Sustainability within the MedWetCoast Project
September 2002, by Web Team
Objectives of report
At the mid-point of the five-year MedWetCoast project, the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) is seeking to address a recommendation of the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC). At its last meeting in April 2001 the Advisory Committee asked « to ensure as of this date the sustainability of the efforts developed within the MedWetCoast after its completion » (Report of the First Regional Advisory Committee, Rabat - Morocco, 10-12 April 2001, para. 4.2). The present report suggests a strategy to the RFU about how to achieve this.
The RAC request is interpreted to mean that certain actions within the project should be continued after the end of the project in order to achieve the project objective: to conserve wetland and coastal biodiversity of global and regional importance in 6 countries/Authority in the Mediterranean basin. The Mid-Term Evaluation, due towards the end of the year, will judge more thoroughly whether or not specific project efforts are contributing to the objective ; that judgement is not made here.
Scope and approach of report
The approach chosen is to identify actions which are likely to continue and those which are not (Chapter 2) and consider what might be needed to manage both those eventualities in the light of sustainability (Chapter 3) and, second, to test the project actions against a check-list for sustainability provided mainly by a GEF monitoring and evaluation study (Chapter 3). Ideas for strengthening existing activities and for new activities are offered where they seem to be needed within the framework of the aims, activities, institutions and human and financial resources of the project. In fact, the project already includes many of the measures thought to support the achievement of sustainability so the report tends to suggest activities for enhancement and strengthening.
During preparation of the report there was the opportunity for a brief visit to one country (Tunisia) and to one site (of three) in the country. While questions were asked of the RFU staff about local and national level activities and relevant reports consulted, discussion of and proposals for the local and national levels of the project can only be theoretical. It would be necessary for project actors at those levels to check them and, again, to take advantage of the findings of the Mid-Term Evaluation. Access to the staff of the RFU and the project partners (MedWet, Conservatoire du Littoral, Tour du Valat, GEF/UNDP and the Regional Facilitator) was, on the other hand, easy and they were very helpful in providing documents, ideas and in answering questions. Regional level proposals and observations are therefore more robust than at the local and national levels.
Structure of the report
An overview of project actions and structures at regional, national and local levels, is presented in order to identify which actions are likely to continue after the end of the project and which will not. With that general picture in mind, the following section then checks the project elements against a range of actions which are thought to assist in achieving sustainability and makes some suggestions about how to implement them. The main lines of action are presented in a matrix. The matrix should be treated as the first step in an iterative process which will gather the views of a range of stakeholders and will be gradually filled out with more detail and an implementation schedule and costings attached to result in a Sustainability Action Plan. Conclusions then lay out what are felt to be the key drivers underlying sustainability of the actions of the MedWestCoast project.
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