Advanced Training Program on “Sustainable Management of Coastal Ecosystems - Batch II” 25 Sep – 04 Oct 2016

Coastal zones and coastal communities worldwide are under an overwhelming pressure from the present population growth rate, development and increased exploitation of non-renewable resources (e.g., natural buffers like Mangrove forests) which has led to depletion of their functions and values to the coastal ecosystems and the community as a whole. About 40-50% of the world’s populations live in coastal areas depending largely on the coastal biodiversity and ecosystems for their livelihoods. Unfortunately, many such areas are presently facing intensified pressures from human activities and overarching threats from global climate changes. Most of the coastal areas around the world have been reported to be damaged from pollution, economic expansion, over exploitation of resources and massive land utilization. Significant deforestation of mangroves and disappearance of coastal wetlands have led to the deterioration of coastal ecosystems which serve as nursery grounds for juvenile aquatic animals, and host a diverse array of fauna and flora. As a result, sustainable coastal community development and ecosystem management have become an integral part of coastal zone management programs/projects in local development plans for coastal states or districts in many parts of the world.

Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) is a dynamic, multidisciplinary and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal areas including coastal cities, ports, and important tourist destinations. ICM encourages planning and sustainable management of marine, coastal and small islands resources including habitats protection through land-use planning, habitat restoration, and national and local permitting programs that regulate development impacts to those habitats and resources. ICM has also been used and applied to address coastal protection issues including waste management and coastal erosion management.

In Thailand, there has been widespread damage on coastal habitats largely due to rapid economic expansion, coastal development projects for tourism and lack of planning for efficiency and potential of coastal resources exploitation. The government in partnership with international conservation agencies has made efforts to address these issues. There are a number of successful or working case studies/projects that can serve as valuable examples for countries facing similar issues. Sri Lanka is one of such countries which can benefit from these examples and adapt them to the local context.

 This Advanced Training Program on “Sustainable Management of Coastal Ecosystems – Batch II” will be organized by AIT Extension of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand with the aim to:

  1. Expose participants to the recent trends and challenges in coastal protection, coastal ecosystems and coastal community management in Asia,
  2. Give them an understanding of the critical bio-physical processes of coastal ecosystems, their services and the adaptation strategies important for addressing coastal protection and climate induced sea level rise, coastal resources management issues, and
  3. Provide participants with an understanding of the policies, strategies and management plan initiated by the government of Thailand for coastal resource management and sustainable livelihoods.

 

 

 The above broad objectives will be achieved through:

  1. Short Technical Input Sessions on coastal ecosystems processes, coastal erosion management, and integrated and sustainable planning and management for coastal ecosystems services
  2. Seminars and Discussion with the government organizations, research institutions, project sites which will include sharing of case studies/project, strategies and successful efforts towards sustainable coastal communities and coastal resources management
  3. Group/Individual Action Plan (GAP/IAP) which will be developed by the participants based on the lessons learnt during the entire program. The GAP/IAP will be presented at the end of the program to a panel, comprising academics and practitioners in coastal resource management.
 

 

It is expected that at the end of these programs, participants will have updated knowledge and insights on sustainable coastal community and coastal resources management that can be adopted and applied in Sri Lanka.