Project Title: Preparation of a Community Development Plan in view of a Project Proposal for the “Restoring marine ecosystem services by rehabilitating coral reefs to meet a changing climate future” project
Following a call for proposals of the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) in May 2015 for projects and programmes to be funded by the AFB under the pilot programme for regional projects and programmes of the Adaptation Fund, the UNDP Country Office for Mauritius and Seychelles with national stakeholders in Mauritius and Seychelles have developed a pre-concept for a regional project. The pre-concept for the project which endeavours to “restore marine ecosystem services by rehabilitating coral reefs to meet a changing climate future” in Mauritius and Seychelles, developed in collaboration with Seychelles Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Nature Seychelles and Seychelles National Parks Authority; Mauritius Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Island (MOE), Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI), Albion Fisheries Research Centre, UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme and the Mauritius Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED), was approved in October 2015 to develop a concept note. Subsequently, the concept note was approved by the AFB in October 2016 to develop the full project proposal.
The final stage of the proposal process is the submission of the fully-developed regional AFB project proposal as well as the UNDP project document in the UNDP project document template. The endorsement of the concept does not create an obligation for the AFB for later funding. As such, the project proposal needs to be of a high quality, in line with the requrements of AFB rules for the call and its strategic priorities, to increase the odds of endorsement by the Board.
Objective of the Project
The main objective of the proposed project is to upscale and mainstream the rehabilitation of coral reefs degraded by coral bleaching in order to restore essential ecosystem services in the face of climate change threats and to generate knowledge about the most effective solutions for dissemination to SIDS and countries within the wider region. The project responds to two of the three thematic focal areas namely ‘Food Security’ and ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ as: (i) the rehabilitation of degraded reefs will restore fish habitats by increasing coral cover on degraded reefs thereby encouraging the recovery of reef associated fish communities important as food to the local communities and; (ii) the rehabilitation of degraded reefs will restore the protective barrier function provided by coral reefs through stabilising the reef substrate and planting corals.
The proposed project will have three components (excluding project management), namely:
Component 1) Enhancement of food security and reduction of risks from natural disasters through the restoration of degraded reefs in Mauritius
Component 2) Enhancement of food security and reduction of risks from natural disasters through the restoration of degraded reefs in Seychelles
Component 3) Knowledge management and sharing, training and sensitization to build regional capacity for sustainable reef restoration
The Project Proposal preparation phase will be coordinated through the UNDP Country Office in Mauritius, which provides UNDP representation for both Mauritius and Seychelles under a single UN leadership with shared programme support services. A Regional Steering Committee (RSC) will be established composed of the stakeholders outlined below. The RSC will meet twice during the project preparation phase to ensure regional aspects are taken on board and to achieve consensus, and at least annually during implementation, if possible organized back-to-back with planned regional workshops for cost efficiency. The National Steering Committees will be composed of the principal stakeholders outlined below for each country, as well as other private sector, civil society and government organisations and will meet quarterly.
Once the project is approved, then in Seychelles, the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) which has the mandate for environmental, climate change and energy policy and management. Other key national implementing entities (NIE) will include:
- Nature Seychelles (NS), an NGO that has pioneered terrestrial restoration of islands, been the recipient of GEF-funds and other large donor funded projects. NS manages the Cousin Island Special Reserve, the site of a 5,500 m2 restored reef, and is registered as a Private Educational and Training Institute (under the Education Act);
- Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), which is responsible for the management of all state owned terrestrial and marine protected areas. SNPA will build on its existing coral reef restoration work and benefit from opportunities for further training for its staff.
In Mauritius the main NIE will be the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Island (MOEMRFSOI), which has the mandate to provide an enabling environment for the promotion of sustainable development of the fisheries sector and is responsible for the management of coastal waters and any related activities being carried out within these, and specifically the following bodies under this Ministry:
- Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI) established in 2000 to develop and strengthen oceanographic research, within the maritime zone of the Republic of Mauritius, with technical expertise and institutional capacity for both coral farming, species identification and coral genetics. MOI will lead on research activities in the project, and the development of a land-based coral nursery.
- Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) established in 1982 under the MOEMRFSOI, and responsible for stock assessment of marine resources, MPA management, ocean-based coral farming/restoration and long term coral reef monitoring. AFRC will lead on the development of ocean-based coral nurseries, with support from MOI.