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Rehabilitation initiatives and activities by international and regional organizations

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)

Mr Shanker introduced the legal review of India's principal coastal legislation that ATREE had conducted in Tamil Nadu. The report of the review, entitled “The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification and Post-Tsunami Rehabilitation in Tamil Nadu, India”, aimed to provide government and non-government rehabilitation agencies with a clear understanding of the role and position of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification in rehabilitation efforts that may take place in areas under the jurisdiction of this law. Mr Shanker also introduced other ATREE reports on fisheries-related issues in Tamil Nadu, which are in preparation.

ASEAN-Korea Environmental Cooperation Unit (AKECU)

Mr Yong-Kwon Lee introduced the AKECU project on the restoration of degraded forest ecosystems in Southeast Asia through support to research, capacity building and information sharing. He highlighted the Korean Government's plan for rehabilitation of tsunami-affected areas with a specific focus on mangrove rehabilitation and training. He mentioned that the plan places a special emphasis on human livelihoods.

Charles Darwin University

Mr Boggs introduced the “Guidelines for Coastal Restoration Following the Indian Ocean Tsunami” that Charles Darwin University has developed in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Marine Science and National University of Singapore. He described the objectives of the guidelines as follows:

He highlighted the outcomes of recent scientific research on the role of mangroves in dissipating wave energy from tidal surges.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/Regional Office for the Asia and the Pacific (FAO/RAP)

Mr Kashio introduced FAO/RAP's responses to the tsunami with a specific emphasis on the areas where FAO has comparative advantages including agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors. Referring to information dissemination tools FAO has set up as a response to the tsunami, such as the “Tsunami Atlas”, he encouraged participants to make use of the data and information available. He highlighted a plan to submit forestry-related proposals for the revised UN Flash Appeal and encouraged countries to seek funds for forestry-related rehabilitation through this channel.

Global Environmental Centre (GEC)

Mr Parish mentioned that the GEC had conducted preliminary assessments of the impacts of the Indian Ocean tsunami on coastal ecosystems and initiated media activities to promote mangrove rehabilitation and greenbelts. GEC, in collaboration with other international organizations, organized a special session on tsunami and coastal wetlands at the Asian Wetland symposium in February 2005. Follow-up actions include further assessments of the effectiveness of greenbelts, development of a regional initiative to link together different groups working on greenbelt issues, and establishment of exchange mechanisms. He encouraged participants to work together through a proposed coordination mechanism for greenbelts, which could be linked with or integrated with an overall forest and tsunami partnership.

GTZ Malaysian-German Forestry Education Project (MGFEP)

Mr Kollert introduced GTZ-supported rehabilitation activities in Aceh, which aim to support livelihoods and to protect ecosystems. He mentioned that GTZ plans to conduct long-term activities in the near future such as rehabilitation of damaged ecosystems as well as livelihood support. He mentioned that there is a possibility of obtaining funding from GTZ if a program is backed by a regional collaboration mechanism and if a focus is on integrated coastal management.

International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)

Mr Hiras mentioned that ITTO supports rehabilitation of mangrove forests for the following three reasons: ecological and economic importance, sources of timber and timber-related products, and sustainability of ecosystems. The Global Mangrove Database and Information System (GLOMIS) and the World Atlas of Mangrove (published by ISME) were introduced as ITTO's mangrove-related programs of regional scope. ITTO expressed its willingness to provide financial assistance to tsunami-affected countries based on well-focused proposals with itemized budgets.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN)

Mr Singh mentioned that IUCN had conducted rapid assessments in Sri Lanka and Thailand, the reports of which are available on the IUCN website. A plan for medium- and long-term livelihood-ecosystem rehabilitation activities has been prepared. A global partnership has been established with the UNEP as a coordination mechanism. He expressed IUCN's keen interest in assessing options for having a regional mangrove rehabilitation project. He also welcomed FAO's idea of establishing partnerships for forest ecosystem rehabilitation through integrated approaches.

