Publishable final activity report
For more information visit the project website: http://www.enaca.org/modules/mangrove
Urbanisation and industrial development in Southeast Asia is occurring rapidly along coastal zones, however, such areas are important food production centres and central to the livelihoods of many poor people. Until recently the benefits of mangroves were generally not appreciated and undervalued. Major constraints to informed policy and management of mangrove ecosystems in Asia are the lack of relevant information on the value stakeholders ascribe to them and the absence of a balanced assessment of ecosystem functioning, livelihoods and multiple uses. Moreover, mangrove ecosystem management requires scientists, planners and policy-makers to deal with changing and often conflicting demands whilst attempting to meet the challenge of fulfilling the needs of local communities. Considering the many important resources and functions that mangroves provide and the support afforded to poor coastal livelihoods, this project aimed to address the lack of knowledge about their status, use and requirements for sustainable management. Improved understanding of the multiple uses of mangrove ecosystems in employment generation, asset creation, food production and sustaining the provision of ecosystem services supporting society was a central objective for the MANGROVE project. Project sites were situated in the Mahakam Delta, Indonesia (MDI); Red River Delta, Vietnam (RRDV); and Nakhon Si Thammarat mangrove, Thailand (NSTT). The start of the project was delayed because two of the three European partners had to be replaced; new partners resulted in new insights concerning the project methodology. This change in methodology led to a more integrative approach to working and outputs which was reflected in a regrouping of work packages and deliverables. Given progress made by the project team the aim evolved from action plan formulation with stakeholders to include process aspects, facilitating the development of an enabling institutional environment, exploring options for knowledge sharing and transfer, bioeconomic modelling to permit preliminary financial and ecological footprint assessments of promising options for responsible aquaculture development and broadening the scope of communication activities.
The following section describes the activities undertaken to address specific objectives associated with work packages and main results and outcomes achieved.
Work Package 1: Situation Analysis
Objectives for the work package were: representative communities identified and awareness of project raised; livelihood strategies of community and mangrove functionality at selected sites studied and understood; institutional, policy and legal frameworks examined and discussed with stakeholders; market networks described and influence on poor livelihoods explored; dialogue with key stakeholders established and their role and position described and understood.
Work to achieve objectives and results
A multidisciplinary situation analysis, involving participatory community appraisals, stakeholder and institutional analysis, a study of the market networks for goods derived from mangroves and an assessment of existing datasets was conducted at sites in the Mahakam Delta, Red River Delta and Nakhon Si Thammarat mangrove (Bosma et al. 2007; Dulyapurk et al. 2007; Hong et al. 2007). Factors analysed included, the ecological characteristics and functions of the mangrove ecosystem, and adjacent coastal areas; livelihood strategies of households dependent on goods and services derived from mangroves; institutional features, including local, national and international policy and legislation, describing patterns of change, stakeholder values associated with mangroves, and conflicts or tensions. New knowledge from this research work has contributed to a better understanding of the value of mangrove ecosystems to poor communities and should help guide other communities and national institutions and international bodies in formulating programmes and initiatives to promote sustainable, wise-use of mangroves and reconcile multiple demands placed on mangroves and associated coastal zones. Stakeholder workshops were convened in each country to present Situation Analysis outcomes and facilitate feedback and verification and findings were used to guide subsequent research activities in the MANGROVE project.
WP2: Dissemination, monitoring & evaluation
Objectives of the work package were: develop communication plan for project outputs in consultation with stakeholders; raise local/national stakeholders awareness of mangrove functions and values; gather stakeholders feedback that verifies and validates outputs and helps focus subsequent activities; communicate findings & outputs to key local/national stakeholders in appropriate formats; monitor and evaluate progress against project objectives and impact of activities and outputs.
