GLORIA - Global Learning Opportunities for Regional Indian ocean Adaptation

Lead Research Organisation: Rhodes University
Department Name: Ichthyology and Fisheries Science


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 ( 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.
Description The workshop conclusions and recommendations are presented in the workshop report. They consist of a long list broken into the following categories: vulnerability assessment methodology; recommendations for future research; major challenges caused by climate change facing coastal communities; options for adaptation; and recommendations for an action plan (related to climate change risks and threats facing Malagasy coastal communities and options for adaptation).
Exploitation Route The project was aimed at developing methods, including adaptation of existing methods where appropriate, to assist Malagasy stakeholders in the assessment of the vulnerability to climate impacts of coastal communities dependent on fishing and to identify adaptation options to increase community resilience. The methods developed and insights gained will also be relevant to other countries and communities in the western Indian Ocean. The workshop was a partnership between local stakeholders and international teams, both of which will be in a position to take the lessons learned forward in their future activities. The workshop report, and other publications that will be prepared during 2017, will also allow the findings to be taken forward by other individuals and groups that were not involved in the project.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

Description The design and organization of the workshop was a collaborative effort between the GLORIA international team, WWF Madagascar and IH.SM, with some input from Blue Ventures. The workshop addressed the geographical areas of the north and south of the western side on Madagascar with the following objectives: to identify major challenges caused by climate change facing coastal communities that depend on the sea; to help to identify options for adaptation to the climate challenges; to develop effective communication strategies to ensure that suggested adaptation options are valid and acceptable to stakeholders; to develop recommendations for an action plan for effective use of limited public resources to facilitate adaptation; and collectively to make recommendations for priorities for future research on marine hotspots. The objectives were achieved and the outputs are contained in the workshop report. WWF Madagascar is particularly active in vulnerability assessment and adaptation to climate and other environmental threats to coastal communities and ecosystems in Madagascar. As the primary local partner in the project, the organization has benefited from the insights gained and recommendations from the workshop. Other stakeholders, including local and national government agencies also participated and will have gained additional skills and ideas that will assist them in fulfilling their mandates.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

Description GLORIA influence on local stakeholders
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact 17 Malagasy institutions took part in the GLORIA workshop. They included NGOs, CSOs and local and national governmental institutions. They engaged actively in the workshop, interacting with each other and with the international team members. These interactions and the workshop activities in general helped to reinforce inter-institutional cooperation in Madagascar and provided tools and approaches that will help them in fulfilling their mandates.
Description Collaboration with Blue Ventures on GLORIA project 
Organisation Blue Ventures
Department Madagascar office
Country Madagascar 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The GLORIA project will contribute through generation of new knowledge and local capacity building to the initiatives being undertaken by Blue Ventures.
Collaborator Contribution Blue Ventures is contributing to the planning of the GLORIA workshop and will participate in its implementation. GLORIA is also benefitting from published papers, reports and other information generated by BV that is directly relevant to the project.
Impact No outputs or outcomes have been generated as yet.
Start Year 2015
Description Collaboration with WWF Madagascar on GLORIA project 
Organisation World Wide Fund for Nature
Department Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean
Country Madagascar 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The GLORIA project was undertaken in collaboration with WWF Madagascar and contributed significantly to strengthen their own work in climate change.
Collaborator Contribution WWF Madagascar provided invaluable assistance in planning and implementation of the GLORIA workshop. It effectively made and managed the local arrangements and logistics and facilitated bringing a good cross-section of stakeholders to the workshop. A formal letter of agreement was drawn-up for the local arrangements, which included transferring funds from the GLORIA project required for local arrangements to WWF Madagascar. The organization satisfactorily executed the tasks requested of them and returned unused funds to Rhodes University. The LOA has now been closed. GLORIA and the workshop as a whole also benefitted from reports and other information generated by WWF Madagascar that is directly relevant to the project.
Impact WWF Madagascar participated in the GLORIA workshop. Harisoa Rakotondrazafy of WWF is the second author of the workshop report (see publications).
Start Year 2015
Description IH-SM 
Organisation University of Toliara
Department Fisheries and Marine Sciences Institute
Country Madagascar 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The GLORIA team contributed to this partnership through the organization and holding of the GLORIA workshop, which provided IH-SM with the opportunity both to discuss their own work with other organizations working on climate change in Madagascar and to benefit from the inputs and ideas of others.
Collaborator Contribution IH-SM provided considerable assistance in the organization of the workshop and, in particular, in assisting the social team to undertake surveys of Malagasy fishing communities in the south west of Madagascar immediately prior to the workshop.
Impact The GLORIA workshop report, listed under publications, is the primary output from this collaboration. Two members of IH-SM are co-authors of the report.
Start Year 2016
Description Education workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact In addition to the main workshop held in Toliara, a separate education workshop was held in the coastal city of Toliara on 14 June 2016. There were 25 participants. It included the following: to provide experiences with research-based teaching and learning strategies and hands-on activities for communicating ocean and climate science to diverse audiences; discussion of ocean and climate literacy needs; designing a learning experience; and discussion of effective learning and teaching. The workshop was successful and the feedback was positive. After the workshop, participants reported that they were inspired to include more ocean and climate related effective teaching and use the materials provided.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
Description GLORIA workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop held in June 2016 in Antananarivo was the core activity of the GLORIA project and brought together 49 participants from 17 local institutions and seven international institutions. The workshop focused on knowledge exchange, capacity building and introductions to new approaches.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016