Mangrove Action Project (MAP)

Mr Brown introduced MAP's Mangrove Rehabilitation Methodology (site prioritization, community organizing, village ordinance, ecological mangrove rehabilitation, sustainable livelihood development, monitoring and maintenance, and documentation of lessons learned). He also highlighted the ecological restoration of mangroves using hydrologic restoration as the preferred method. He introduced ideas for regional cooperation on coastal forest restoration:

M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)

Mr Ravishankar introduced MSSRF's rehabilitation-related efforts at the national level:

He explained MSSRF's regional coordination mechanism in the Bay of Bengal region and presented ideas for further cooperation with a specific emphasis on the need for integrated and sustainable livelihoods approaches.

Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA), Thailand

Mr Chen described OISCA's four main programmes promoted through three pillars: development, environment and learning. He mentioned that OISCA has extensive experiences in promoting mangrove reforestation through environmental education, particularly for children and the youth. He expressed OISCA's continued support for mangrove rehabilitation efforts in the tsunami-affected areas through various environmental education programs and the International Tree Planting Volunteer Program.

Ramsar Center Japan (RCJ)

After a short introduction to the RCJ, Mr Nakamura introduced one of the outcomes from the Asian Wetland Symposium 2005: the Chilika Statement, which highlights the need for rehabilitating wetlands and coastal areas in tsunami-affected countries. She suggested that the possibility of strengthening regional networks and partnerships should be considered to adopt a holistic approach to integrated coastal ecosystem. She also introduced potential funding mechanisms available in Japan for NGOs.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia

Ms Norzilla Mohamed introduced rehabilitation activities of UNDP Malaysia in various areas, ranging from health care services to livelihood support for fisheries communities. She also described the outcomes from three rapid assessment missions that UNDP Malaysia had conducted with UNICEF. She mentioned that UNDP Malaysia promotes South-South Cooperation and a holistic approach in tsunami-related rehabilitation activities.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Ms Tunnie mentioned that UNEP has provided technical and coordination assistance to affected countries in partnerships with WWF, IUCN and other agencies. She explained UNEP's coordination mechanism with the government sector, environmental society, and partners and Collaborative Assessment Networks. She mentioned that UNEP plans to develop proposals based on current assessment efforts.

Untied Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Indonesia

Mr Han Qunli introduced UNESCO's response in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. He mentioned that UNESCO Indonesia currently provides support for various activities in the fields of science and the environment: the establishment of early warning systems; a multi-sectoral assessment of tsunami effects on coastal ecosystems and resources in Aceh and Northern Sumatra; development of a plan for mangrove rehabilitation; and a monitoring mission to assess the magnitude of logging and the use of wood in a World Heritage area in Banda Aceh. He expressed UNESCO's keen interest in establishing regional partnerships to capitalize on the resources of various agencies.

University of Malaysia Sabah

Mr Aminuddin Mohamad highlighted the forestry programmes recently developed by the University, and expressed his willingness to collaborate with other agencies in the future.

Wetlands International (WI)

Ms Ramakrishna introduced the Ramsar Tsunami Reference Group, which had been established in collaboration with the Ramsar International Organisation Partners and other relevant research, environmental and aid organisations to bring together scientifically sound advice on wetlands in the region to assist governments in establishing the most effective response measures. She referred to WI's plan for socio-economic assessments in tsunami-affected wetlands in partnership with IUCN and other Dutch-based organizations.

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Mr Rudebjer spoke on behalf of ICRAF and CIFOR. He introduced the collective action on restoring tsunami-affected livelihoods, a 3-5 year program led by World Fish Center and supported by other international agencies including ICRAF, CIFOR and IRRI. He also highlighted the CIFOR/ICRAF collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia in mangrove rehabilitation and sustainable livelihoods. He mentioned that CIFOR/ICRAF is developing a proposal for building capacities of Indonesian universities and students in Aceh.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Thailand

Mr Parr described WWF's emergency responses in Aceh, India and Thailand as follows:

He introduced the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation as an innovative way to generate financial resources for marine resource conservation through an NGO-private sector partnership.

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