From the wider perspective of planning one needs to zoom down to the local level to better understand and improve the management of the rich natural capital of marine ecosystems in the Pacific. Building institutional and personal capacities for Blue Planning will enable more effective management on the ground. But there is no need to reinvent the wheel. One can learn from the experiences of centuries of traditional management in MACBIO’s five partner countries. Coupled with scientific approaches these can strengthen management capacities by sharing lessons learned.
Rather than focusing on a pilot site approach, MACBIO site work is structured into Learning, Demonstration or Integration Sites. All sites were selected in collaboration with partner country governments based on their particular context and history over the last decades, representing the diverse environments and approaches in Pacific island countries.
In Learning Sites MACBIO assists local stakeholders to access, analyze, document, highlight and showcase the lessons that were learned – not only for local stakeholders to take pride in their achievements, but to also assist governments in replicating successful approaches, and to assist government representatives and others stakeholders to share successful practices among Pacific neighboring countries. Once identified, MACBIO assists stakeholders to disseminate such lessons nationally, regionally and internationally. An important first step is to update baseline data, be it resource rights and ownership, biodiversity and ecosystem health, or other resource management issues.
In addition to learning from lessons in the past, MACBIO aims to assist stakeholders in their efforts to demonstrate what works best in a certain local or national context. These demonstrations may involve identifying and advancing existing management plans by local stakeholders, appropriate local usage agreements or Payments for Ecosystem Services. The project supports such efforts with innovative tools, such as interactive databases and smartphone applications.
What is demonstrated to work in certain local circumstances may still be hard to replicate and upscale to another site, a district or an entire country. Often bottlenecks are experienced from the national administration level down to the district and local level. At Integration Sites efforts are made to map the entire vertical and multi-level governance structures to see where such bottlenecks exist and how to assist stakeholders in addressing them. Within Fiji, based on the sites proposed by government and other stakeholders, finally 3 sites were chosen: these included Navakavu (Vanua – level), Kadavu (Island and Province-level) and Macuata (Province and ecosystem-based level regarding the Great Sea Reef).
in line with Aichi Targets 14 & 15 and SDGs 13 & 14
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