Work to achieve objectives and results
Research findings have been communicated to local user groups and communities and selected key stakeholders at workshops in the study sites for verification and feedback, outcomes have been disseminated to stakeholder groups away from the study sites and broader audiences though the mass media, links with global data-bases and technical and scientific presentations and papers. The intention being to ensure national institutions and international development agencies have access to new knowledge originating from the MANGROVE project to promote interactive participation in local planning initiatives, development of ecologically-sound and socially responsible conservation and development plans and monitoring activities to reconcile multiple demands on coastal zones, especially mangroves. During the course of the project web-pages were established and maintained and communication plans were developed and updated for the three countries to guide communication of findings with key local and national stakeholders in appropriate formats (Amarasinghe 2009). Principles of communication planning within the MANGROVE project were based on: understandings who the key stakeholders are; tailoring communication to different stakeholders based on needs analysis; ensuring that communications contain a consistent message; using appropriate media for communication; encouraging feedback from stakeholders.
WP3: Ecosystem health & functioning & WP6: Reconciling multiple demands: ecosystem health & functioning
Work package objectives were: analyse mangrove ecosystem functioning according to the preliminary classification of ecological functions; identify simple indicators for each function/resource; propose management options to protect important ecosystem functions and sustainable utilisation of mangrove resources; based on WP3 outcomes the ecological basis to action plans formulated in WP5 were reviewed with stakeholders and likely impacts explored; approaches to implementing, monitoring and evaluating action plan activities negotiated and agreed with local stakeholders at each study site; participatory monitoring programme, involving local stakeholders, established, and baseline data collected on ecosystem indicators (from WP3); potential change in ecosystem health resulting from intervention assessed against indicators and evaluated; outcomes of action plan activities assessed in consultation with local stakeholders and suitable adaptations to enhance outcomes and uptake by other communities in the region identified.
Work to achieve objectives and results
Preliminary review work focused on the potential role of conducting a stakeholder Delphi (Bunting 2008) within the MANGROVE project to facilitate joint assessment and decision-making. Given that the majority of stakeholders were already engaged in open forms of meeting and interaction it was decided that imposition of the stakeholder Delphi process might be considered a retrograde step. The discussion highlighted the need for further assessment concerning the nature of interaction amongst participants and potential barriers to interactive participation and joint assessment and decision-making (see Bunting 2010). Work within WP3 initially focused on assessing mangrove ecosystem functioning and health at each study site based on the ecosystem services framework established in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment with a focus on provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services. Ecosystem functions and services associated with mangroves were reviewed drawing on available literature and project reports; evidence and examples derived from WP1 of the MANGROVE project were reviewed and summarised (Bunting 2009). Within this review the rationale for action plans focused on mangrove ecosystem conservation and wise-use was outlined for each county and the approach adopted in response to specific conditions in the respective study sites is described below.
During joint discussions with Mulawarman University in Samarinda it was decided to prepare a refined action plan for mangrove and aquaculture management in the Mahakam Delta based on constitutional norms of developing a Strategic Plan which was thought more appropriate for facilitating discussions with stakeholders. Various barriers and limitations, however, to progressing with this approach were apparent, notably, discrepancies between de jure and de facto situations within the Mahakam Delta. Prospects for extending shrimp aquaculture Better Management Practices (BMPs) prepared primarily by ADB et al. (2007) for Aceh in the pond activities in the Mahakam Delta were subsequently reviewed. For the purpose of facilitating joint assessment with stakeholders the MU team translated the BMPs into the local Indonesian language. Stakeholder workshops were convened to facilitate action plan development regarding mangrove management with local communities in the research site. A workshop was held in Saliki village and was attended by fishermen and pond farmers from Saliki and Taduttan (mainly respondents involved in logbook and household survey, see detailed account below) and a second workshop was conducted at Salo Palai village with participants from the village. The workshops were coordinated by the MU team, assisted by three MU undergraduate students. The proceeding (in Bahasa Indonesia) of the workshop was reported. The integrated mangrove pond aquaculture system and BMPs for pond aquaculture were discussed in the workshops.
