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Annex 6: Excerpts from key regional meetings convened by FAO in 2005 and 2006

28 February to 1 March 2005 Bangkok, Thailand Regional workshop on rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal communities of tsunami affected countries in Asia.
7 to 8 March 2005
Bangkok, Thailand
Regional coordination workshop on rehabilitation of tsunami affected forest ecosystems: Strategies and new directions.
31 March to 1 April 2005
Bangkok, Thailand
Regional workshop on salt-affected soils from sea water intrusion: Strategies for rehabilitation and management.
30 to 31 March 2006
Bangkok, Thailand
Regional workshop. One year later – the rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal communities of tsunami affected countries in Asia.
29 to 30 June 2006
Bangkok, Thailand
Regional workshop on rehabilitation of agriculture in tsunami affected areas: One and a half years later.
27 to 29 September 2006
Bangkok, Thailand

Regional workshop on coastal area planning and management in Asian tsunami affected countries.

Regional coordination workshop on rehabilitation of tsunami affected forest ecosystems: Strategies and new directions9

Bangkok, Thailand, 7 to 8 March 2005

Critical issues raised at the workshop

Recognizing that the situation varies from country to country, participants raised the following issues:

  1. The protective role of mangroves and other coastal forests (natural and planted) against tsunamis, typhoons, and other natural disasters depends on various factors, including: the type and characteristics of the event itself; vegetation characteristics such as species, stand density, height and width of the vegetation zone; and the characteristics of the adjacent sea bottom. There is a need to further assess the effectiveness of mangroves and other coastal vegetation in protecting coastal areas from major natural disasters.
  2. There is a lack of clear, accurate and comprehensive information about the impact of the tsunami on coastal areas, including forests and trees. Where coastal vegetation was severely affected, more precise impact assessments are needed, which also consider the characteristics of the sea bottom close to the coastline.
  3. Although the tsunami caused significant damage to coastal vegetation in some countries, many organizations are planning to restore and rehabilitate coastal forests as a protective measure against future tsunamis, tidal surges, typhoons and cyclones. A rigorous analysis of the factors influencing the protective function of coastal forests is needed and guidelines developed to assist countries that plan to establish greenbelts and other forests for (mainly) protective purposes.
  4. Rehabilitation/reforestation efforts must be carefully planned and implemented and the forests subsequently managed properly. Full stakeholder (from different levels and sectors) involvement is necessary in this process to ensure success. In particular, local communities need to be fully involved in the decision-making.
  5. Problems preventing cost-effective methods of rehabilitation of coastal forests include insufficient technical knowledge, limited human resources and capacities for implementing rehabilitation activities and ambiguous land tenure and clear demarcation of land.
  6. Initiatives aimed at the rehabilitation and management of coastal forests for protection purposes must be linked to the socio-cultural and economic needs and aspirations of local people. Protection forests also require management and many production forests, if properly managed, can also fulfil protection functions.
  7. There is a critical need for sound technical information on workable practices for rehabilitating coastal forests, suitable sites for planting, and proven approaches for involving local people in decision-making, planning and implementation. Similarly, policy makers and the donor community require solid advice to avoid quick fixes, with potentially negative consequences, to ensure that their decisions and assistance enhance sustainable development.
  8. Integrated coastal zone management is particularly challenging because of the tremendous diversity of livelihoods that depend on fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, forestry and agriculture. Long-term rehabilitation should focus on creating sustainable livelihoods and restoring the productive use of coastal resources. Integrated approaches to coastal zone management need to balance ecological, social, cultural, economic considerations and the importance of community participation and adequate governance. Inter-sectoral cooperation and coordination are needed, as well as appropriate policy formulation and strategic planning mechanisms to balance trade-offs among different, and often conflicting, interests.
  9. Detailed calculations of the wood needs for reconstructing infrastructure have yet to be carried out in most places. In some countries, wood demand may be met from domestic sources. However, there is a risk of over-exploitation of local forests (some of them protected areas) to meet the wood demand for reconstruction. In some cases, large quantities of wood will have to be imported.
  10. Some donor countries are offering to export wood to affected countries. Care must be taken to ensure that wood used for reconstruction has the necessary characteristics to meet specific needs and is adequately treated to ensure durability. Some species may also not be acceptable for socio-cultural reasons. The potential of using salvage wood and alternative construction materials, such as bamboos, needs to be further explored.
  11. Conflicting demands for the use of the affected lands (green belts, aquaculture, agriculture, tourism, residential and industrial sites) are causing controversies and tensions in a number of locations, especially where land titles and tenure arrangements are ambiguous. In some cases, “land grabbing” has particularly affected poorer sections of society.
  12. Although several countries have passed zoning laws, prohibiting development of coastal areas within a certain distance of high-water marks and beachfronts, in general, law enforcement requires strengthening.
  13. The international community has helped countries with emergency relief and early response assistance, impact assessments, development of rehabilitation plans and wood needs assessments. NGOs have raised substantial funds to assist in tsunami rehabilitation efforts and are moving quickly with delivering assistance. There is a tremendous need and opportunity to improve the effectiveness of efforts through improved coordination and the provision of relevant information in a timely manner.

