MiCOAST, Micronesian Community-based Fisheries Management as a Nature-based Solution for COASTal Resilience
OneReef WorldWide Stewardship
Amount of funding:
4 903 822€
Public institution/organization - International NGO - Local NGO and community network
Type of NbS:
Management / Protection of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems - Restoration / Rehabilitation of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems - Preservation of functional agricultural & forest ecosystems
Food security - Socio-economic resilience - Risk reduction - Biodiversity conservation
Pacific Island communities heavily rely on the ocean for their way of life, including their livelihoods, culture, and overall well-being. Coastal fisheries in this region are crucial for food security, sustaining local economies, promoting social well-being, improving health, and preserving cultural heritage. However, these fisheries are currently facing significant threats. Many areas of Micronesia are experiencing either full utilization or over-exploitation of fishery resources. These resources are widely impacted by unsustainable harvesting, degradation of habitats, pollution from land-based sources, and the increasing effects of climate change. To address these issues, Pacific Island government fisheries agencies have endorsed the Pacific Framework for Action for Scaling up Community-based Fisheries Management (2021-2025). The MiCOAST project will contribute to the implementation of the Framework at twelve sites in six Micronesian jurisdictions by enhancing the sustainability and resiliency of coastal fisheries, thereby safeguarding the well-being of local communities and their reliance on valuable marine resources.
The MiCOAST project aims to address the scaling-up challenge of community-based fisheries management (CBFM) in Micronesia by engaging stakeholders, empowering communities, employing inclusive approaches, and facilitating effective networking and mainstreaming. MiCOAST will mobilize coastal fishing communities, non-state actors, and traditional and state authorities in the Marshall Islands, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia (Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Yap States), and Palau to collaboratively design and support climate-resilient measures and CBFM improvements. These improvements in fisheries management will be articulated within a Nature-based Solution (NbS) framework and well-aligned to support existing local, national, regional and international public policy.
The MiCOAST project's primary objective is to support the implementation of the Pacific Framework for Action on CBFM in Micronesia within the context of a NbS methodology. This will be achieved by providing CBFM/NbS assistance and guidance to organizations, authorities and their staff who directly support and work with fishing communities – and by leveraging the collective effort and expertise of CBFM practitioners, scientists, resource management agencies, and other stakeholders and support networks across the region. Precisely, the project will directly underpin implementation of the Pacific CBFM Framework for Action in Micronesia through: 1) incorporating aligned, climate-smart CBFM enhancements into the context of NbS interventions, and 2) setting and/or strengthening the foundation for scaling-out and scaling-up of these combined CBFM/NbS actions through effective implementation, networking, sharing, and promotion – carried out with meaningful involvement of fishing communities, local civil society, government authorities and relevant stakeholders.
By employing a NbS framework, the project seeks to address climate adaptation, food security, and ecosystem & biodiversity maintenance through community-based fishery management in Micronesia. Through collaboration with multiple stakeholders and the implementation of CBFM approaches at 12 (twelve) sites of various scales and settings across the region, the project aims to demonstrate and reinforce the benefits of CBFM in the Micronesian context. Coastal communities, supported by partners, will apply the IUCN Global Standards for Nature-based Solution methodology to design, document, assess, improve, and share experiences of CBFM interventions. These interventions will prioritize scale, good governance, financial effectiveness, adaptation, sustainability, maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and mainstreaming at appropriate levels to ensure the long-term success and resilience of the interventions. The utilization of the NbS framework, along with other recognized standards, will guide the project's actions, enabling the sharing of experiences, lessons learned, and best practices among stakeholders.
Across all sites, the project aims to:
● Engage with local communities and supporting agencies to establish or update community-based fishery management plans considering climate adaptive measures; enhance on-going management actions and compliance of natural resource regulations.
● Assist communities in implementing nature-based solutions (NbS) activities that prioritize biodiversity, ecosystem services, and sustainable practices such as terrestrial stewardship, alternative income generation, revegetation, dry-litter piggery conversion, and small-scale aquaculture.
● Design and support awareness campaigns and behavior-adoption initiatives related to community-based fishery management, climate adaptation, and natural resource management.
● Promote networking, peer-to-peer learning, and information exchange among jurisdictions and regions to enhance community-based fishery management.
