The well-known proverb “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” often has served as the rallying cry for capacity-building efforts. This proverb emphasizes the importance of teaching skills for self-sufficiency; however, the modern understanding of ocean and coastal ecosystems makes it necessary to revise the proverb and the approach to capacity-building.
Recognition of the current degradation of ocean and coastal ecosystems and the loss of ecosystem services makes it necessary to expand the scope of capacity-building beyond skills for self-sufficiency to include skills for ensuring the long-term sustainability of living resources and other ecosystem services. This will require imparting a more comprehensive understanding of ecosystems and of the direct and indirect effects of human activities, such as fishing, coastal development, waste disposal, and port-dredging. The committee proposes a modern-day proverb for capacity-building: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime; teach a man to fish sustainably, and you feed him and his descendents for generations to come.”
The committee envisages stewardship based on the recognition of the interconnectedness of human activity and ecosystem health. When investments in capacity-building are designed and delivered as contributions to sustained collaborative efforts to meet
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7 the Path ahead: strategIc and long-term aPProaches to caPacIty-BuIldIng A VISION FOR THE FUTURE The well-known proverb “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” often has served as the rallying cry for capacity- building efforts. This proverb emphasizes the importance of teaching skills for self-suf- ficiency; however, the modern understanding of ocean and coastal ecosystems makes it necessary to revise the proverb and the approach to capacity-building. Recognition of the current degradation of ocean and coastal ecosystems and the loss of ecosystem services makes it necessary to expand the scope of capacity-building beyond skills for self-sufficiency to include skills for ensuring the long-term sustainability of living resources and other ecosystem services. This will require imparting a more comprehen- sive understanding of ecosystems and of the direct and indirect effects of human activities, such as fishing, coastal development, waste disposal, and port-dredging. The committee proposes a modern-day proverb for capacity-building: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime; teach a man to fish sustainably, and you feed him and his descendents for generations to come.” The committee envisages stewardship based on the recognition of the interconnect- edness of human activity and ecosystem health. When investments in capacity-building are designed and delivered as contributions to sustained collaborative efforts to meet 106
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107 THE PATH AHEAD the conditions and needs of each community, localized investments in capacity can be complemented by collaborative global programs designed to sustain ocean and coastal governance and management initiatives in a diversity of settings. A global network of ocean and coastal stewardship programs could document progress toward defined goals of ecosystem condition and provide living models that inspire and guide others. Such a network could be a primary source of the materials and long-term case studies used in capacity-building programs worldwide. How will society know that investments in capacity-building efforts by communities, donors, and doers are advancing those goals? The following actions could be used to assess progress toward the goals and vision discussed in this report: • Document changes in capacity through assessments that use a consistent set of criteria. Regular assessments will be needed to help programs to adapt to changing needs in long-term capacity-building efforts. Some common criteria will facilitate comparisons through time and across programs, but assessments will also need to be tailored to fit the circumstances and characteristics of specific programs. • Fund capacity-building through diverse sources and coordinated investments by local, regional, and international donors. Building sustainable programs requires longer-term support than is typically provided by individual donors. • Support dynamic and committed leaders, usually local, to develop a culture of stewardship and to work with the community in the development and imple- mentation of an action plan to sustain or improve ocean and coastal conditions. Effective leaders also serve as mentors and role models that can motivate future leaders. • Develop political will to address ocean and coastal management challenges. Political will requires building a base of support for ocean and coastal steward- ship through greater awareness of its long-term societal benefits. Public discus- sion of the costs and benefits of environmental sustainability—stimulated by the mass media, information campaigns, and educational programs—will heighten awareness and build political will for necessary changes in the processes of plan- ning and decision-making. • Establish continuing-education and certification programs to build the capabili- ties of practitioners. This will enable current and future generations of profes- sionals to adapt and apply the best practices for ocean and coastal management in diverse settings. • Establish networks of practitioners to increase communication and support eco- system-based management along coastlines, in estuaries, and in adjoining large
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108 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS marine ecosystems and watersheds. The networks will facilitate collection and integration of knowledge, new technologies, and Web-based data management systems in support of locally implemented, regionally effective, ecosystem-based management. • Create regional centers, where appropriate, to encourage and support inte- grated ocean and coastal management through collaboration among programs in neighboring countries. The centers would link education, research, and extension to address issues of concern in the region, providing an issue-driven, problem-solving approach to capacity-building. RECOMMENDATIONS The committee offers several broad recommendations to link investments in capacity- building to on-the-ground improvements in the condition of ocean and coastal ecosys- tems. The recommendations address the barriers to more effective ocean and coastal stewardship identified during the course of this study. Base Future Investments in Capacity-Building on