Considering the situation in the Mahakam Delta, it was decided to invoke bioeconomic modelling as an approach to evaluate the potential of BMPs (primarily focused on prospects for tambak rehabilitation in Ache) in the context of the Mahakam Delta. The objective being to minimise ecological footprints associated with coastal aquaculture, thus contributing to sustaining and rehabilitating stocks and flows of ecosystem services and reconciling multiple demands on mangroves and associated coastal ecosystems. The coordinator subsequently worked with the Mulawarman University team at the study-site to collect supplementary data required for bioeconomic modelling. Researchers from MU went to the field to conduct a survey in the Mahakam Delta to provide the remaining data needed for the analysis. Bioeconomic models were developed drawing on data from WP4 and supplementary data for traditional, extensive, semi-intensive and integrated shrimp-mangrove systems in the Mahakam Delta. Outcomes showed that traditional and extensive systems have the potential to appropriate ecosystem services from smaller mangrove areas (Bunting et al. submitted) thus conserving and rehabilitating stocks and flows to sustain other uses and support societal systems and helping reconcile multiple demands. Monetary returns associated with the systems appear to show that they are potentially viable, but the level of risk associated with each probably strongly influences decision-making by operators and lease-holders (Bunting et al. submitted).
Work within WP3&6 drew on outputs from WP1 to guide more focused assessment on ecosystem services and contribute to the formulation of draft action plans at various scales. Draft ecosystem orientated action plans including institutional and stakeholder issues were developed and presented in the WP3 working paper. Subsequent development of draft action plans was undertaken with the intention of scoping a more refined and appropriate focus for initial discussions and joint assessment with stakeholders. The probable level of intervention given the institutional and policy setting, constitutional norms for planning and prospects for institutionalising locally mediated planning processes were taken into consideration. Meetings between the coordinator and MANGROVE project team in Thailand provided an opportunity to review progress and agree on a more detailed process of action plan development and ecological indicator assessment.
For Thailand an appropriate process for action planning was devised by the KU team based on their knowledge of the key stakeholders and interest groups, draft local level plans were developed to facilitate joint assessment and were pre-tested with community groups prior to convening a joint stakeholder workshops for action planning in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. During the workshop outcomes of logbook recording, mangrove ecosystem services review and ecological indicator framework development were presented to participants to inform joint assessment and decision-making. Finally revised plans prepared by the working groups were presented to the other participants and feedback and comments were openly discussed, facilitating knowledge sharing and contributing significantly to transparency and accountability (Dulyapurk and Jumnongsong 2009; Dulyapurk et al. 2010). Evaluation of the ecological status of mangroves in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand focused on developing an indicator framework for key ecological aspects of mangrove stands and plans for joint publications on this aspect and WP1 outputs have been agreed.
Preliminary action plan development within WP3 in Vietnam was based on WP1 outcomes, notably CATWOE and associated problem trees, and resulted in the identification of potential action points to address ecological degradation and resolve competing interests. It was evident that given the diversity of mangrove communities and associated ecosystems services it was likely that stakeholders would be required to agree on a trade-off with respect to the management and rehabilitation (replanting) of mangroves. The coordinator met with the VNU team in Hanoi to develop an approach for assessing the nature and extent of mangrove ecosystems services with local stakeholders and communities. Consequently the working paper on an ecosystem oriented action plan rationale for Vietnam was developed and the VNU team carried out subsequent assessments employing research tools such as mapping and group discussion on the following topics: developing resource maps with stakeholders and communities focusing on ecosystem services and mangroves; discussion on awareness of local people, assessment of the role and functions of mangrove ecosystems in three research communes; in-depth interview on ecosystem functions and services (Dao et al. 2010). It was hypothesised that couching planning and decision-making in terms of ecosystem services would make the process more relevant and transparent for communities, stakeholder groups and policy-makers. Knowledge requirements identified during the review phase included: the degree of variation in ecosystem services derived from mangroves; linking supplies of ecosystem services with ecological integrity, resilience and sustainability; mechanisms to ensure sufficient ecological flows are maintained and account for in planning and decision-making. Progress in addressing these questions within the MANGROVE project should make a significant contribution to furthering the equitable and sustainable management of mangroves.
