fishery (procurement of boat and fishing gear, silvo-fishery), agriculture (horticulture, goat/cow husbandry), home industry (crisp, cake and fish processing, sewing machines) and eco-tourism.
On the basis of monitoring the progress of all restoration projects until September 2006, Green Coast is estimated to directly benefit at least 3,319 individuals (1492 female & 1827 male) through economic/livelihood activities and about 43,082 individuals (21,126 female and 21,956 male) will benefit from better ecosystem conditions.
Read more about the community-based projects in Indonesia
With the finalization of 32 new projects between July and September 2006 in India, there are presently 59 projects on the ground in 164 villages in the tsunami affected areas. Of these, 53 projects are being implemented within Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, 5 in Andhra Pradesh and 1 in Kerala. In terms of investment, till September 533,393 euro has been committed. These initiatives intend to support ecosystem based livelihood reconstruction of 20,400 households through ecosystem restoration.
Projects vary from rehabilitating coastal vegetation and shelter belts to supporting alternate livelihoods and the availability of safe drinking water. 3,45,000 saplings of tropical dry evergreen forest species, economically important species and mangroves will be planted in 125 ha, and conserve 15 ha of sand dunes. Some 600 households will be protected by multiple species shelter belt plantation as an alternate to the conventional casuarina /palm tree shelter belt.
Nursery raising, vermi composting, coir making, fish processing and drying, apiculture and palm fiber processing will provide alternate livelihoods to 5,600 tsunami affected households, including 280 women Self Help Groups and 20 dalit groups. Agricultural productivity will be enhanced by the application of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in 60 ha of agricultural land, whereas safe drinking water will be available to 300 households, through rainwater harvesting and rejuvenation of village water sources. Furthermore Green Coast partners will generate awareness on sustainable coastal resources management among 6200 households.
Read more about the community-based projects in India
The small grants projects in Sri Lanka intend to reach out to 49,000 people (directly or indirectly) from about 7,246 families. Of these beneficiaries 45% is male and 55% female. The benefits from the project vary from cash for work, direct livelihood assistance, to training and other project interventions. For the 28 projects approved by the end of September 2006 a sum of 498,288 euro has been committed.
Project activities vary from restoration of natural shelterbelts and raising nurseries to eco-friendly employment and cleaning up drinking wells. Almost every project has an awareness or education component in order to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the local communities on coastal ecosystems. The 28 restoration projects aim to restore about 38 ha of mangroves, 45 ha of coastal green belt and 10,720 perches of home gardens/kitchen gardens. This will utilize about 100,000 mangrove saplings, 150,360 plants for the coastal green belt and 10,000 plants for home gardens.
A total of 28 CBOs and NGOs will effectively take part in the recovery of livelihoods through community based coastal rehabilitation. As building capacities among NGOs and CBOs turns out to be necessary to efficiently implement the restoration projects, Green Coast partners also organized workshops to build technical capacities and train grant recipients on financial reporting.
Read more about the community-based projects in Sri Lanka
The Penang Inshore Fishermen and Welfare Association (PIFWA) in Malaysia has received a grant from Green Coast to continue its work in mangrove replanting and rehabilitation. Since 1997, PIFWA members have replanted up to 65,000 mangrove saplings, because they recognised its importance as spawning grounds for fish, crabs and prawns. It is also common knowledge that, in the absence of mangroves, their boats at jetties would have little protection against strong winds and waves.
PIFWA has replanted mangroves to replace those that have been degraded, and in locations that have been cleared for projects that were subsequently abandoned. With the Green Coast grant PIFWA has identified suitable sites for mangrove planting and nurseries establishment, trained fishermen and coastal communities in replanting and monitoring techniques and shared PIFWA experiences with other fishermen groups. Three centres have each started growing about 1,000 mangrove seedlings. PIFWA monitors the plant growth to ensure its survival.
Read more about this community-based project in Malaysia
In Thailand ten community-based rehabilitation projects have been approved. Eight projects have already started operations and another two projects will be starting in November 2006 and be completed by March 2007. Two more projects are in the process of being approved. Some of the Thai projects focus on livelihood restoration for local communities with a small ecosystem component, e.g. the projects supporting traditional oyster culture and non-chemical vegetable production.
Other projects support mainly the restoration of natural ecosystems. Examples of the last category are the community forest project in Koh Prathong and the mangrove restoration project in Had Tay Muang. Local people and communities that will benefit from these small grants projects are - amongst others - fishermen, small farmers and women groups.