Designing ICM Projects for Sustainability: Lessons from the Philippines and Indonesia

A.T. White, P. Christie, H. D’Agnes, K. Lowryd, N. Milne
Type of Resource: 
Best Practice / Lessons Learned

Integrated coastal management is rapidly expanding in the Philippines and Indonesia because of the urgent need to manage and protect the valuable coastal resources that occur along their extensive and diverse coastlines. In response to this need for coastal resource management, various multinational and bilateral donor projects have and are supporting various forms of coastal management. Although there are many successes in the implementation of these projects at a local scale and in the short term, many lack a full consideration of what is required to become sustainable beyond project life. The recent ‘‘Integrated Coastal Management Sustainability Research Project’’ has revealed valuable insights about what constitutes ‘‘sustainability’’ in coastal management implementation. Implications for project design to improve sustainability from this research effort are highlighted and include among others: (1) need to link management to improved biophysical conditions; (2) important role of stakeholder participation in the decision-making process; (3) contribution to economic returns and livelihood; (4) having adequate legal and policy framework in place; (5) having capacity for law enforcement; (6) building durable institutions beyond leadership changes; (7) role of the private sector in performing tasks; (8) avoiding becoming too dependent on the ‘‘project’’ vs. government functions; and (9) need for education and raising awareness to accomplish tasks. An analysis of donor-supported projects is made in relation to their inclusion of those factors that appear to influence long-term sustainability of coastal management. Factors being addressed vs. those that are lacking are highlighted. The strengths and weaknesses of different projects are also analyzed with the conclusion that important sustainability factors are still not being addressed by some projects although learning is occurring.