The purpose of convening joint stakeholder workshops was to review and verify the findings and facilitate the joint assessment and selection of potential management actions and initiatives and policy options (action points) to help reconcile multiple demands placed on mangroves and associated coastal areas in the study sites. Additionally participants were requested to identify locally appropriate means to monitoring the implementation and impact of proposed actions. Activities undertaken to support the action planning process and implementation included development of methods to evaluate the status of mangroves, extent of associated ecosystem services, approaches to sharing knowledge on responsible aquaculture development and modelling potential impacts of adopting alternative aquaculture management practices to reconcile multiple demands on mangroves. Action planning may be seen as a means to facilitate joint assessment and decision-making amongst coastal communities, user groups and other stakeholders, but various constraints were identified. The approach may not necessarily fit with local or constitutional planning norms; accounting for ecosystem services and factoring in their conservation constitutes a major challenge when formulating action plans amongst stakeholder groups with vested interests; joint assessment and decision-making is not possible where some livelihood activities and settlements are considered illegal.
WP4: Livelihoods, goods & services & WP7: Reconciling multiple demands: livelihoods, goods & services
Work package objectives were: nature, productivity and resource-use efficiency of mangrove-dependent farming and harvesting strategies to be assessed; household-level livelihoods of representative primary stakeholders dependent on mangrove derived goods and services analysed; effect of seasonality, trends and shocks on access to goods and services derived from mangroves assessed and impacts on producers, intermediaries and consumers monitored; role of mangrove-based food production in sustaining actor networks studied; conflict/tension between livelihoods described and strategies for reconciliation proposed; expected livelihoods impacts and outcomes of Action Plans formulated in WP5 discussed with selected households, and approaches to implement, monitor and evaluate discussed and agreed; approaches to reconciling conflicts/tensions between livelihoods assessed in consultation with local stakeholders and most promising strategies piloted; impact of adopting revised mangrove management strategies on livelihoods indicators developed in WP4 monitored and evaluated with members of selected households; effective strategies and approaches to reconciling conflict/tension concerning multiple uses summarised in appropriate communication media to promote regional uptake.
Work to achieve objectives and results
Methods and appropriate indicators for participatory monitoring and evaluation of impacts on mangrove ecosystems have been developed. At each site, around 30 households representing various user groups monitored their natural resource use patterns, including labour input, incomes and expenditures for one year utilising daily logbooks. Based on this information it was possible to derive livelihood indicators to promote joint assessment of the status and dependence on mangroves. In Vietnam and Indonesia complementary surveys were carried out among these 30 households to assess other livelihood parameters. Stakeholder and policy workshops at each project site allowed for processing of the research outputs and cross checking by communities and institutions. Research outputs were also presented at action planning workshops to help inform joint assessment and decision-making amongst stakeholder groups. Preparation of action plans designed to reconcile multiple demands was facilitated with local communities and regional stakeholders.
The institutional and policy setting was assessed in depth and policy workshops convened for each study site to evaluate the constraints and opportunities to better governance and management of mangroves. Research findings have been communicated to local user groups and communities and selected key stakeholders at workshops in the study sites for verification and feedback; outcomes have been disseminated to stakeholder groups away from the study sites and broader audiences though the mass media, link-ups with global data-bases and technical and scientific presentations and papers. Supplementary studies in Thailand concerning ecological indicators of mangroves, in Vietnam on mapping mangrove derived ecosystem services and in Indonesia through an assessment of the potential of Better Management Practices were also undertaken based on stakeholder workshop outcomes and bio-economic modelling.
The mangrove ecosystem fulfils important functions but despite policy recommendations the area covered continues to decrease globally. While in Thailand and Vietnam mangrove replanting began over 30 years ago, at the same time in MDI massive conversion started. Inconsistencies between central and local land management policy in MDI permitted massive conversion of mangrove in ponds in a context of ban of trawling, a high benefit of shrimp farming in local currency, and of cold storages, processing factories and excavator’ owners stimulating pond’ opening and labour immigration. Furthermore, in most MDI locations ponds are managed by caretakers, with the land title holders being absent. This arrangement also partly explains the low production level of ponds in MDI where caretakers’ livelihoods are mainly based on collecting crabs and other resources. Other factors explaining low pond production are: low water exchange and lack of bottom preparation; impact of acid soils and diseases after 3 years; and, insufficient depth of most of pond area. Recently replanting of non-productive ponds started; silvo-aquaculture systems are piloted, but concerns over the legality of land holdings, skewed landownership, and complex relationships between care-takers, pond-farmers, middlemen and land-title holder, may constrain development of participatory action plans.