The following issues and topics could be addressed through regional collaboration:

Natural disaster management strategies, including exchange of information on vulnerability and risk analysis and rapid damage assessments.

Exchange of technical information on the rehabilitation, establishment and management of coastal forests (natural and planted).

Sharing of experiences and lessons learned related to restoration and rehabilitation of coastal areas and integrated coastal zone management.

Practical application of the livelihoods approach and a means to strengthen inter-sectoral collaboration.

Governance issues, including coordination between national and local level planning, approaches for strengthened stakeholder participation, and the development of institutional frameworks and legislation to support integrated coastal zone management and coastal forest rehabilitation.

Scientific analyses of factors influencing the degree of protection provided by coastal forests and guidelines for the establishment and management of protection forests and shelterbelts in order to make them more effective.

Assistance in organizing joint research activities and exchange of research results.


The participants recommended that a regional partnership to foster collaboration and coordination of forest-related initiatives in rehabilitation efforts in the tsunami affected countries should be established. The participants recognized that such regional partnerships for information sharing, technical support and capacity building are consistent with existing FAO-supported networks and other partnership mechanisms in which its member countries are actively participating. The proposed partnership would address the current needs and challenges presented by the tsunami disaster.

The partnership would include affected countries, international and regional organizations, NGOs, research organizations and other stakeholders, as well as donors supporting the partnership. The objective would be to support a forestry response to the tsunami that is cost effective, comprehensive, technically sound and developed within the context of integrated coastal area management and sustainable livelihoods.

The immediate benefits of the activities of the partnership would be targeted at the tsunami affected areas in Asia, but would also be relevant to other affected areas and to mitigation and rehabilitation efforts in future coastal disasters.

The functions of the partnership would be the following:

The structure would consist of the following: affected countries, a wide network of partners, a support group (steering committee/coordination committee) made up of the countries and a small, representative group of partners, and a secretariat at FAO. An emphasis would be put on making it flexible, streamlined and able to evolve to accommodate emerging needs.

It further recommended that FAO, in collaboration with other potential partners, continue to work to develop and establish the partnership and, as an interim measure, formulate a programme of action related to the critical issues identified in this document.

FAO and other UN organizations together with affected countries and other partners should quickly work together to make specific requests for support through the mid-term review of the Flash Appeal, and other sources, for regional cooperation and other priority issues related to forests and tsunami.

The participants proposed that the summary report be made available at the Ministerial Meeting on Forests and the Committee on Forestry to be held at FAO, Rome on 14 and 15-19 March, respectively.

