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8. Session IV: Aligning donors/agencies/countries to strategies

Aligning country specific requirements

The country representatives were unanimous in their support to the outcomes of the workshop and expressed thanks for the opportunity to attend. The delegates expressed general agreement with the vision, guiding principles and strategies.

Country representatives pointed out that the CONSRN consortium workshop was timely as governments were in the process of preparing rehabilitation strategies and plans and that the outcomes of the workshop should contribute to this process.

The strength of the CONSRN consortium was seen as an information broker (with donors and countries) to facilitate coordination and learning of lessons. All countries agreed that the rehabilitation strategy should follow the livelihoods approach, that detailed assessments were needed and that CONSRN should have a role in these.

All participants emphasized the need to ensure visibility of the outcomes of the workshop with the international community and to ensure awareness within the countries of the ongoing rehabilitation efforts.

In addition to this general consensus there were a number of specific points mentioned by the country representatives.

India pointed out that relief work is being done with urgency, but that the rehabilitation must be undertaken in a considered way to avoid long-term negative impacts, and to ensure sustainability. One specific area where assistance in terms of technical input (TA) would be welcomed is in environmental and livelihood assessments, including the short-medium-long term impacts on the environment and losses to fisheries (as opposed to losses suffered by fishers).

Indonesia expressed a concern that whilst there had been immediate offers of assistance to affected countries, actual delivery was only just beginning.

Malaysia stressed that short-term measures need concrete programmes on the ground and that assistance should be prioritized to badly affected countries. Malaysia added that they were willing to participate in joint initiatives on a cost sharing basis.

Myanmar stated that there had been less impact in the country from the tsunami, but that they would be interested to work in areas related to improved preparedness for future disasters. Myanmar expressed a strong commitment to work together towards a common vision for the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka expressed its satisfaction with the immediate support that had been provided and that replacement of fishing vessel damage was underway, but added that there was still a longer-term need for rehabilitation of fishery infrastructure such as damaged harbours. An important area to look towards in the longer-term rehabilitation would be coastal area protection and buffer zones.

Thailand emphasized the need for rehabilitation planning to be done following a "sustainable development" model and that this was more important than replacing lost assets. Thailand also emphasized that a clear role of CONSRN was in networking and sharing of information which could support the channelling of assistance to countries.

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