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Increasing resilience and adaptive capacity of the coastal and marine ecosystem through technical and CEPA workshops in the Coral Triangle Countries

Jakarta, Indonesia 
2-4 July 2019


Coastal and marine ecosystems play an important role in providing natural resources and cultural services. Climate change, however, can undermine these ecosystems and their services. Therefore, maintaining these ecosystems functions in a healthy condition is a prerequisite to secure livelihoods and increase the resilience of the coastal communities.  

Coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrass are known as blue carbon sinks – they can transfer and store carbon in their sediments and plants at greater rates than terrestrial forests. The stored carbon will, however, be released to the atmosphere when these ecosystems are disturbed, which is why these coastal ecosystems are a crucial part of the Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Strategies for the Coral Triangle (CT) countries.

Acknowledging the importance of the coastal and marine ecosystems in climate change strategies, Indonesia proposed to host the Workshop on ‘Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in the CT Countries: Increasing Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystem through Technical and CEPA (Communication, Education and Public Awareness)’ to bring together CT country delegates and technical experts to build a network and enhance their knowledge to raise climate action for coastal conservation and adaptation. The workshop built on the discussions from the 2017 Blue Carbon training held in Batangas, Philippines.

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Participants engaging in the workshop

The programme aimed to address the gaps in knowledge in incorporating ecosystem-based adaptation into the CCA Strategies of the CT countries. Relevant theoretical concepts were selected to strengthen the baseline of the strategies, and best practices were incorporated to inform decision-making. Technical information was also provided, especially on governance aspects and lessons learned to facilitate the development of a CCA framework and network in the CT region. Furthermore, CEPA is needed to help individuals work together to spread information, knowledge, values, and goals.

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Workshop participants gather for a group photo

The Malaysian delegation to the meeting included representatives from the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Malaysian National Hydraulic Research Institute (NAHRIM), and MIMA. MIMA was represented by Cheryl Rita Kaur, Centre Head for the Coastal and Marine Environment (CMER) who also provided an update on blue carbon policy, its gaps in strategy, and ways forward.

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Malaysian representatives updating the workshop on the status, challenges, and plans ahead on blue carbon policy

The workshop also included a group discussion among the CT countries and a site visit, in order to engage with the local community and better understand the issues and challenges in protecting and managing coastal ecosystems.

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The group discussion focused on specific outcomes from objectives of the workshop

Overall, the programme assisted in improving the understanding of an ecosystem-based adaptation concept in the CT region, the shared knowledge on CCA strategies and network to achieve the Regional Plan of Action (RPOA). It also improved on participants’ skills on assessing vulnerabilities and selecting adaptation measures, including the concept and policy framework model for CCA, ecosystem-based adaptation and management, and CEPA strategy on CCA for the region.

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Field visit activities include engaging with local communities and observing on-the-ground experiences

MIMA will continue to contribute to meaningful engagements to address policy needs and gaps on climate change, especially those involving coastal ecosystems protection and management under Goal 4 of the CT programme.

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