GLORIA - Global Learning Opportunities for Regional Indian ocean Adaptation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Tasmania
Department Name: Inst of Antarctic and Southern Ocean

Abstract

The oceans are not warming evenly and those areas that are warming fastest are becoming the world's natural laboratories for research to increase scientific understanding, knowledge and tools to allow us to adapt wisely, efficiently and effectively in order to meet the challenges of a warming environment. Such 'hotspots' occur in all regions of the globe, from polar to tropical, and affect developed and developing countries. However, poor coastal communities in low-income countries are those where the impact will be felt most acutely, and where impacts of climate change are most likely to exacerbate existing inequalities and social tension.
There are no simple, conventional solutions to addressing adaptation to climate change in poor communities. Practical experience and scientific information from these areas is limited and there is an urgent need to improve and test the theories that underpins existing efforts. This project will develop an innovative rapid approach to integrate and apply global scientific and local information and knowledge. The approach will be applied in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries affected by a marine hotspot and will work as a case study for applying to other global hotspots. At its core is an expert workshop, which will bring together a multi-disciplinary team of world-leading researchers with experience from climate change adaptation on the larger, global-scale, regional experts and specialists with detailed knowledge of the hotspot area, and community representatives who can provide a rich local understanding, knowledge and context. Together they will identify key areas of environmental change and their likely consequences for local populations. They will explore adaptive solutions, develop recommendations for future action to minimize societal impacts on low-income communities in the hotspot region, and most use experiences and information from this participatory process to develop and test current theories for developing climate change adaptation strategies. The scientific insights generated by the research will be included in a synthesis paper, and in dissemination/awareness materials targeting the local audience.

While this project will not be able to test current theories by implementation, it will provide a valuable opportunity for intensive discussion and exchange on adaptive solutions between experts in the theory and coastal stakeholders who are intimately familiar with their own circumstances and needs. The outcomes from the project will therefore enrich current understanding of adaptation and adaptive capacity and generate proposals for revising it where necessary.

Planned Impact

GLORIA will deliver a variety of model outputs, from climate change projections through fishery recruitment; ecological assets and ecosystem services; to output from socio-environmental models for increasing food security. Spatially referenced information includes model output, a consolidation of environmental and socio-economic information (including local perceptions), supported by methodologies to develop new models, elicit input from local groups, and engaging these in activities to explore, design and implement adaptation options. GLORIA will enrich current understanding of adaptation and adaptive capacity, and thus benefit stakeholders at international, regional national and local levels.
Internationally GLORIA can inform policy implementation of intergovernmental organisations involved in planning and supporting sustainable development, food security and climate change adaptation programmes (UNESCO-IOC, UNEP, UNDP, FAO, GEF). For example, phase 2 of the UNDP International Waters Project, Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (ASCLME) Project will be launched in 2015. SAPPHIRE aims to enhance ocean governance and will directly benefit from GLORIA research, allowing a focused approach to planning and implementation of climate change adaptation options. The research will also benefit international humanitarian and environmental NGOs working with local communities in developing nations to alleviate poverty and prevent degradation of ecosystem services.
In the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region GLORIA will be a catalyst in the planning process for the new African Centre for Capacity Development in Ocean Governance (AfriCOG), a partnership of international bodies and individual specialists facilitating training and capacity development. The research builds both on information from Madagascar and empirical analyses from other coastal countries and island states (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritus). Outputs will therefore be relevant efforts by these countries to plan and implement measures to safeguard ecosystem services, alleviate poverty, and adapt to climate change for similar coastal communities. Beneficiaries also include the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), which works towards integrated development of the region and sees food security as a priority area; and the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC), which promotes sustainable utilization of living marine resource, taking due account of environmental, social and economic concerns. The research will also be of interest to the NEPAD Agency, the technical body of the African Union, which includes climate change and natural resource management one of its thematic areas. Outputs can also inform the emerging Science-Policy dialogue fostered in the Nairobi Convention.
GLORIA will benefit the project partner, SAGE, and be of recognized value to the Madagascar Government (see letters of support). Stakeholders at the workshop include Madagascar Fisheries Service officers representing Fisheries, Aquaculture, Control and Surveillance; representatives of Regione Atsimo Andrefana; community associations such as Projet d'Appui aux Communautes de Pecheurs (PACP); local fisher organisations and fishers acting as tour operators to supplement their income; locally Managed Marine Area networks such as Velondriake (http://velondriake.org) where community groups work with NGO and research partners to promote sustainable livelihoods, and Association sur Nosy Be, which provides community-based marine ecotourism in the cultural resort and barrier reef marine reserve; regional tourism officers and organisations such as WWF Madagascar, Tany Meva (national foundation to support local communities), and 'Blue Ventures', a charity supporting sustainable development, food security and poverty alleviation. These will benefit from discussions at the workshop, information syntheses, outline of adaptation options, and tools to support local decision-making processes.

Publications

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Description The Primary Investigator Kevern Cochrane has reported on this projects findings.
Exploitation Route The Primary Investigator Kevern Cochrane has reported on this projects findings.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Other