The project Ecologically and Socio Economically sound Coastal Ecosystem Rehabilitation and Conservation in Tsunami Affected Countries of the Indian Ocean aimed to facilitate coastal ecosystem rehabilitation and conservation activities in critically degraded and threatened ecosystems in tsunami affected countries of the Indian Ocean. Two countries were selected to implement the project: Sri Lanka and Thailand. Part of the project involved developing a Sustainable Financing Strategy for the project areas. This document serves as the Sustainable Financing Strategy for the Thailand Component. It looks at the situation in the project area and recommends financing options and other measures that would help to sustain the activities initiated as part of the project. In Thailand, the Andaman coast was chosen to implement the interventions of the project. Two watersheds: Kuraburi and Ka Poa were the main project areas where tourism, fisheries and agriculture form the main livelihoods activities.
In the last decade or so the world’s coastal areas have received a lot of attention – attention that has been spurred on specifically by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Subsequently, the undeniable linkages between coastal resources and economic and human wellbeing have become more apparent. This is evident nowhere more so than in the Maldives – a nation of small islands dependent entirely on its coastal and marine resources, which contribute extensively to its economy and its people’s livelihoods. There are few examples in the world where an entire nation’s wellbeing is so strongly linked to its natural resource base. For such a country, any threat to its biodiversity means adverse impacts on its future development. Clearly then, there is a strong imperative to recognise and demonstrate that there is an economic – in addition to a biological and ecological – rationale to biodiversity conservation.
The ESPASSA Regional Situation Analysis is the
product of a collective effort of the ESPASSA Consortium consisting of five
organizations from the South Asia region and two UK-based organizations.
The regional organizations include The Energy and Resources Institute
(TERI) and TERI University in New Delhi, India; the Sustainable Development
Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad, Pakistan; BRAC in Dhaka, Bangladesh;
and IUCN-Asia in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The UK-based organizations are the
Institute for Sustainable Water Integrated Management and Ecosystem
Research (SWIMMER) from the University of Liverpool and the University of
Reading. TERI is the lead institute for the consortium.
- Environmental Fiscal Reforms (EFR) can be a useful tool for the second phase of the Water and Nature Initiative (WANI 2), in order to garner funds for investing in ecosystem conservation as part of water infrastructure, as well as for poverty reduction.
- They provide the means to ensure that ecosystems are counted as water infrastructure by providing incentives for sustainable water resources management and curbing pollution
- They also mobilize funds needed to improve the access of poor to safe drinking water and investing in pro-poor development.
- To make fiscal reforms for sustainable water resources management holistic and far-reaching, there is a need to not only consider water services, but also fiscal instruments for forests, land, fisheries and watershed management.
- There is a need to ensure an enabling environment to institute EFR, which includes building government and administrative capacity, and involving all stakeholders.
- Most importantly, they should be well-designed and should have pro-poor aspects built into them.
- They should be a component of a comprehensive mix of regulatory and other measures and not a stand alone approach.
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Investment in ecosystem conservation tends to be biased as investment decisions are based on costs and benefits; and more often than not benefits of ecosystem conservation remain undervalued. Recently however, investment in the conservation and management of mangrove ecosystems is increasingly being seen as a key element of sustainable livelihoods and economies, vulnerability reduction and disaster management. For the coastal poor in developing countries as well as the managers of mangrove ecosystems, the value in maintaining them is perhaps not surprising. Local users have long recognized the ecological functions and socio-economic values of mangroves to their lives and livelihoods. Mangrove ecosystems are highly productive areas contributing to the food chains of many species. Mangrove forests are therefore critical components of the ecosystem in that they provide complex habitat structure for numerous juvenile fish species. Overall the awareness about the ecological functions and values of mangrove ecosystems remain low among decision-makers. There is therefore, clearly a need to assess, calculate and share information on the economic values associated with mangroves – and the economic benefits of managing them wisely in the future.
The purpose of my study was first to look into different scenarios and quantify the economic and livelihood impacts on both upstream and downstream actors under these scenarios. Secondly, come up with the design of a payment/compensation scheme that would serve the interest of both buyers and sellers.
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