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Green Coast continues!

07-Aug-2007

1 million Euro funding has been raised for a Green Coast second phase in Aceh & Nias (Indonesia) which will last until December 2008. Next to this, additional funds are secured to extend Green Coast ...

1 million Euro funding has been raised for a Green Coast second phase in Aceh & Nias (Indonesia) which will last until December 2008. Next to this, additional funds are secured to extend Green Coast phase 1 in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia until December this year. This gives room to complete all planned coastal ecosystem and livelihood restoration projects and to scale up and replicate the most successful ones in some other tsunami affected areas.

Till date, more than 900 hectares of coastal forest have been restored by Green Coast partners together with the local communities. In a few years time, these patches of forest will function as a natural buffer zones in case of extreme weather events such as floods and storms and will also provide important livelihood assets to the local communities. Next to this, more than 50 home gardens have been established in resettlement areas which already provided extra income to a large number of tsunami-affected people.

Green Coast has provided micro-credits and grants to local communities, especially women groups, to start their own small business such as fish farming or fruit processing enterprise. Through provision of 170 credits and grants, a total number of 90,000 people, among which more than 55% women, has benefited from (extra) income and restored livelihoods.

In the extension phase, the Green Coast partners, WI, IUCN, WWF, Both ENDS and their local NGO network, will use the extra time to support the local communities in re-establishing their livelihoods through these small scale enterprises. They will also get technical assistance from the GC partners in the process to become ‘sustainable’. 

In order to facilitate exchange and internal learning, a Green Coast study tour will be organised in October for key Green Coast staff to visit some demonstration sites in Indonesia.

Please read about the specific plans from each Green Coast country team for the extension phase until end December 2007.

In Sri Lanka 29 small grant projects are completed by now and the extension period is used to upscale and replicate the 6 most successful projects and to continue with providing capacity building & training workshops for grant recipients. Several Policy workshops are planned to disseminate and promote the Green Belt and other policy guidelines to those government and development agencies dealing with coastal zone management. A National Green Coast workshop is planned with local communities and key persons in government and humanitarian sector to promote the GC approach and communicate main results and outcomes. 

In India Green Coast has supported 60 restoration projects of which 20 are completed. The extension period will be used to upscale ongoing project activities for 18 projects and to develop ‘exit strategies’ for these projects. Further for 20 projects the proposed set of activities will be completed. Some 8 small grant projects will receive no further support due to under-performance. Also 6 capacity building workshops for involved communities will be organised, these will deal with financial management, monitoring & evaluation, water management, coastal vegetation & marketing of eco-products. 

A State level Policy workshop is held in June under the title: ‘Post Tsunami Environmental Challenges: a Policy Perspective’. This ambitious effort was undertaken to bring together representatives from the various sectors involved in the post tsunami relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases. The focus of this workshop was to discuss policy implications related to the coastal environment and community livelihoods and to highlight and discuss key policy issues with the government. 

In Thailand, the extension period will be used to finalize the current 14 small grant projects on marine issues, fisheries and eco-tourism. The Green Coast partners will develop a 'phasing out strategy' to ensure sustainable results and community empowerment. Further Green Coast continues to provide policy support to grant recipients and produce lessons learned documents.

In Malaysia, strategic communication and policy/advocacy work towards Federal and State government on mangrove restoration and conservation dominates the Green Coast extension work. Also, PIFWA, the local fishermen organisation, will receive some further support to complete its mangrove restoration project.

Regarding Green Coast Phase 2 in Aceh & Nias (2007-2008) the priorities are to establish 16 projects on integrated coastal resource management, some of which will become demonstration sites to show sustainable management solutions for coastal ecosystem degradation. 

Green Coast partners in Indonesia will also facilitate the formation of a coastal community and NGO network to ensure bottom up information flow on rehabilitation priorities at the vulnerable coasts of Aceh. This input will be used to influence large scale investors such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to take community and coastal ecosystem interests into account in their planning, reconstruction and development of Aceh.

Further, the experience of 3,5 years Green Coast implementation in Aceh & Nias will be capitalised in lessons learned documents and guidelines for coastal rehabilitation. 

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