● Conduct site self-assessments based on the IUCN NbS Global Standards to improve understanding of management effectiveness and enable adaptive management.
The objective of the project?
Overall Objective: Strengthening the implementation of community-based fisheries management and supporting ecosystem-based interventions as a nature-based solution approach to enhancing climate adaptation and resilience, improving food security, and maintaining ecosystem services and biodiversity within the four Micronesian nations of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.
- Objective 1: CBFM/NbS Actions: Strengthen the implementation of CBFM-related Nature-based Solution (CBMF/NbS) actions at twelve (12) sites in four Micronesian countries.
- Objective 2: Regional Understanding and Capacity in CBFM/NbS: Increase regional capacity to assess the results and outcomes achieved from a range of CBFM/NbS activities and investments
- Objective 3: CBFM/NbS Promotion and Scaling-Up: Establish forums for sharing lessons on, increasing understanding of, and promoting the integration of CBFM/NbS within relevant local, national, and regional policy discussions and plans.
Reduction of gender discriminations
Throughout the MiCOAST project, gender equity and inclusion of vulnerable groups are integrated within CBFM activities and NbS interventions. It is important to recognize the unique socio-cultural dynamics that will inform CBFM and NbS intervention approaches taken by individual communities. Each community’s experiences with gender inequality and vision for equality are historically and culturally specific, while also fitting larger regional and global patterns. The shift from a traditional subsistent/barter economy to a contemporary capitalist system has transformed and, in many cases, displaced men and women from engaging in traditional roles and responsibilities. The new socio-cultural structures in Micronesia have created vulnerabilities for men, women, elders, youth, and other community groupings.
To address these issues, MiCOAST project partners will collaborate with communities and stakeholders, ensuring the integration of culturally appropriate approaches in fisheries management and NbS activities. Project activities will be inclusive-responsive, considering the diverse needs and roles.
For each location, a gender and inclusion analysis will be conducted, building upon existing gender analyses and assessing governmental commitments related to equality and equity in the fisheries sector. Inclusion and Engagement Plans will be developed, considering gender and inclusion issues throughout the project. Project partners will be trained to incorporate gender and inclusion considerations at all stages, and sex-disaggregated data will be collected to ensure accurate representation where appropriate. The project will actively involve and encourage women's participation by addressing barriers and implementing mitigation measures. Efforts will also be made to engage a full diversity of groups, highlighting the value of underrepresented perspectives and their contributions to civil society, fisheries management, climate adaptation, and NbS.
By prioritizing gender equity and inclusion, the MiCOAST project aims to create a more inclusive and equal environment, empowering marginalized groups and ensuring their meaningful participation in decision-making processes related to fisheries management and climate adaptation.
Historically, the focus of coastal fishery management policy in the Pacific has been on development – such as increasing production, introducing mariculture techniques, and improving marketing. Recent years have witnessed a shift towards more conservative and collaborative strategies, with the inclusion of fishers and communities as key stakeholders and drivers of management approaches. This includes the furtherance and co-design of local management regimes, marine protected/regulated areas, protected areas networks, monitoring/management methods for data-poor settings, and ecosystem-based approaches.
Moreover, a growing emphasis is on providing practical and culturally-relevant guidance that can be easily understood, and involving fishers and other stakeholders in the co-development and implementation of fisheries rules. Pacific Island nations have a rich history of community participatory governance, traditional/local knowledge, and implementing inclusive, community-driven management measures, like locally managed marine areas (LMMAs) and rules for regulating species and gear. These initiatives have proven to be successful and supportive of long-term management and conservation efforts in the region in many circumstances.
Coastal fishery resources in the Pacific face a range of challenges, including declining fish stocks, compliance issues, habitat degradation, pollution, and the increasing threats of climate change. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, government fisheries agencies in the Pacific Islands collectively endorsed a policy framework to support community-based fisheries management (CBFM) throughout the region. The Pacific Framework for Action for Scaling up Community-based Fisheries Management (2021-2025) outlines specific responses necessary to ensure the continued health and productivity of coastal fisheries and the well-being of the communities that depend on them. The Framework underscores the critical need to rapidly replicate and expand successful approaches in order to address the diverse challenges facing coastal fishery resources. The MiCOAST project's primary objective is to support the implementation of the Pacific CBFM Framework in Micronesia within the context of a NbS approach.