CMPA organizes panel discussion on capacity building during INSEE Conference

09 Nov, 2017

The Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE) organised its 9th Biennial Conference in Thrissur, Kerala, on November 8-10, 2017. The conference provided a forum for dialogue among scholars, practitioners and policy analysts from various disciplines, particularly economics and ecological sciences. It covered a wide range of issues of national and international interests, such as climate change, natural resources, energy, waste, ecosystem services and valuation. Over 150 participants attended the three-day conference.

The CMPA Project was invited to organize a session and panel discussion on “Strengthening capacities for coastal and marine biodiversity management”. The session focused on presenting the CMPA project’s achievements in implementing multi-level approaches of capacity development that included the national, state and site level managers and administrators of coastal and marine protected areas, coastal communities, and journalists.

Dr. Neeraj Khera showed how the CMPA Project had used a thorough capacity needs assessment to have curricula and corresponding training material developed for specific audiences, such as forest, media, fisheries, and science teachers of higher education institutions. Participants at the event learned that Indian training institutions were engaged throughout in planning and implementation, thus ensuring a smooth integration into existing training management systems, which the CMPA project considers a key factor for the sustainability of this capacity development approach.

Dr. Aaron Lobo presented an example of how the CMPA Project facilitated the collaboration in Goa between local communities, Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) and a Goa-based research institution with the aim to strengthen the competences of the BMC to establish the legally required Peoples’ Biodiversity Registers (PBR). By combining local knowledge with scientific verification processes, using an approach conducive to the villagers’ understanding of their environment, PBRs can be established that satisfy scientific robustness and ensure the community’s full involvement.

The ensuing discussions moderated by Ravindra Singh, GIZ, centred on questions related to scientific inputs, knowledge and support available to site managers and coastal communities for the management and conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity. The expert panellist and participants felt that while the interface between science and policy attracts lot of attention, much needs to be done towards providing scientific inputs required for conservation management at the site level. The CMPA project’s contributions towards strengthening the capacities of site managers and communities were appreciated as it would help them understand and use appropriate scientific knowledge in the management, conservation, and monitoring of coastal and marine resources.