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MOVING TOWARD EFFECTIVENESS: IDENTIFYING BARRIERS TO AND CONSTRAINTS ON EFFECTIVE CAPACITY-BUILDING

HIGHLIGHTS

This chapter:

  • Summarizes the principal barriers to and constraints on growing the capacity that will be required for effective stewardship of our oceans and coasts.

  • Identifies key principles for future capacity-building efforts.

BARRIERS TO AND CONSTRAINTS ON CAPACITY-BUILDING

Improving the current system for growing capacity for stewardship of ocean and coastal areas requires a critical look at past activities. This chapter identifies the barriers and constraints that have hampered earlier efforts to build resource management capabilities. They range from the inherent complexity of human and natural systems to specific problems in the design, implementation, and scale of aid and development programs. Fragmentation of efforts, lack of political will, and insufficient consideration and assessment of the scale of the problems in designing programs are major barriers to the establishment of stronger, more capable institutions for stewardship of ocean and coastal regions.



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4 movIng toward effectIveness: IdentIfyIng BarrIers to and constraInts on effectIve caPacIty-BuIldIng HIGHLIGHTS This chapter: • Summarizes the principal barriers to and constraints on growing the capacity that will be required for effective stewardship of our oceans and coasts. • Identifies key principles for future capacity-building efforts. BARRIERS TO AND CONSTRAINTS ON CAPACITY-BUILDING Improving the current system for growing capacity for stewardship of ocean and coastal areas requires a critical look at past activities. This chapter identifies the barriers and con- straints that have hampered earlier efforts to build resource management capabilities. They range from the inherent complexity of human and natural systems to specific problems in the design, implementation, and scale of aid and development programs. Fragmentation of efforts, lack of political will, and insufficient consideration and assessment of the scale of the problems in designing programs are major barriers to the establishment of stronger, more capable institutions for stewardship of ocean and coastal regions. 50

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51 MOVING TOWARD EFFECTIVENESS Fragmentation Fragmentation refers to the lack of coordination among efforts to improve the science, management, and governance of ocean and coastal resources. If an individual compo- nent of this complex system is strengthened without sufficient consideration of its place within the larger enterprise and other capacity-building endeavors, the overall impact on stewardship will probably be small. In Capacity Building in Africa: An OED Evaluation of World Bank Support (The World Bank, 2005), fragmentation is identified as one of the four issues that need improvement: Most capacity support remains fragmented. Most capacity building support is designed and managed operation by operation. This makes it difficult to capture cross-sector issues, and to learn lessons across operations. Many capacity building activities are founded on inadequate needs assessments and lack appropriate sequencing of measures aimed at institutional and organizational change and individual skill building. Fragmentation occurs in various ways in the governance of ocean and coastal areas, such as in split jurisdictional responsibilities (for example, for offshore, coastal, and upstream waters) and in overlapping or even conflicting mandates among organiza- tions that are responsible for ocean and coastal areas. The consequences of fragmented capacity-building efforts include missed opportunities to share ideas, tangible assets, and learning experiences and only partial coverage of the needs because doers or donors are unable to address or uninterested in addressing all aspects of capacity-building. For example, a capacity-building effort may provide outstanding educational opportunities for scientists in a developing country without supporting a complementary effort to build scientific institutions in that country—an essential element in the success of the scientists once they have completed their training. Similarly, the capacity for resource management might be developed without sufficient attention to the need for a legal framework or the need to educate and engage the public to build support for new management initiatives. Often efforts to develop capacity are aimed at particular issues, such as fishery man- agement or coastal zone management, and lead to sectoral fragmentation. The success of an effort in one sector may depend on the quality of management in another. For instance, fisheries management requires not only controls to prevent overfishing but conservation of fish habitats, such as sea grass beds or marshes, to maintain the productivity of the stocks; effective coastal zone management is required to prevent loss of these valuable habitats. Various aspects of capacity development will be specific to any given sector, but complementary efforts among sectors will be required to reduce fragmentation and make progress toward ecosystem-based management.