In the RRDV the mangroves are mainly replanted and form, together with the mudflats in the RAMSAR site near the mouth of the river, a safe haven for migratory birds. The logbook data of 25 households and the survey of 39 households provided complementary and corroborating information. Households having fishing as a main activity or income source were represented in the larger sample, while the 25 households concentrated on mariculture households. The household size in the larger sample is slightly higher (4.1) due to the inclusion of wage labourers; average family household size is 3.9 persons. In the coastal zone of the RRDV about 75% of the people depend on agriculture or aquaculture but average land size is small. Next to non-farm activities, collection of clams on mudflats and crabs in the sparse mangrove, complement many people’s livelihood. Fishermen have a less diverse livelihood portfolio. Of the 10 households in the larger sample that fish as a secondary activity, four fished for household consumption only. Larger fishery equipment (longtail and >2.5 t boats) is accessible to few of those making an income from fishing. Most people receiving main income from fishing in mangrove forested areas use a set net or traps, or are contractor on a fishing boat.
Uncertainty in the production of shrimp in aquaculture is high. In some years all shrimp farmers were affected at least once by shrimp diseases in the past 3 years; on average one harvest per year was lost. People felt that their livelihood situation became more uncertain in the recent past years; they fear a further reduction of welfare in the future. Fishermen appreciated the far past (10 years ago) better than the past 5 years, and also had lower expectations for the future. As van Zwieten (personal communication) made the same observation five years ago in the same area, while during the same period clam culture started and developed rapidly in the area one may wonder whether these expectations are not the result of a strategy of complaining to increase chances on assistance. New resources are being exploited rapidly when new markets become available as the clam culture industry shows. Participants in the study considered the increase of mangrove area and the treatment of waste water are, next to training, as important issues to mitigate the observed and expected decreases. In this highly dynamic situation one concern is whether the action plan developed by the participants in the pilot study can be regarded as representative of the many different stakeholder positions in the area and thus merit support at the commune level.
In NSTT, people’s livelihood options decreased after the government enforced the 1989 ban on mangrove cutting and more recently the impact of low shrimp prices resulted in some shrimp farms being abandoned. Four out of 15 fish-farmers did have cages (average 58 m2) instead of ponds. Throughout the year the income for fishermen is stable (CV=0.3) but only half compared to the much more variable (CV=1.3) but higher average monthly income of small-scale aquaculture based livelihoods. Compared to fish-farmers, fishers earn more from additional activities. Men, especially, derive a large part of their livelihood from the mangrove ecosystems. In this study site, the interactive participatory approach used and involvement of local, regional and national stakeholders resulted in broadly supported local action plans to reconcile multiple demands on mangroves.
WP5: Institutions & stakeholders & WP8: Reconciling multiple demands: institutions & stakeholders
Work package objectives were: complete an institutional assessment and policy study and report on the outcomes, including an assessment of opportunities to reconcile conflicts/tensions; report on multiple uses and users of mangroves and trajectories of change; engage stakeholders in valuing functions, goods and services from mangroves and explore opportunities for reconciling differences between different users and uses; develop Action Plans1 to reconcile multiple uses of mangrove, including consideration of ecosystem and livelihoods aspects (WP3&4), and refine these in consultation with stakeholders, in particular civil society and local community and government representatives.
