Integrated Ecosystem Management project comprises of activities and tasks that aim to improve the resilience of societies to the threats posed to coastal habitats, fisheries resources, and freshwater ecosystems by rapid population growth, human activity, and climate change, through integrated solutions that apply ‘ridge to reef’ approach
Key activities undertaken in this project include the listed (counting from 2013):
1 Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystem Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (IWEco).
This GEF funded project will support integrated watershed management and coastal zone management activities in several countries in the eastern and central Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Bahamas. The goal of the project is to enhance ecosystem services and their contribution to sustainable socio-economic development in the Caribbean through integrated management of water, land and biological resources. Beginning early in 2016, UNU-INWEH will participate in research and capacity building programs in the Caribbean countries involved in this project.The co- implementing agencies are UNEP and UNDP and the co-executing agencies are the Caribbean regional office of UNEP in Jamaica (UNEP Car/RCU) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in St. Lucia. The inception workshop of the IWEco project occurred in Kingston, Jamaica from September 20-22, 2016. At the inception workshop, UNU-INWEH was clearly identified as project partner, with the capacity to make contributions to the project in research, monitoring and capacity building. As the project develops, we anticipate becoming involved in these activities through projects initiated at the national level in the partner countries, or at the regional level.
2 Coastal Cities as Sustainable Economic Hubs
Partnering with IUCN ‘Resilient Coasts Initiative’ for a national level study in Mozambique (starting early mid 2016) for strengthening the resilience of coastal socio-ecological systems in the WIO (Western Indian Ocean Region. The aim of this initiative is to addresses the high level of vulnerability of ecosystems and livelihoods using a “resilience framework” that integrates four components: (i) Ecological and Social Diversity, (ii) Innovative and sustainable infrastructure and technology, (iii) Equitable and resilient governance systems, and (iv) Data and information synthesis to facilitate adaptive management for coastal communities. In the second quarter of 2016, a master student from Faculty of Science, Radboud University Nijmegen-The Netherlands completed her thesis entitled ‘Sustainable use of marine ecosystem services in Inhambane, Mozambique – Identifying Problems and Proposing Solutions’- working at UNU INWEH, Canada and in close association with the project managers
3 Another demand based activity includes examination of the effectiveness of dams in recharging groundwater aquifers on the request of the Government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) to assess existing water harvesting techniques and review available alternative methods. The project relied on participatory evaluation techniques, involving local communities, in order to assess the impact of water utilized for irrigation as well as flood and erosion control measures. A systematic inventory of recharge dams was prepared for 15 study sites. During early 2013, field implementation of the research findings was undertaken and 9 recharge wells were installed in number of the dams covered by the UNU-INWEH study. The UNU-INWEH expert team observed during 2014 the performance of these recharge wells against the field condition during the rainy period. Subject to the tenure, this activity was concluded by 31st March 2016.