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52 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS Lack of Political Will World leaders at Johannesburg in 2002 for the World Summit on Sustainable Development emphasized the need for political will to implement change and self-reliance to institute sustainable development. In the present report, the term political will is used to describe the resolve of individuals or organizations to bring about change to solve environmental problems. Government institutions often falter in their efforts to increase and sustain capac- ity in ocean and coastal resources management when political will is lacking. Capacity is developed to achieve particular goals, reach particular targets, enable policy reform, or ensure more effective monitoring and enforcement. On the basis of the literature and direct experience, highlighted below, the committee concludes that the development of political will among institutional leaders in government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private industry and the coordination of capacity-building efforts among practitioners, doers, and donors will be critical for future stewardship of our oceans and coasts. The presence or absence of political will determines the success of capacity-building initiatives (see review by Mizrahi, 2004). For instance, local efforts to establish a marine protected area will be unlikely to succeed unless the national policy-makers have also bought into the process. The absence of political will at the national level to implement agreements made at the local or regional level can result in long delays and a potential for special interests to subvert the process by obtaining concessions from national officials who may be corrupt or ignorant of the issues and terms of the agreement. In Haiti, for example, a National Environmental Action Plan to reduce the losses from natural disasters was approved after extensive citizen participation in 1999 but failed to be implemented, partly because of lack of political will and weak institutional capacity (Inter-American Development Bank, 2004; National Academy of Public Administration, 2006). Lack of political will can also trump the use of the best available science in develop- ing policy options. Political pressures influence political will and result in the trade of sustainable-resources policies for short-term political gain. After the December 26, 2004, tsunami, policy-makers in many of the affected nations endorsed the issuance of thou- sands of new fishing boats to affected families even though it was generally known that fishing effort exceeded the level that could be sustained by the resource (United Nations Development Programme, 2005). How, then, can political will be mobilized? One way is through the rise of an effec- tive leader; this is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. Political will can be fostered in a number of other ways. Key among them are development of public opinion expressed in public forums; reports in the mass media; lobbying through technical papers and public

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53 MOVING TOWARD EFFECTIVENESS campaigns; the influence of local organizations, national and international NGOs, and donors; and international conferences and reports. One option would be to create a leadership group for capacity-building involv- ing the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission as representatives of intergov- ernmental organizations; donor institutions, such as the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF); representative NGOs involved in capacity-building, such as the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the World Wildlife Fund; foundations, such as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Nippon Foundation; and international science and coordination organizations, such as the International Academy of Sciences initiated by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the International Council for Science, and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research. A summit, similar to the Earth Summit in 1992 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, focused specifically on capacity-building and bringing together institutional leaders from all the major sectors representing doers and donors (for example, governments, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, academia, and the private sector) would create a forum for developing consensus goals and approaches among the participating nations and institutions. The results of the summit could be used to build political will for increasing capacity in coastal nations around the world. Appendix C of this report provides a brief history of major developments in ocean and coastal manage- ment and illustrates the influence of past conferences, summits, and reports on the evolu- tion of initiatives to increase capacity for ocean and coastal stewardship. Targeted campaigns to raise awareness and study tours to expose policy-makers to international best practices are also useful tools in building political will. The Marine and Coastal Environmental Management Project (MACEMP) in Tanzania is an example of the use of this type of approach to develop political will (Box 4.1). Political will often depends on timing. Policy analysts and lobbyists seize periods before elections as windows of opportunity to push through environmental reform mea- sures. Political will, once fostered, needs to be sustained to ensure continued support for the reform process. Ultimately, it requires dedicated people to mobilize and maintain political will, which is required to establish a self-sustaining program for informed policy- making and management of ocean and coastal resources. Capacity-building to increase public appreciation of the value of sustainable management of ocean and coastal resourc- es creates a base of support for maintaining political will.