Regional workshop on rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal communities of tsunami affected countries in Asia10

Bangkok, Thailand, 28 February to 1 March 2005

Guiding principles for rehabilitation and development

Putting people first in rehabilitation

A livelihood approach is recommended which ensures that natural systems have an enhanced ability to provide a broad and sustainable range of livelihood strategies, accessible to all members of these communities (including women, children and marginalized groups). This approach should also take into account the diversity of additional and existing livelihood strategies available to people in coastal communities, such as farming, fish processing, gardening, marketing etc. Key features are:

Rehabilitation that is consistent with international and regional agreements and guidelines

Any rehabilitation activity should positively contribute to the following agreements and guidelines:

In particular, action will follow a multi-sectoral approach which ensures that the natural resource base of the coastal zone is sustained. This includes:

Key principles for the subsectors

The goal of rehabilitation is to achieve the following key features for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

For fishery a sector that:

For aquaculture a sector that:

In addition, both fisheries and aquaculture sectors should be supported by markets that:

The rehabilitation processes

The implementation activities will follow a process approach and shall include the following elements:

Regional workshop on salt-affected soils from sea water intrusion: Strategies for rehabilitation and management11

Bangkok, Thailand, 31 March to 1 April 2005

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:
  1. 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.).
  2. Legal aspects of regulating land use should be based on a proper investigation of affected parties, actual potential benefits, etc.
  3. ICAM is a long-term process that requires capacity building at different levels – central government, district, NGOs, stakeholders, etc.
  4. Capacity building that can be implemented now to influence emergency and immediate rehabilitation planning should be determined.
  5. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. Land zoning and other regulatory instruments.
  3. 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).


Soil reclamation

Agricultural activities that dominated the tsunami affected area included lowland paddy rice that was either rainfed or irrigated and home gardens. In the former case (rice based systems) surface flushing of salts may be effective in dissolving deposited salts. In all field based rehabilitation activities an adequate drainage system is a critical component in the overall reclamation process as these structures will transport soluble salts from the field. Consequently, existing drainage systems if damaged should be repaired and made functional. Furthermore, if drainage infrastructure has to be built, a comprehensive assessment of the costs/benefits associated with the rehabilitation process should be undertaken before making a decision to rehabilitate these areas. It must be noted that reconstructing drainage infrastructure is expensive and any decision to undertake major works should be the responsibility of the local or national government. Guidelines for rehabilitating drainage have been articulated by FAO and should be used.

Along with effective drainage, land levelling is critical in the reclamation of salt-affected soils and efficient irrigation management. Lands affected by salt inundation should be levelled prior to the commencement of surface flushing of salts. This can be achieved using sophisticated laser levelling devices or simple grader systems that can be tractor mounted.

Reclamation of water resources

Contaminated open and shallow tube wells can be reclaimed through natural flushing that will occur over the next wet season or by pumping and monitoring the electrical conductivity (EC). An acceptable EC for agricultural and drinking purposes would be <2 dS m-1.

Regional workshop. One year later – the rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal communities of tsunami affected countries in Asia12

Bangkok, Thailand, 30 to 31 March 2006

What are the outstanding issues?

The working groups identified a range of issues which fell under nine principal themes:

  1. A need for coordination of assistance and for fishery management;
  2. Assessment of impacts/scientific studies for decision-making;
  3. Clarifying fishery policy managing capacity and institutions for coastal management;
  4. Aligning assistance with needs;
  5. Strengthening human capacity;
  6. Preparedness, safety and simple early warning systems;
  7. Strengthening communities;
  8. Appropriate financial mechanisms and access to them, funds and finance;
  9. Post-harvest/value adding – opportunities for alternative employment.

The priority issues raised by the countries under each theme, and recommended solutions, are presented in full in Appendix E.

Indonesia – five priority need areas included:

India – five priority need areas included:

Scientific studies to better understand the impact of the tsunami, especially in the longer term;

Malaysia – five priority need areas included:

Maldives – five priority need areas included:

Maldives recognized that there is an ongoing need to secure financial support for addressing shelter housing issues. An associated factor is implementing appropriate programmes to mitigate transitional and long term impacts from displacement from traditional fishing grounds by providing short term employment opportunities and skill retraining. Maldives was beginning to engage in the process of establishing and building community and cooperative organizational capacity and this was an ongoing need. Developing processing technology towards adding value and improving fish quality and safety was identified as a key future direction. Developing financial institutions and mechanisms to underpin capital investment was also recognized as important for the future of the Maldives.

In a discussion session following the group presentations, a question was raised for India regarding whether or not they saw the issue of building social capital as a long or short term exercise. India responded that it was considered a long term process. Points were also raised regarding clarification on how outstanding current issues were to be dealt with (such as any groups or individuals that may have missed out on rehabilitation support). There was concern that there still may be a relief gap in some countries. There was also a request to consider the danger of exporting problems to other sectors/areas unless comprehensive planning was carried out (for example moving large number of fishers into another sector).

