Fishing for Climate Resilience: Empowering vulnerable, fisheries dependent communities adopt ecosystem-based-adaptation measures to secure food and livelihoods

Healthy coastal ecosystems are critical to ecological, social, and economic resilience of local communities. The alignment of the small-scale fishery sector with sustainable natural re-source management and climate change adaptation plans was needed to protect ecosystem integrity. Across five target countries, the project enhanced coastal resilience while restoring critical habitat. Small-Scale Fishers were empowered to identify and adopt Ecosystem-based-Adaptation measures. Instructing local leaders in behavioural change methodology and technical trainings ensured that capacity stays within the communities and enables replication. By supporting climate resilient microenterprises in the Philippines and Indonesia through the co-rona response package, the project informed (green) economic recovery and climate plans. Collaboration with partner networks ensured that solutions were mainstreamed into community practices, relevant national strategies, and international processes.

Project data

Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Philippines
IKI funding
5,976,382.00 €
09/2018 till 03/2023
Implementing organisation
Political Partner
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Philippines
  • Department of Resources and Development - Federated States of Micronesia
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)
  • Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) - Indonesia
  • Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism - Palau
  • National Authority for Marine Conservation Areas (MMAF) - Indonesia
  • Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination - Marshall Islands
Implementing Partner
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)

State of implementation/results

  • Project completed.

    • Rare and the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) convened policy makers, civil society and local leaders at UNFCCC COP 27, where project partners committed themselves to scaling Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) approaches in small-scale fisheries.
    • To culminate the project, Rare gathered virtually and in-person almost a hundred participants from the partner countries to share project lessons and experiences. These lessons are part of a project assessment report that Rare will launch during a virtual event hosted by GLISPA on the 24 March 2023.
    Indonesia and Philippines:
    • The governor of Southeast Sulawesi and five municipalities in the Philippines approved climate resilient managed access and reserve (MA+R) areas benefiting nearly 23,000 fishers across 117 coastal communities. Combined, these policy milestones give small-scale fishers the legal basis to access and co-manage 244,754 ha of fishing grounds and 5,439 ha of reserves.
    • Rare and its partner municipalities produced 32 government plans and budgets that support Ecosystem-based adaptation initiatives. These plans contain activities aimed at protecting and restoring managed access fishing grounds and reserves.
    • Rare integrated 40 village-based fishery businesses into the formal economy, obliging them to follow policies upholding blue finance sustainability principles and frameworks. Rare also provided fishers and their families, and microentrepreneurs access to formal financial and social protection services.
    • Rare worked with the Buton District's Village Empowerment Agency and the Legal Division to issue a regulation requiring local leaders to prioritize marine and fishery-related activities in their village funds. The policy enabled 15 villages to allocate $69k for marine protection activities.
    • Rare worked with government partners and communities to create the institutional framework for further managed access areas across the country, including a designated office at the provincial government, trained by Rare, to approve management plans submitted by fisher’s associations. Eight ‘managed access’ fishing areas have been approved thus far.
    • Under the green recovery initiative, several micro entrepreneurs were able to access formal financial services, thus, opening opportunities to sustainably grow and retain economic resilience.
    • Rare and local partners included MA+R interventions in 17 local government annual investment plans. About USD $3M were allocated for MA+R establishment, support for community enforcers, mangrove replanting, and ecological waste management, among other activities.
    • Rare worked with national government partners to include EbA measures in critical plans and policies. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government released a policy recommending a ‘Model Fisheries Ordinance’, which provides for fisheries management measures to be adopted by local governments. EbA measures were also included in the five-year development and COVID recovery plan of BFAR.
    • Together with the Bureau of Marine Resources, Rare developed a national fisher registration system that gathers relevant information on fishers, gear, and licensing. This information will help fishery managers to produce data-driven decisions on their marine resources. Policy pathways for implementing the fisher registration system were also identified.
    Federated States of Micronesia:
    • Rare’s partner, Micronesia Conservation Trust, was able to include nature-based solutions as a priority in the revised Pohnpei Climate Action Act.
    • Local officials in three municipalities supported recommended expansion of their marine reserve areas. These recommendations will be shared to the State government as inputs to the Pohnpei Protected Area Network bill currently being updated.

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