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54 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS Box 4.1 Mobilizing Political Will to Grow Capacity for Ocean and Coastal Management: Experience in Tanzania More than a decade ago, Tanzania initiated programs in ocean and coastal manage- ment and received donor support to develop an integrated coastal management (ICM) strategy and begin pilot projects for sustainable management of ocean and coastal resources. Many of the early pilot initiatives were sporadic and short term. No budgetary resources were allocated by the government to implement the ICM strategy, nor were they allocated for ocean-resource management. Little or no capacity existed to support the gov- ernance of valuable fisheries resources in nearshore areas and offshore. The fisheries were mostly open-access; establishment of marine protected areas failed to curb illegal fishing, including dynamiting. The fisheries in the exclusive economic zone were exploited under a licensing regime that was uncoordinated, unmonitored, and largely unregulated. Ocean and coastal resource management did not have high priority in top management discus- sions on poverty reduction and economic growth. The lack of capacity and demand for greater capacity in ocean and coastal resource management were not as high a priority for policy-makers as the needs of the agriculture, infrastructure, education, and health fields. During the period 2002–2004, the findings of a series of studies on the issues and op- portunities in ocean and coastal areas were spread among key policy-makers in Tanzania. The values of migratory tuna and other species and the ad hoc licensing regime for the fisheries were debated by parliamentarians. The ongoing press coverage of the need for better management of marine fisheries resources and the plight of the coastal residents, who were among the poorest in the nation, contributed to the mobilization of political will for growing capacity for governance of ocean and coastal resources. The result was the inclusion of the MACEMP in the government’s development agenda. The government sought and received support from the World Bank and the GEF for implementing the project. Key categories of capacity that will be built with support from this program in- clude governance of fisheries in the exclusive economic zone, governance of the marine environment in nearshore areas, and support of and services for coastal communities to improve management of the coastal environment. The program will build capacity at all levels (national, district, and community) for better management of resources to add value to the resources harvested, to develop public and private partnerships, and to market the products better. Corruption Corruption and mismanagement are major barriers to effective growth of local and nation- al capacity among practitioners. New policies and reforms will be only as effective as the government responsible for implementation and enforcement. There is little incentive for stakeholders to develop the capacity for better ecosystem and resource management if their efforts are likely to be undermined by a corrupt or weak national government. Corruption can be difficult to overcome. Doers and donors are often negligent in

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55 MOVING TOWARD EFFECTIVENESS recognizing and acknowledging its existence. Fragmentation contributes to the problem because in many programs the focus is too narrow to address corruption that occurs at higher levels of government—a situation often encountered for the management of ocean and coastal areas. Doers and donors are only now beginning to identify mechanisms for reducing corruption and encouraging transparency. The World Bank, for instance, started World Bank Sanctions Reform in 2005 to uncover and tackle corruption, using new sanc- tions as an enforcement measure. The bank’s anticorruption guidelines, issued in 2006, serve as a legal tool to enable borrowers and recipients to prevent fraud and corruption in projects funded and supported by the World Bank. Under the new policy, the World Bank can sanction persons and entities involved in bank-financed projects that have engaged in defined forms of fraud, corruption, collusion, coercion, or obstruction. Outside the World Bank’s efforts, other donors are strategically investing in civil institutions that work to track and uncover waste and fraud; more of this support clearly is needed (U.S. Agency for International Development, 2006). Issues of Scale Successfully addressing coastal environmental problems requires recognition of the problems, mobilization of resources to develop solutions, and leadership to drive change (Agardy, 2005). Conceptually, they are best addressed by “thinking globally, acting locally.” However, ocean and coastal issues themselves are rarely local in scale, and piecemeal attempts to address them typically fail. The lack of capacity to address large-scale trans- boundary problems, beyond the small-scale conservation projects and piecemeal ICM efforts, poses a serious challenge to efforts to reverse the environmental degradation that is occurring in all the world’s oceans. Many environmental issues—such as pollution, climate change, protection of ocean and freshwater resources, and biodiversity conservation—are transboundary issues that require multinational government actions or coordinated actions among smaller states. That is the case particularly in the marine context: when resources are shared by more than one country or when consequences result from geographically removed actions, national action alone will not suffice (Kimball, 2001). Many marine species roam across the maritime boundaries of countries, and this places their regulation beyond the control and responsibility of individual countries. In addition, vast areas of the ocean do not fall under the jurisdiction of any nation. The “high seas” are a global commons that cannot be addressed other than through international cooperation and global treaties (de Fontaubert, 2001). The problem described above is exacerbated by the tendency to invest in capacity