Regional Needs Assessments A recurring theme among experienced practitioners in capacity-building programs to institute ecosystem-based management is the importance of anchoring capacity-build- ing in thorough needs assessments. To establish a baseline, assessments would be most effective if they examined not only environmental, social, and economic conditions but also the existing governance structure (see Chapter 6). Periodic assessments of ocean and coastal governance needs should be conducted on a regional scale. The assessments should cover both indicators of ecosystem change and governance responses to change on a scale that encompasses watersheds, coastal regions, and marine ecosystems. The pace of ecosystem change and response to change is such that priorities will need to be updated every three to five years on the basis of needs assessments. Periodic assess- ments will be required for each region because the maturity, capabilities, challenges, and traditions of governance differ from one place to another. Capacity-building priorities in Southeast Asia and the best strategies for meeting them will be quite different from those appropriate for East Africa or Central America. Each assessment will require consultation with the most relevant stakeholders in government, civil society, and businesses to solicit their views on the strengths and weak- nesses of and lessons emerging from past and current initiatives for ocean and coastal governance. The credibility of the periodic needs assessments will depend on the partici- pation and buy-in of the major investors in capacity-building in that region. The latter may
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109 THE PATH AHEAD include the government agencies most directly involved in ocean and coastal manage- ment, the businesses that rely on ocean and coastal resources, bilateral and multilateral donors, representatives of such specialized international institutions as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and representatives of the major nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) actively involved in ocean and coastal capacity-building in the region. Each assessment should be designed to attract high-level attention and generate interest and visibility in high-priority issues. The findings should form the basis of regional action plans that will guide investments in capacity and that will be implemented with realistic milestones and performance measures. Action plans should include concrete agreements on roles and responsibilities of donors and doers. Build Capacity to Generate Sustained Funding for Ocean and Coastal Governance Ecosystem-based management can produce desired outcomes only when it is sustained over the long term. In developing countries, where ocean and coastal change and the loss of critically important goods and services are most rapid, the dominant mode of investment in ecosystem-based management is two to ten year “projects”; most initiatives are funded for five years or less. That applies to initiatives on scales ranging from com- munity-based projects to the large marine ecosystem programs supported by the Global Environment Facility. Many promising efforts wither and die when external funding from the donor community or development banks ends. Little attention is given in capac- ity-building programs to the long-term financing required to implement programs and practice adaptive management over a period of decades (Olsen et al., 2006a). There is an urgent need to build awareness of this problem so that future programs are designed and implemented with strategies for sustained financing. The guides that have been produced to date (e.g., World Conservation Union, 2000; World Wildlife Fund, 2004) concentrate on financing for protected areas. There is an urgent need for broader financing guidelines to serve the multiple aspects of ocean and coastal governance from local to regional lev- els. Guidelines should provide practitioners with the knowledge and skills required for applying such market-based mechanisms as user fees, regulatory fees, beneficiary-based taxes, and liability-based taxes. Develop, Mentor, and Reward Leadership One of the most important success factors in developing capacity for stewardship of oceans and coasts is leadership. Leadership is important in research, education and training, institutions and governance, and civil society, from the local to the global level. Leadership conveys a shared vision that motivates and empowers people, focuses activi-
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110 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS ties, and provides the confidence to reflect on progress and be adaptive. One strategy to strengthen capacity and stewardship is to identify, develop, mentor, and reward leaders as they emerge in projects and programs or are attracted from the larger society. Leaders are gifted communicators and play a central role in navigating the process of assembling sup- port for a course of action. They may not excel in the technical abilities that are usually the primary criteria for assembling the teams that populate ocean and coastal manage- ment initiatives. The capabilities of leaders should be built through programs designed specifically to address their needs. Such investments in leadership will be most effective when they are associated with a regional community of programs and people that are working to achieve common goals. Support the Creation of Networks The creation of networks should be encouraged as a way to bring together those working in the same or similar ecosystems with comparable management or governance chal- lenges to share information, pool resources, and learn from one another. Networks are cost-effective and efficient mechanisms for maintaining and building capacity. They foster the creation of epistemic communities based on trust and mutual respect. Well-structured networks help communities to envision the bigger picture and reduce members’ sense of isolation by building solidarity and a common purpose with one another. Networks asso- ciated with periodic regional assessments of needs and progress can encourage discourse and critical examination regarding what does and does not work and thereby promote implementation of successful practices. Networks are enhanced by periodic personal contacts, but much can be accomplished through well-structured and adequately maintained Web-based systems. The latter need to be designed to allow users to access information on a given topic in a systematic man- ner and to incorporate methods for ensuring quality control. Knowledge management systems could provide practitioners with information for analyzing capacity-building successes and failures if they specifically document experiences with ecosystem-based management and the strategies used to overcome the implementation gap. The systems could also document how specific technical and policy issues have been resolved, iden- tify opportunities for transboundary collaboration, and provide access to public education materials and meeting summaries produced by participating programs. Establish Regional Centers for Ocean and Coastal Stewardship Regional centers for ocean and coastal stewardship should be established as “primary nodes” for networks that will coalesce efforts to fulfill action plans. The centers would