Work to achieve objectives and results
Institutions and stakeholders
Soft system theory and CATWOE were introduced to the project as a means to facilitate the action planning process of the project. A CATWOE training workshop was held for the consortium to enable a better understanding of soft system theory among project partners. Thereafter soft system theory was underlying epistemology for the stakeholder analysis, institutional analysis and policy analysis undertaken to generate the evidence supporting WP5&8 deliverables. Improved understanding of soft system theory and insight into the application of CATWOE also supported internal project planning and cooperation by facilitating cross learning between the partners and work packages. The CATWOES developed in the three country sites, indicate an intricate relationship between different stakeholders which has led to better understanding the management and governance regimes of mangrove ecosystem. The issue, determining the project’s orientation, was revised after the stakeholder workshops and focus group discussions have been conducted in the three country sites to clarify the role of mangroves. Revised issue definitions in the three countries included:
In preparation for the stakeholder workshops and focus group discussions the project partners reviewed the findings and had internal discussions on how to present the findings to the stakeholders. As an example, the stakeholder workshops have been useful to discuss the log book activity and how fishery and aquatic resources are linked to people’s livelihoods. The process of stakeholder engagement has provided an insight into the institutional setting and governance system determining the management of the mangrove ecosystem. In the series of stakeholder interactions in the three country sites a rich picture emerged that enabled the critical reflection of the management, governance and use of coastal resources in these contexts. The rich picture shows a diverging set of stakes nested in a policy environment that is neither coherent vertically nor horizontally. Previous research in these areas has focused on the bio-monitoring of the ecological services derived from changes in bio-physical status of mangroves. The research from WP5&8 widened this scientific lens by examining the inter-connections to rural livelihoods and the institutional and policy context. Insights from unfolding from the institutional and policy analysis suggest a trend where the promotion of mangrove replanting and restoration in Vietnam and Thailand is being intensified without due attention being given stakeholder interests. The likely outcome of such a process will be increased conflicts of interest. As a final step enabling the action planning process underpinning the work of MANGROVE, a policy analysis workshop was run in the study sites Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. The purpose was to facilitate a critical analysis of the impact the multi-level policy environment has had on coastal land use and management in areas targeted for mangrove rehabilitation and restoration; and moreover, to develop a multi-purpose planning process for rehabilitation of mangroves.
In Thailand co-funding was secured from the Mangroves for the Future secretariat in Thailand to conduct a policy analysis workshop with government officials, private sector and civil society representatives. This event was co-organised with IUCN, CORIN Asia, Department of Marine and Coastal resources. The outcomes in terms of building stronger local institutions directly involved in mangrove rehabilitation will be continued by the Mangroves for the Future consortium in Thailand. The model to facilitate improved collaboration between local governments and local communities was developed by CORIN Asia in Nakhon Sri Thammarat and they have now expanded their geographical scope to also cover coastal areas. In Indonesia SEI and the Mulwarman University co-organised a policy analysis workshop. In liaison with the national focal point from the Mangroves from the Future in Indonesia key stakeholders were invited to the workshop. The policy analysis workshops in the three countries enabled a dialogue with key stakeholders representing public-, private sector and civil society representatives about the institutional responsibilities and planning mangrove rehabilitation initiatives. It underlined the benefit of ongoing decentralisation processes as an opportunity to ensure greater involvement of local people.
Findings from WP5 were used to comment on the role of mangroves following the devastating effects when Cyclone Nargis hit Irrawaddy Delta in Burma. SEI issued: Press release, opinion paper and radio and newspaper interviews were given. Information available: www.sei.se. A presentation of EU Mangroves project was made at Resilience and Vulnerability colloquium in Stockholm April 2008. The WP5 case study was presented in Indonesia at the IUCN technical symposium on mangroves organised in Ranong, Thailand in 2008. The case study was published in the workshop proceedings. Feedback and comments were later used in the implementation of WP5 &8. The technical symposium provided an opportunity to present the EU mangroves project to 90 key scientists and policy makers working on coastal resource management and mangroves in the Asia Pacific.
Policy frameworks for the protection of mangroves exist in all three countries but are subject to weak enforcement. Another assumption explored by the researchers was the single purpose approach in designing rehabilitation efforts, which is evident in the three countries. The plantations are often designed and implemented by the Department of Forestry. In Vietnam the single purpose of mangrove rehabilitation is to mitigate impact of natural hazards. In Thailand the single purpose of mangrove rehabilitation is to plant trees and improve biodiversity. The interactive action planning process explored this based on the perception by different stakeholders in the three sites to identify how planning could ensure that restoration and rehabilitation will lead more multi-functional mangrove systems and thereby better reflecting priorities of the different stakeholders in these systems. Further multi-functional systems tend to be of ‘low regret’ character and higher capacity to deliver benefits to a broader set of stakeholders even under conditions characterised by a high degree of social and environmental uncertainty.
Key country level insights growing out the implementation of WP5&8 are summarised in 3 key publications. Abstracts, summarising key outcomes from these country sites presented below.
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