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56 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS independently for nearshore coastal areas and for offshore ocean areas. In nearshore coastal areas, capacity-building activities have tended to be on a local scale (often cen- tered on nearshore protected areas) or limited to a particular sector (focusing, for instance, on water quality and not fisheries or on scientific research and not management). In con- trast, capacity-building for understanding and participating in international law, scientific research, and management of offshore marine areas has occurred on regional and even global scales and has been focused largely on larger oceanographic processes and fisher- ies. There is still a disconnect between the two realms; few capacity-building initiatives seek to bridge the gap between ocean and coastal management. Challenges Posed by Dynamic Natural and Social Systems Compounding the inherent complexity of marine ecosystems, the associated political, social, and economic systems contribute layers of complication. Social systems are con- stantly in flux—perhaps even more than natural systems. Abrupt nonlinear changes can occur in political systems (for example, in elections and revolutions), social systems (for example, in social preferences), or economic systems (for example, in what is produced or how). Initial changes in political, social, or economic spheres often lead to additional changes through the interaction of components of the socioeconomic and natural systems, generating a complex dynamic. For example, an advance in fishing technology from small open boats to trawlers with acoustic fishfinders could cause a dramatic increase in the number of fish caught. The more rapid exploitation rate could result in catch levels that are unsustainable, causing fish stocks to decline and triggering cascading effects on the marine ecosystem. A fundamental characteristic of natural and socioeconomic systems is the lag between a perturbation of the system and its effects. Culture and tradition may delay societal responses even in the face of changed environmental circumstances. Fixed investments in equipment and infrastructure make fundamental changes in production or consumption expensive. Adaptation to new conditions may take place as equipment and infrastructure wear out and are replaced with investments better suited to the new environmental state. In many regions, population pressures on limited land and water resources, government policies that impede change, and poor access to information or financial resources make adaptation difficult or slow. The mismatch between the dynamics of natural systems and human responses to changes compromises society’s ability to anticipate and develop adaptation strategies to cope with change. Ecological surprises, such as those brought about by species introduc- tions or removals, illustrate how initially small changes in species richness (often just

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57 MOVING TOWARD EFFECTIVENESS the addition of one species) can trigger dramatic ecosystem effects with potentially large losses in ecosystem services. Therefore, incomplete ecological understanding and the corollary of incomplete sociological understanding can be a major constraint on effective management (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005b, c, d). As mentioned in Chapter 2, effective stewardship of dynamic natural and social systems requires multidisciplinary capacities, from specific science-based disciplinary knowledge to an understanding of resource management issues and the conflicting pri- orities associated with resource use. Capacity-building needs to focus on growing flex- ible and adaptable tools, knowledge, skills, and attitudes to manage a world of constant change. Ineffective Ecosystem Governance Structures Failures in governance impede the growth of capacity. Especially in impoverished, devel- oping countries, the lack of effective governance is a critical barrier to building capacity. Governance is not analogous to “government” but is a composite of the influences that government, civil society, and markets all exert on individuals and societies (see chapters 1 and 5). No single appropriate mode of governance describes all societies and circum- stances. Where government is weak, other institutions, such as markets and units of civil society, could provide the leadership to facilitate resource stewardship. Those concerned with building or growing local capacity should understand the governance situation in the places where they invest, including not only the roles, respon- sibilities, and strengths of various institutions but the larger societal context in which the institutions are embedded. To improve governance, experts need to identify key leverage points, including investing in leadership development in government, civil society, and the private sector or business community. The issue of governance is discussed in more detail in chapters 5 and 6. Absence of Horizontal and Vertical Linkages of Ecosystem Governance Structures Ecosystems and governance occur on a variety of interconnected scales and levels of a governance hierarchy. Although for some purposes it is appropriate to treat a coastal estu- ary or embayment as an ecosystem, such water bodies exchange with coastal and offshore ecosystems and require a broader approach for some issues. Similarly, coastal communi- ties can be effective stewards for some local aspects of their ocean and coastal areas, but other problems may depend on governance by nearby communities. For offshore areas, typically the national government is responsible. Some efforts aim to build local capacity, such as the creation of a plan for integrated

