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3. Critical issues raised at the workshop

Recognizing that conditions vary from country to country, the participants raised the following issues:

Time scale

1) Integrated coastal area management (ICAM) is the accepted framework for long-term planning and thus naturally relates to reconstruction and development planning.

2) However, emergency support and rehabilitation are ongoing: The issue is therefore how to apply essential ICAM principles wherever required.

3) The situation is very dynamic and communities and other stakeholders will make their own decisions: There is a need, therefore, to monitor trends and conditions and feed the results back into the overall management of reconstruction programmes.

Policy issues (short- and long-term planning)

1) As a result of the tsunami, local governments are now encouraged to take decisions on land use planning, mostly related to safety considerations and zoning of coastal areas (buffer zones, housing). These decisions could have important implications for affected populations and agricultural and other lands.

2) ICAM should be used as the proper framework for planning options, not only as a framework for agro-ecosystem management, but also as a participatory consultation and coordination process with all stakeholders.

3) In this context, issues related to land tenure are likely to be very important.

4) ICAM is not only a question of proper strategy, but also a question of tactics: Emergency and reconstruction support should be carried out on the basis of management units that include all populations linked by natural and social processes. Such support should also be offered to populations that have welcomed displaced persons and populations that may react negatively if they are excluded from the reconstruction process and see no benefits accruing to them. ICAM can be a useful framework for sound social and political reconstruction tactics.

5) The introduction of ICAM can be a platform for different stakeholders with their different perspectives to meet and find out what needs to be done before establishing guiding principles. These comprise:

6) ICAM can offer a proper unit to evaluate and discuss compensation to affected parties related to changes in resource base and land use (agriculture, industry settlement, business companies, etc.).

7) Legal aspects of regulating land use should be based on a proper investigation of affected parties, actual potential benefits, etc.

8) ICAM is a long-term process that requires capacity building at different levels - central government, district, NGOs, stakeholders, etc.

9) Capacity building that can be implemented now to influence emergency and immediate rehabilitation planning should be determined.

10) Tensions between emergency interventions and long-term planning need to be identified and resolved.

Technical issues

1) Two major types of systems may be considered: Deltaic complexes and sandy shore complexes. Both are subject to strong tidal influence and water and salt flows should be properly assessed.

2) Reclamation and drainage activities may impact downstream users; groundwater tables may also be affected by leaching or subject to increased pressure; and salinity of lagoons and their links to the sea may be affected.

3) Assessment of damage to natural resources:

4) ICAM units in the context of tsunami-affected areas should be understood to include the hinterland watersheds as appropriate: Temporary re-allocation of water for leaching, movement of agriculture upstream, etc.

5) Land zoning and other regulatory instruments.

6) Previous land use was not necessarily appropriate or sustainable (certain types of aquaculture, conversion of mangrove forests to other uses, etc.).

Guiding principles

Three overriding principles in tsunami interventions were identified.

1) People centred approach - dealing with people, their sensitivities, resources and livelihoods.

2) Integrated approach - involving agro-economic and socio-economic considerations.

3) Acknowledging opportunities and threats - disasters provide both opportunities and threats that need to be taken into account.

These three overriding principles can be subdivided into six guiding principles:

1) Conflict sensitivity
2) Building people’s capacities
3) Using an integrated approach
4) Aiming beyond the status-quo
5) Subsidiarity
6) Risk-taking

Diversification and commercialization activities

The working group identified the following development foci required for the introduction and sustainable development of diversified and commercialized (D&C) agriculture systems in the tsunami-affected areas:

1) Recovery before growth: Re-establishing livelihoods is the over-riding objective in the rehabilitation and reconstruction phases. Immediate efforts need to focus on approaches that recapitalize households that have lost their key productive assets before attempting improved diversification and commercialization.

2) Household income and asset accumulation: Re-establishing and improving household production, and reconstructing and strengthening the private sector through the development of processing, markets, business development and financial services and small enterprises, will lead to improved incomes and asset accumulation. This better enables households and communities to buffer their livelihoods against the numerous risks currently existing in the tsunami-affected areas.

3) Support services: Improvements in public services and infrastructure will have the twin benefits of reducing vulnerability (for example through improved transport and communications, and social protection schemes) and improving skills (which in turn improve their ability to manage productive activities or find employment).

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