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Regional report
Report of the third Regional Advisory Committee
Wednesday 19 November 2003, by Web Team

Session VII: Priorities for the regional component for 2003/2004

The Regional Coordinator presented an outline of the proposed strategy that the RCU could be following over the next 12/18 months and continued with a proposed draft work plan of activities. Her full presentation is attached in Annex 21(en français).

The strategy would involve a focus on:

- Community development, incl. livelihood alternatives
- National strategy and policy making : working towards ’integration’
- Working towards implementation of the management plans: support to identification of arrangements to put in place (institutional arrangements, financial sustainability, capacity building of local authorities, investments, etc.)
- integrated ecosystem approach to the management of the sites: looking beyond the fences!
- Support to enhancing sustainability aspects of the project (at site, national and regional level)
- Increased regional networking and information sharing, with a special emphasis on use of the website, as a tool
- ... and preparation for a) anchoring the project in the national and regional policy efforts and b) ensuring continuation of some of the functions of the regional component, including transfer of functions, as appropriate.

The proposed activities are:

Output 1.2 - Provide technical support on wetland and coastal components to the national projects

Act. 1.2.6: assist national project team in planning and implementing the innovative aspects of the project concerning institutional change

With emphasis on community development and socio-economic needs:
- Focused Short term technical assistance showing examples
- Encourage the set up of a network of national/Med experts
- Building on national efforts, consolidate a common approach and, collectively, consider ways to secure additional support (incl. possible development of a regional proposal that would associate training of stakeholders, identification of options and opportunities, small grants, and micro-credit schemes)
- Publication (guidelines)?

With emphasis on implementation of the tools developed / sustainability:
- Technical support to the countries for a) result-based approach, b) identification of implementation mechanisms and b) development of recommendations into concrete proposals

Output 2.1: Organise exchange of technical knowledge and information on regional experience

Site/local level:
- Regional seminar/training for site managers (focus: best practice in PA Management). Potential partners: IUCN, MedWet (also crossed with Act. 2.3.2)
- country-located seminar of local authorities with emphasis on economic value of the sites. Potential partners: MWC countries, CdL, TdV, MedWet, IUCN (also crossed with Act 2.3.2)

National level:
- Regional seminar on National Wetlands strategy/policy (tent. January 2004)
- Regional seminar on best practices in ICZM. Potential partners: MAP-PAP/RAC and CdL (CdL also underscoring the land tenure issues)
- (training on bio-physical monitoring: collaboration with TAIB for further participation of MWC experts to the training)
- Regional seminar on best practice and sharing of experience in fostering community development and integrating socio-economic needs of the local actors. Partner: WWF?

Ecosystem focus:
- Regional seminar on management and monitoring of laguna ecosystems Potential partner: TdV Laguna programme

Output 2.2 Preparation of documentation
- Publications on ICZM (CdL) and Integrated Management of Wetlands (TdV): both in progress (Act. 2.2.2 and 2.2.3)
- Documentation and report of seminars and training activities, guidelines capitalizing on regional training and seminars
- Sharing of reference and best practice documents (also Act. 1.1.2)

Output 2.3 Exchange experience on the management of sites

Act. 2.3.1/2.3.2/2.3.3: Technical assistance to distil and summarise the lessons learned in management of pilot sites and prepare, publish and disseminate results and achievements.

- Technical and professional external peer review of the management plans to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses & lessons learned, and highlight similarities and common concerns, also identifying possible areas of future collaboration

Act. 2.3.4 : updating of website

Output 3.1 Reinforce the capacity of each country/Authority to implement training courses.

- Support the networking of trainers and training opportunities across the projects, including support to updating of the training plans, monitoring of reports, exchange of best practices and training reports and fostering more ’horizontal’ and bilateral exchanges. Potential partner: ATEN
- With national project funding, facilitate the scheduling of in-country ’training of trainers’ workshop for preparation of Management Plans (on the model of the Amman workshop)

The presentation was supplemented by inputs from Mr. Bouameur Mahi on the communication side. He emphasized the degree of use and visits to the web site and the new tools that are being developed and included in the site for enhancing greater sharing across the network. His presentation is attached as Annex 22. It was further detailed by Mr. Jean Jalbert highlighting the proposed support from TdV towards implementation of a number of proposed activities of the regional component. His presentation is attached as Annex 23.

Mr. Bougeant further highlighted the proposed collaboration and support that CdL could extend, including:
- collaboration on enabling capacity building and sensitizing of local authorities
- publication: working on a practical guide book on CZM
- support to associating the MWC project to the efforts of PAP-RAC in furthering regional policy and legislative cooperation in the Mediterranean. He further reiterated that the CdL is available and interested to extend specific assistance to the respective countries as per their priority needs and concerns.

Mr. Thevenin offered a presentation on ways for ATEN to support activities of the regional component. Assistance would center around the facilitation of the network of training Focal Points. His presentation is attached as Annex 24.

Mr. Du Castel highlighted a number of priority elements:
1) In terms of urgency, one would need to identify who would be able to assume some of the regional coordinating/networking functions. A number of options have been voiced: e.g. transfer to existing regional networks, ownership by the countries of some of the functions.
2) The implementation of recommendations identified in the Management Plans.

Ms. Al Khatib suggested that, as a contribution to the communication effort, an electronic forum of ’community of practice’ be set up that would include the 25 countries and invited to further reviewed this with the UNDP Lebanon and UNDP SURF offices. She also suggested to explore the possibility of ’virtual’ seminars. Finally, with regards to Lebanon, she requested that due consideration be given to ensure that Lebanon be technically backstopped upon the completion of the regional project and that this function should be taken into account. Finally, she questioned whether the donors would be willing to consider a second tranche of financing.

Mr. Daraghma suggested that efforts be made to maximize synergies with other regional partners. He further invited the meeting to help by guiding the prioritization of the interventions of the regional component. He presented his hopes that, by the end of 2004, all of the objectives would have been reached. He also supported the emphasis on sustainable livelihood. In the context of budget allocation, he invited the national components to consider allocating sufficient resources to community development. He underscored the positive experience that has been demonstrated in the case studies presented and encouraged, on that basis, further efforts in this area, also linking with private sector, micro enterprises and NGOs.

Mr. Slaoui referred back to the presentation of the regional component. He confirmed that all of the items presented are all important and must be prioritized. He asked that time be given to reflect on the proposals and convey feedback in a short time, i.e. 10 days. Referring to the earlier recommendation that increased focus be given onto community development issues, he confirmed to the meeting that, in the case of Morocco, the project is in the process of being revisited to take account of these new priorities. He also agreed that reflecting on the transfer of the RCU activities and functions must be considered right away.

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