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58 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS ocean and coastal management (Payoyo, 1994; Cicin-Sain and Knecht, 1998) or marine protected areas. However, integrated ocean and coastal management may fail unless it is given legitimacy by a wider legal framework. Thus, capacity needs to be built both to develop a plan at the local level and to establish legal institutions to provide legitimacy and authority. Conversely, national legislation or international agreements will not accom- plish their objectives unless there is local capacity for implementation. Capacity-building efforts too often focus on a single ecosystem scale or level in a governance hierarchy without appropriate linkages both horizontally (for example, com- munity to community) and vertically (local to national to regional). Creating a more effec- tive, integrated management system requires attention to the design and implementation of strategies that link local and national activities, recognize the transboundary nature of ocean and coastal issues, and foster international cooperation. Capacity-building efforts will need mechanisms for cooperation and networking locally to globally. Constraints on Building the Capacity of Institutions Institution-building is directed at the design, assembly, functioning, and strengthening of institutions. Institutions are formalized communities with a dedicated function or common interest, such as government agencies, university programs, international scientific organi- zations, environmental groups, and other NGOs. There are common systemic problems in the structure and operation of institutions that undertake or support coastal management and stewardship. Institutions rarely have clearly articulated capacity-building goals or plans to achieve them. To articulate and then achieve such goals requires periodic honest appraisals of programs’ strengths and weaknesses. Many institutions fail to identify and use mechanisms to retain the capacity they have developed; they have not established or implemented incentive structures that encourage shared learning and self-perpetuating training. Typically, people trained in a particular aspect of coastal management are promoted up the management hierarchy when they receive their credentials, and the paradoxical result is that their training is not put to use. Such people should be encouraged to pass on what they have learned to apprentices or colleagues who will be filling their posts when they move on to higher management positions (see the section on brain drain in Chapter 3). Poor recordkeeping and poor maintenance of institutional memory also contribute to the lack of effective mechanisms to retain capacity. In many instances, programs have focused on training individual management pro- fessionals or practitioners as opposed to creating greater awareness and competence throughout an institution. Poorly trained trainers have also made it difficult to develop

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59 MOVING TOWARD EFFECTIVENESS core capacity and to achieve the kind of multiplier effect that training should accomplish. Rather than searching for ways to support continuing professional development, training efforts often have focused on a single technical subject or on a narrow scope of issues. This focus constrains the development of a broader capacity to manage the diverse conditions found on oceans and coasts. Institutions are often myopic, being more interested in protecting “turf” than in devel- oping synergistic relationships with other practitioners and institutions in the same region or country. A lack of collaboration and regional strategic planning can lead to redundancy, gaps in management coverage, and a lack of agreement on priority-setting needed to steer capacity-building funds toward the most urgent regional projects and programs. There have been few attempts to have institutions that are involved in developing national plans come together in regions to coordinate their efforts and raise funds for capacity-building in a more strategic and cooperative way. Conflicting Priorities Effective stewardship of our oceans and coasts occurs at the convergence of the interests of resource users, resource stakeholders, communities, local and national governments, and international agencies. However, the overlap of such varied institutions and interests with different goals and priorities often results in controversy and conflict. Because most large ocean and coastal ecosystems are not contained within areas owned and managed by single authorities, holistic management is commonly hindered by conflicts among goals, objectives, and responsibilities of the various management agencies. Ocean or coastal ecosystems may not match local government, political, or administrative jurisdic- tions. Resource allocation needs to be structured so that local objectives are achieved without compromising national well-being or causing undue adverse outcomes for other segments of society. In British Columbia, the conflict regarding expansion of the salmon aquaculture industry illustrates the overlapping responsibilities of provincial and federal governments. Aquaculture opponents were concerned about effects on wild salmon fisheries and envi- ronmental degradation, and proponents were interested in the economic development and employment opportunities offered by expansion of the aquaculture industry. Canada’s federal government has the mandate to conserve and protect wild salmon and its habi- tat, but the provincial government of British Columbia has the primary responsibility for management and development of the aquaculture industry, a situation that directed aqua- culture opponents to petition the federal government while proponents sought support from the provincial government (Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2000; Noakes