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111 THE PATH AHEAD require a contingent of professionals with hands-on experience and infrastructure to serve as a resource for the entire network. Most effective are decentralized networks and centers that combine research and education with outreach and extension and foster discussion with the surrounding com- munities. The Land-Grant University System and the National Sea Grant College Program in the United States are only two examples of networks of institutions that have fostered the adoption of new practices in agriculture, aquaculture, public health, and education. Long-term, sustained efforts have been the key to the success of those programs. The adaptation and application of the integrated education-research-extension model on national and regional scales as a primary strategy for developing capacity for ocean and coastal governance would offer a powerful alternative to the current pattern of investment in expensive, short-term, disconnected projects. Document and Widely Disseminate Progress in Ocean and Coastal Governance A central feature of periodic needs assessments is that they will document and draw on the evolution over time of selected ecosystem-based stewardship initiatives in each region. It will be particularly important to integrate the often rich but currently scattered information on and experience in ecosystem change and governance initiatives in linked watersheds, estuaries, and large marine ecosystems. Where appropriate, such analysis should show- case the successful application of ecosystem-based management principles and practices through the societal and environmental benefits generated. Such sustained long-term documentation and analysis of ecosystem-based management initiatives in diverse cul- tural, geographic, and biophysical settings will be of great value to future capacity-build- ing and could also help to build political will for integrating approaches into planning and decision-making. Documentation should cover a common conceptual framework and trace similar variables (see Chapter 6). The effectiveness of future capacity-building programs could be enhanced by structuring approaches to environmental stewardship based on a careful analysis of traditions of governance, and societal and environmental conditions in a given setting. Regional programs build on successes achieved on smaller spatial scales. Large marine ecosystems adjoin coastal zones; both are influenced by the rivers, wetlands, and estuaries that transmit the effects of land-based activities to the sea. Hence, goals for the stewardship of marine areas will require efforts beyond traditional sector-by-sector plan- ning and decision-making or experience with ocean and coastal protected areas. Each sector of governance, scaling from local community-based management to national ocean policies and ranging from inland to offshore areas, will be required to establish coordi- nated and efficient governance.
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112 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS Convene a Summit on Capacity-Building for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts The committee recommends organizing a high-level summit on increasing capacity for stewardship of oceans and coasts to demonstrate political will, to commit to ending frag- mentation, to build an agenda for capacity-building that cuts across other programs that address ocean and coastal stewardship issues, and to establish principles and standards for assessing and evaluating program procedures and outcomes. High-level meetings that involve political leaders establish precedents that have the potential to influence policies far into the future. To date, there has not been the kind of large-scale, high-level summit on capacity- building that will be required to strengthen and coalesce political will among institutional leaders in government, NGOs, and private industry. Capacity-building is usually treated as an ingredient of programmatic efforts on specific topics rather than as a high-prior- ity issue in its own right. For example, capacity-building appears as an element of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and of plans for the Global Ocean Observing System. It is addressed in Agenda 21 of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992), the Millennium Ecosystem Assessments (2005a, b), the United Nations Environment Programme (2006), and so on. In each case, the identification of capacity-building as a critical ingredient is valid, but scattered calls for increased capac- ity in specific areas make fragmentation of capacity-building efforts all the more likely. Program leaders are likely to place a higher priority on other components of their pro- grams when capacity-building is but one ingredient. Establishment of programs that focus specifically on capacity and solve the problem of fragmentation will require the type of political will that could be generated by a high-level summit. Various types of meet- ings could serve the purpose, such as a follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, or the meeting could build, for example, on the United Nations Open- Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea. A high-level summit on capacity-building should involve key leaders who have a stake in stewardship of oceans and coasts, governments, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, academia, and the private sector. The committee recognizes that meetings of leaders in the field of capacity-building already occur. However, such meetings may not be held at a high enough level to demonstrate political will or end fragmentation and thus might fall short of what will be required to establish an agenda specifically for capacity-building. The committee envisions a high-level summit dedicated to capacity- building that will benefit the broad spectrum of programs working to foster environmental stewardship.