German Federal Environment Ministry promotes climate change mitigation and biodiversity in coastal areas

Old woman drying fish in the sun

Old woman drying fish in Gili Matra on de Indonesian coast. Picture: RARE

The Philippines, Indonesia, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau are characterised by the valuable ecosystems in their coastal and marine areas. But many of these areas are threatened by over-exploitation, environmental degradation and climate change. Therefore, within the context of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), the German Federal Environment Ministry is providing EUR 3.4 million to support a new project in the region.

The nature conservation organisation Rare Inc. is implementing the project in 27 marine and coastal areas, and is drawing on an approach that has already been successfully tested in the region. The project combines awareness-raising campaigns and local training activities with specific technical measures aimed at the development and management of marine protected areas as well as the establishment of exclusive fishing rights for local communities. Among other things, selected 'Conservation Fellows' will receive training from universities on how they can change the attitudes and behaviours of local inhabitants, and mobilise support for environmental protection. The project will then provide advisory support to local partners on conducting corresponding 'Pride Campaigns' themselves within their communities.

The aim is for local communities to independently and actively protect their natural resources and to achieve their own food security through sustainable fishing practices. Rare has already had good experience with these campaigns, which have likewise been initiated in a number of communities in the Philippines, for example, with support from another IKI project. The governments in the partner countries would now like to expand the approach and transfer it to other regions. The new IKI project is making a substantial contribution in this regard.

Island states are particularly threatened by the impacts of climate change, including through rising sea levels and the increasing frequency and intensity of storms. To date, the IKI has supported 26 projects focusing on adaptation to the impacts of climate change and the conservation of biological diversity in the region.