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60 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS et al., 2003). Conflicts may also arise from the relative costs and benefits of short-term use versus long-term conservation. Recognition and balancing of the short-term and long- term values are other components of capacity-building for sustainable resource use. A common but rarely mentioned issue in capacity-building is the requirement imposed by governments or donors on practitioners and doers to plan and execute capacity-building projects according to complex monitoring and evaluation-based models. The difficulties of complying with complex management plans and bureaucratic procedures required by the government or donors and the cost of staffing and equipment needed to carry out man- agement and monitoring requirements may be overwhelming. Understanding how to cre- ate technical tools for assessment takes time, and the development of such tools imposes huge costs on institutions, especially those in less-developed countries. Furthermore, the benchmarks or indicators that are chosen are often not those which are most meaning- ful but those which are most likely to be met, and this precludes accurate assessment of whether a project is attaining success. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE CAPACITY-BUILDING On the basis of its review of past and current capacity-building efforts, the committee has identified key barriers to and constraints on such efforts. The analysis, which includes substantial contributions from the participants at the workshop in Panamá, led to the iden- tification of six principles of effective capacity-building: • Build on past and present capacity-building initiatives. • Undertake comprehensive needs assessments to identify gaps in capacities before designing a new initiative or to refocus an existing initiative. • Adopt a strategic approach that responds to the fragmentation in past capacity- building efforts and the inefficiencies in many capacity-building investment strategies. • Seek partnerships among donors and host nations in developing funds and techni- cal support for the design and delivery of capacity-building initiatives. • Seek to achieve an inclusive and enabling approach to capacity-building. • Take a long-term perspective on time and resources required to sustain capacity- building initiatives. Many of the barriers described in this chapter are jeopardizing the success of efforts to improve ocean and coastal management in some of the countries most in need of a path toward sustainable use of the resources on which they depend. To encourage communities to develop better systems for governing the use of ocean and coastal resources, the doer

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61 MOVING TOWARD EFFECTIVENESS and donor communities need to design capacity-building programs that make better use of their financial and human resources through greater coordination of efforts and a better understanding of the elements required for success. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS With the increasing exploitation of ocean and coastal resources around the world, there is an increasing need to increase the capacity for stewardship of the resources. Two shortcomings of capacity-building efforts in particular require urgent attention: the lack of political will and fragmentation of efforts. Without political will, capacity-building efforts are unlikely to receive the long-term support required to grow and retain capacity. Capacity-building is usually treated as one ingredient of programmatic efforts on specific topics. In each case, the identification of capacity-building as a critical ingredient is valid but tends to result in fragmented efforts that fail to connect across sectors, disciplines, and regions. Although there is a trend toward a more systematic approach to ocean and coastal management worldwide, this has not been true of related capacity-building efforts. The various donor organizations and the agencies and institutions receiving funds have limited their scope largely to their mandates and thereby reduced their ability to contribute to the system as a whole and potentially jeopardized the overall success of their programs (National Research Council, 2001; Ward et al., 2002). A more coordinated and systematic approach to building capacity for ocean and coastal management and sustainable use is needed. Communication, collaboration, and long-term sustainability should be built into capacity-building programs. Fragmentation should be mitigated by donors through efforts to increase interagency cooperation and to forge linkages among institutions at each level of government. Donors should build political will through better communication about the need to invest in cooperative, coor- dinated institutions and activities. Current donor investments in education, training, and outreach initiatives are insuf- ficient. Successful projects and programs have increased access to information and main- tained the flow of information. Those programs not only train new personnel but also “train the trainers” in both content and appropriate pedagogic techniques. Lag times and inertia in science-based public policy can derail programs if not anticipated. Institutions need help to strengthen governance, education, and awareness both within institutions and in society at large. Donor investments in capacity should be strategic and take the priority needs of the community into consideration. Both natural sciences and social sciences should be sup-

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62 INCREASING CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF OCEANS AND COASTS ported. Partnerships between scientifically advanced and endowed institutions and those needing greater capacity should be encouraged. Donor investments in building capacity should be based on stated needs, not on visions imposed by those with capacity on those lacking capacity. Those attempting to build capacity should be aware of issues of scale and should anticipate the need to build strategic networks of institutions at the various levels of government. In many cases, that will entail regional approaches. Before investments are made, donors should identify the factors that result in degrada- tion of coastal areas and resources and in unsustainable exploitation of living resources, including problems in governance. In addition to identification of the types of capacity that are needed, the ability of an institution to use funds effectively to increase capacity should be assessed. Donors are doers in the very real sense that they have to justify their actions and often have to spend money to raise money. Capacity-building has been and probably will continue to be fraught with risk and uncertainty and will require continuing objective assessment to reveal corruption and ineffectiveness. Donors would benefit themselves and the cause of ocean stewardship if they com- municated more effectively about why investment in ocean stewardship is so important. The donor community has an enormous ability to engage and empower stakeholders who ultimately generate the political will to institute changes in management and maintain greater capacity. Long-term financing for capacity-building, either by individual donors or by teams of donors working together, is critical for growing capacity and realizing the ben- efits through improved stewardship of ocean and coastal environments and resources.