case study the mekong wetlands biodiversity progra

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Published on October 10, 2007

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IW: LEARN Case study:The Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme:  IW: LEARN Case study:The Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme Peter-John Meynell UNDP Team Leader 20 November 2004 Outline of presentation:  Outline of presentation Overview of project and its activities Environmental flows Economic valuation Financing mechanisms Limitations of this presentation:  Limitations of this presentation Mekong Wetlands Programme is only just starting – July 04 Just learning how to make it work Little actual experience to report BUT: Environmental flows Economic valuation Development of financing mechanisms are MWBP significant components What is the programme about?:  What is the programme about? Based upon the principle that conservation can only be achieved through promotion of sustainable use of wetland resources Goal Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetland Biodiversity in the Lower Mekong Basin Purpose To strengthen regional, national and local capacities for conservation and sustainable use of wetlands in the Lower Mekong Basin What do we aim to do? - Address the root causes of wetland loss and degradation:  What do we aim to do? - Address the root causes of wetland loss and degradation 1. Encourage multi-sector planning at national and regional level 2. Strengthen wetland policy and economic frameworks 3. Collect information and increase awareness about importance of wetlands and threats 4. Build human capacity and strengthen technical resources 5. Use four sustainable resource use demonstration projects – one per country Programme Components:  Programme Components Regional component  4 National components Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam  4 Demonstration sites Demonstration sites:  Songkhram Attepeu Stoeng Treng Plain of Reeds Demonstration sites How do we do this?:  How do we do this? At regional level Development of guiding principles for wetland conservation and sustainable use – reaching agreement and acceptance by the four governments Environmental flows – testing scenarios for the impacts of flow regimes upon wetlands and livelihoods Biodiversity assessments and mapping in support of regional and national planning Flagship species – Irrawaddy Dolphin, Siamese Crocodile, Mekong Giant Catfish, Sarus Crane Support to international conventions – Ramsar, CITES, CBD How do we do this?:  How do we do this? At national level Strengthening networks of national expertise Support to Ramsar Convention Recommendations for sectoral policies National Wetland Action Plan development, review and implementation Raising awareness amongst decision makers How do we do this?:  How do we do this? At demonstration site level Wetland management planning, strengthening the provincial process Community-based management of wetland resources Enhancing sustainable livelihoods Economic valuation and development of financing mechanisms for sustainable wetland management Communications, education and training of national, provincial and community organisations Environmental flows:  Environmental flows Moving away from simplisitic concepts of minimum flow requirements, even at different times of year Developing an understanding of what flows are required for different ecological and livelihood functions Environmental flows – process 1:  Environmental flows – process 1 The MRC Water Utilization Programme has developed a hydrological model of the Lower Mekong Basin which can predict the flow consequences of development scenarios. Development scenarios include: Higher development scenario Lower development scenario Present day scenario These scenarios have implications for flows in the river, generally: Higher dry season flows Lower wet season flows Changes in frequency of flooding levels Environmental flows – process 2:  Environmental flows – process 2 Using the adapted DRIFT techniques developed in South Africa Identify the key assets in terms of: River geomorphology, Ecosystem functions Biodiversity, Natural resources, - fisheries, vegetation Livelihoods. Carry out field studies on the Mekong mainstream find out asset locations in relation to river and flooding levels accurate height range measurements for these assets are critical Slide14:  Vegetation zones linked to flood - return periods Environmental flows – process 3:  Environmental flows – process 3 Predict consequences of the different scenarios Use valuation to show economic and social consequences Feed the information into the Basin and national planning processes Ensure development decisions are made with better awareness of the consequences and trade-offs Environmental flows - learning:  Environmental flows - learning Process is about capacity building Dialogue between riparian countries to develop common understanding of scenarios and assets Teams of national experts will carry out the studies, guided by international experts Interpretation of the consequences as a learning experience Wetland valuation:  Wetland valuation Show that wetland resources and functions have real values Fish for subsistence and commercial value Wetland products – rice, algae, medicinal plants, frogs, snails, insects, building materials etc Functions such as flood regulation, groundwater recharge, water purification, habitat for spawning and breeding Use these values in planning and EIAs to highlight losses & trade-offs Wetland valuation – learning and guiding:  Wetland valuation – learning and guiding Research and training to expand capacity to incorporate economic values into Environmental Impact Assessments in LMB countries. Less formal training – more on-the-job continuous involvement of key staff of MWBP with government and NGO partners Assessing market potential for wetland based or non-wetland alternative income generating activities to guide the MWBP in livelihood activities e.g. silk rearing in rural communities in Stoeng Treng Ecotourism for the Irrawaddy Dolphin:  Ecotourism for the Irrawaddy Dolphin Potential development of ecotourism to protect Irrawaddy dolphin population need to understand livelihood impacts of tradeoffs faced by local communities. What is the cost to local fishermen of giving up certain fishing activities that endanger the dolphin? If local communities give up fishing activities which endanger dolphins, who will reap the benefits from tourism dollars? What institutional arrangements are needed to ensure that those who bear the costs of dolphin management also benefit? Financing mechanisms:  Financing mechanisms Economic valuation should not stop here: it is a tool to contribute to: Policy review and development Economic incentives Financing mechanisms for improving and sustaining long-term wetland resource management MWBP is developing a strategy for these in each country Examples include: Financing for Ramsar site management Financing for Community fishery management in Stoeng Treng Financing for Community fishery management in Stoeng Treng :  Financing for Community fishery management in Stoeng Treng Possible to assess costs, benefits and distribution of Community Fishery Management – comparing CFM and non-CFM - but not very easy Partial valuation of wetland resources indicates need to consider alternative livelihood strategies Build qualitative evidence: Many stakeholders that benefit from wetland resources – on and off-site Interactions between stakeholders influence how resource is used and best managed Extent of power relations and influence between these stakeholders Economic valuation and financing mechanism – lessons learnt:  Economic valuation and financing mechanism – lessons learnt Important to relate economic valuation to the context Define the issue to be addressed clearly Question need for comprehensive evaluation – target studies carefully Economic valuation and financing mechanism – lessons learnt:  Economic valuation and financing mechanism – lessons learnt Need for back-up information from other disciplines – hydrology, ecology, fisheries, livelihood etc. Consider relation to policy and planning needs Need to pull in other sectors, including Ministries of Finance and Trade

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