There was also a request that the groups recognize the consideration of regional issues (such as transboundary fisheries/ecosystems and migrant workers). These issues may be a good area for CONSRN to work in. Lastly, there was a concern expressed regarding the common coordination issues. Coordination does not deliver unless there are clear objectives and leadership. The workshop agreed that there are many lessons to be learned from the different countries.

Myanmar – five priority need areas included:

Problems identified with shelter housing and lack of access to investment capital requires the mobilization of financial resources both within Myanmar and amongst the donor community. It was also recognized that a review of the institutional framework and mechanisms underpinning capital finance is required. Myanmar sees a critical need to develop telecommunications infrastructure to open communication with isolated fisher communities. This would need to be backed up with a dedicated education and awareness programme. There is still an immediate need to replace fishing boats damaged or destroyed during the tsunami but

Myanmar also recognized that the management of vessel capacity into the future would be a key issue. There is little information on resource status and there is an immediate need to carry out baseline resource assessments and develop fishery management plans.

Sri Lanka – five priority need areas included:

Thailand – five priority need areas included:

Future actions and recommendations for countries and CONSRN partners

Review of progress against the RSF showed that the original elements are still valid. However, there has been a shift in focus from asset provision towards capacity building, institutional building and improving management. This shift highlights the need for continued action and support for the rehabilitation and reconstruction process over the next five years.

The workshop agreed that in order to move from emergency relief to longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction the following cross-cutting challenges needed to be addressed:

  1. Improved data and information and the need for better coordination asset distribution as well as all activities involved in the fishery/aquaculture rehabilitation. These include:
  1. Assuring appropriate financial mechanisms are in place at both the macro level for fishery/aquaculture infrastructure reconstruction and at the micro level for development of fishing communities. These include:
  1. Strengthening human capacity (through training and skill upgrading) for communities, government officials and NGOs, in the areas of:
  1. Empowering and ensuring full participation of communities in the rehabilitation process.

More specifically, country priorities depended on the stage at which countries had reached, between emergency relief to full rehabilitation and reconstruction. These included:

The workshop recognized that there are issues relating to migrant workers and the shelter and relocation of internally displaced persons and (e.g. foreign fishing crews, persons housed in camps, persons who are unable to return to their homes). However, it was concluded that these are outside the immediate competence of CONSRN. The workshop further recognized that where these people are engaged in fishing/aquaculture, CONSRN has a role relating to supporting skills enhancement and addressing their rehabilitation needs.

It was also noted that management of transboundary fishery issues were important, but were beyond the scope of this workshop (management of shared resources, addressing the causes and management of IUU fishing etc.). At a regional level, a number of broad activities were identified including:

Priority action for CONSRN could include:

Regional workshop on rehabilitation of agriculture in tsunami affected areas: One and a half years later

Bangkok, Thailand, 29 to 30 June 2006

Conclusions and Recommendations

Present status and lessons learned

The workshop identified a number of positive outcomes in the rehabilitation process as indicated in the country presentations that have strongly influenced the process of returning the agricultural sector back to some normalcy. However, there are weaknesses that have been identified and were discussed. A synopsis of these factors is presented below:

Some of the lessons learned in this process were identified as follows:

Recommendations as to how to move forward in the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector were made. These included:

Strategies effecting the overall development of a sustainable agricultural sector were deemed to include:

General comments

Agriculture did not receive the priority it should have been afforded. There were several reasons for this, including:

There is a need to strengthen the coordination function at the operational level. Several NGOs established partnerships without local government consultation, making the coordination process extremely difficult. Along with this there is a need to strengthen the acquisition, assessment and evaluation of data within the national governments in order to target more specific interventions. This could be facilitated by appointing a single body within the government as a central hub/depository of information. In addition, there is a need to strengthen the capacity with such organizations in data evaluation and interpretation.

In some cases there was inequity in compensation payouts to farmers that caused considerable dissatisfaction. In this respect, farmers that leased land in India were not eligible for compensation packages or assistance, but some farmers received coverage through the efforts of NGOs.

