Project Goal: The project aims to improve the status of mangrove forests in the three countries (India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh) through a participatory and community-based approach through a series of awareness and capacity building on aspects of both restoration and conservation activities.
- To develop site specific mangrove community conservation and restoration plans to suit the ecology, economy and culture of the respective project sites.
- To build the capacities of the local communities in implementing the community conservation and restoration plans through demonstrations and training.
- Site Investigation: The first and foremost step in the project will be to undertake a detailed survey of the area to understand the existing status of Mangrove Ecosystem in the identified sites. This investigation will help in providing information related to the following aspects:
- status of mangrove forests in the project sites
- major threats
- hydrology, topography
- socio-economic condition of the local communities around mangrove forests
- community demography
- dependence on mangroves/livelihood practices
- land tenure and history of settlement
- existing system of management and consumption
- socio-economic conditions of the community
- existing schemes and programs being implemented in the region
- government schemes and programs
- past restoration activities
- community participation/cultural practices for protection
- administration and management
- key stakeholders
This study will help our teams to get a better understanding of how the mangrove ecosystem has changed over the past few years and also what are the areas that need immediate attention. Also, it will help us in developing suitable strategies to reduce further degradation and help in the restoration of the project sites.
Community Planning: Once the investigation of the site is complete and the team develops a better understanding of the mangrove ecosystem in the sites, we shall initiate community planning exercise. Considering the project is a community-based conservation and restoration project, we will be involving the communities’ right from the inception phase, so that they take ownership of the project and also feel empowered. The following steps will be carried out as part of the community planning:
- Identify Problems and Opportunities: We will be discussing with the locals about the various problems they face and potential threats they perceive. This can be done by undertaking a SWOT analysis. Other ways of identifying the problems will be through interviews, FGDs, discussions, consultations, and participatory mapping exercises.
- Determining Objectives: It is important that the plan has 3-4 objectives that need to be fulfilled in order to address the problems. These objectives will be fine-tuned and finalized at a later stage.
- Resource Inventorization: We shall be then creating an inventory of all the resources available in the sites. This will include listing of available natural, social, financial and human resources that are available and can be used for restoration purposes. The availability of various resources in each of the sites, will help us in determining the most suitable plan for restoration and conservation.
- Finalizing the objectives and activities: Based on the available resources, we shall be finalising with objectives for the community restoration plans for each site. Through a series of expert consultations, we shall be suggesting suitable activities to increase the conservation efforts in the project sites.
- Allocation of responsibilities: After the objectives are final, we shall allocate responsibilities for all the stakeholders based on their skills. Community members will divide the activities amongst themselves so that there is no external factor affecting their choices. Some examples of activities that may be part of the plan are:
- Mangrove Nursery establishment and management
- Digging soil for improving hydrology
- Mangrove plantation
- Monitoring mangrove plantation
- Creating new channels for water
- Awareness Generation
- Implementation of the plan: Our teams will help the communities in implementing the plan successfully. Wherever needed, our experts will provide technical assistance to the communities.
Capacity Building: To make the communities well versed with the restoration and conservation techniques, we shall undertake training workshops. These workshops will be customized to train the communities to successfully implement their plans effectively. The following areas will be covered during the training:
- Sustainable livelihood practices
- Alternate income generating activities
- Mangrove Nursery Establishment
- Maintaining the hydrology
- Natural restoration techniques
- Plantation and protection
- Climate Change adaptation
- Monitoring and mapping techniques
The training sessions will be a mix of theory sessions and demonstrations.
- Implementation: Various activities suggested in the community restoration plans will be carried out by the communities. We shall be providing the necessary support to carry out the suggested interventions. With proper monitoring tools, we will ensure that the project is delivered within the timelines and the community remains involved in all the activities throughout the project duration.
- Exit: We shall be making an exit from the project sites after the communities have been successfully trained and the community plans have been implemented successfully. Community leaders from each site will be trained by our experts to continue the project even after our exit. As the project is a community-based intervention, we will ensure that communities continue to actively participate in restoration of the sites. Our experts will conduct monthly visits to the site and provide necessary feedback and handholding support to the communities. We shall also be organising refresher training for communities, to help them to independently implement the restoration plans. Our local field offices will also be conducting exposure visits of the community leaders to different sites that are locally managed and restored.
- Dissemination of learnings: An important aspect of the project is the dissemination of the project learnings. We will be showcasing our project learnings through a series of booklets and documentaries. We will be organising a country level dissemination seminar where we will be inviting policy makers, representatives from national and international organizations, researchers and other stakeholders to share the project results and learnings.
Project Monitoring and Evaluation
We shall be using a Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation framework for carrying out the monitoring and evaluation of the project. The tools for collecting the information will include- surveys, environmental assessment, plantation record, meeting and training feedback, records etc. The following steps will be used for the purpose:
- Establishing objectives for monitoring
- Develop the monitoring questions
- Establish direct and indirect indicators
- Collect information
Also, the project manager for each country, will be conducting monthly monitoring reporting from the field staff. The Project director shall be undertaking a quarterly monitoring and review of the project teams. We shall also be undertaking annual participatory evaluation by using the following tools: Community Case Studies, Semi-structured Interviews, Ranking, Rating and Sorting, Survival Surveys, Nursery Record Books, Community Financial Accounts. An external evaluation will be conducted during the last year.
Project Communication and Documentation
As part of the project, we shall be developing a set of knowledge products to disseminate information related to mangrove restoration. The following communication products will be developed and disseminated:
- Community Based Mangrove Conservation and Restoration Plans
- Training kits for the communities
- Best Practice Manual
- Videos on sustainable management of mangroves
To share the project learnings there will be a web portal with all the necessary resources. Also, regular updates from the field will be posted on our website and social media pages.
List of Documents being submitted
- CV of Project Director
- An attested copy of the registration of the organisation
- Gender Disaggregated list of its governing body and executive staff
- Tax exemption status
- Legal registration to receive grants from foreign sources.
- Audited accounts of the previous financial year
- Latest Annual report