There is a need for designing rehabilitation activities to suit the specific location and circumstances that prevail in the different countries affected by the tsunami.

Farm labourers who were dependent on the agricultural sector for their livelihoods seem to have been neglected in the overall approach to re-establishing the agricultural sector. There is a need to consider the plight of this sector of the community.

Challenges that are posed over the long term were discussed and identified as follows:

Priorities for long-term rehabilitation and development

The overarching priorities for long-term rehabilitation and development need to incorporate these four elements:

Address land use and land tenure issues: Land use changes are inevitable with the re-development of these coastal areas. This includes the re-zoning of land for specific purposes that may not coincide with that prior to the tsunami, i.e. establishment of Green Belts. Hence there is a need for effective planning and consultation at all levels to effect these changes in land use. In addition, issues over land tenure and rights need to be resolved.

Medium-term priorities and strategies

In order to achieve the long-term objectives for the agricultural sector, there is a need to address some immediate constraints. These constraints are outlined below:

In order to achieve these outcomes, there is a need to put into place policies and a legal framework governing the management of coastal buffer zones.

Mechanisms for coordination and exchange of information

Several issues were identified and recommendations in overcoming these impediments were suggested. The issues highlighted were as follows:

Regional workshop on coastal area planning and management in Asian tsunami affected countries

Bangkok, Thailand, 27 to 29 September 2006


Recommendations for actions

  Developing and linking disasters early warning systems,

  Enhancing existing systems for early warning;

➤  Promoting initiatives to support disaster management e.g. establishment/rehabilitation of buffer zones or Green Belts, considering their multi-functionality.

Encouraging initiatives to ensure national integrated coastal area planning and management, considering local social, economic and ecological dimensions;

Identifying and supporting a national focal point to lead the integrated planning process and associated monitoring and revision;

Strengthening and mobilizing existing inter-governmental mechanisms and frameworks, for example ASEAN and SAARC as well as other regional collaborative mechanisms and arrangements to support coastal area planning and management;

Improving coordination through development of an agreed framework to identify roles of regional/international organizations;

Organizing regional cross-sectoral dialogues and coordination mechanisms to generate lessons learned and synthesize information on a regular basis;

Supporting existing frameworks to support national level policy, planning and coordination e.g. CONSRN;

Facilitating negotiation, trade-offs and balancing of policy/objectives at various geographical levels, recognizing that less powerful stakeholders may need support;

Creating an enabling environment and incentive system to support coordination, dialogue and partnership.

Develop standards and information management systems to support data, information and knowledge sharing;

Support information gathering beyond impact assessment for strategic planning and decision-making during the rehabilitation phase and thereafter;

Collate and efficiently manage relevant data, information and knowledge, and support better application and dissemination of analysed/synthesized output;

Establish national frameworks for social vulnerability and risk assessment;

Continue interdisciplinary research on environmentally friendly reconstruction of coastal zones;

Assess empirical experience and fully use existing available and emerging knowledge to inform policy processes; and

Revise, update and disseminate FAO guidelines on Integrated Coastal Area Management.

Political commitment towards improved coastal area planning and management;

The need for legislative reform and provision including adoption of land/resource use rights;

Community participation and learning, and co-management;

The role and capacity of key stakeholders, including NGOs and the private sector, to support improved coastal area planning and management.

Educating key actors, for example, policy-makers, the media, the general public, donor agencies and religious leaders, of progress and impacts of rehabilitation, and the situation and needs at the local level;

Strengthening communities and local-level institutions through better organization and empowerment, particularly with respect to coastal development planning and land/resource use management;

Ensure resources and capacity adequately support improved coastal area planning and management.

The Next Wave

Outcomes of the Regional Workshop on Information Management and Coordination Mechanisms of Tsunami Emergency and Rehabilitation Operations in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry held at the Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand from 30 October to 1 November 2006.


9 Source: http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/ae547e/ae547e00.htm

10 Source at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/ae548e/ae548e00.htm

11 Source: http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/ae551e/ae551e00.htm

12 Source: http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ag091e/ag091e00.htm

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