can sustainable be for real?
Field observation from the monitoring visit ‘Reversing Environmental Damage through Community Focused Sustainable Livelihoods in Ban Don Bay, Surat Thani Province, Southern Thailand’ Project by Wetlands International Thailand Office
Figure 1 Bio-right process This field visit lead by Dr Janaka De Silva, MFF programme manager and Ms Siriporn Sriaram, MFF Thailand Coordinator. The objective of this visit is to see the operation on ground level as well as meeting with project stakeholders and the bio-right grantee. The two days visit starts with the meeting
This MFF first large project aims to establish a sustainable development model to restore and sustainable management of mangrove forests, affording conservation of coastal marine natural resources and supporting the livelihoods of local populations through using innovative pro-poor financial mechanisms. The bio-Right model was first introduced by Wetlands International which is a financial mechanism combining support for both conservation and livelihoods. Wetlands for more than 10 years, with the primary objective of restoring mangrove and swamp areas in Indonesia, as well as protecting water birds in Mali. with the WI-TO team under the management of Dr Noparat Bumrungrak, Acting Director of WI-TO, Mr Jirapong Jeewarongkakul, MFF-WI Project manager and Mr Pratheep Meekatitham, MFF-WI project field coordinator and Mrs Patcharanun Saiprasert, Coordinator of Baan Don Bay conservation network.
Summary Date: 29-30 January 2011 Venue: MFF Surat Office Attendees: Dr. Noparat Bamrungrak, Mrs Patcharanun Saiprasert, Mr Jirapong Jeewarongkakul, Mr Pratheep Meekatitham.
Observation • Modification of Bio-Right (BioRight+), the original concept of BioRight is to provide community with the fund to do livelihood and conservation activity. If the conservation action success there are no requirement to return the fund to the ‘seller’. Baan Don Bay Conservation Network and WI-TO found this concept as a challenge and has come up with more sustainable approach by modify the concept slightly. The ‘BioRight+’ concept will consider more than just money and the conservation activity. When the buyer (BioRight grantee) received fund from donor (MFF) they will implement two activities; Conservation and Livelihood development. Each grantee will be responsible for the mangrove restoration areas of 50 rai (minimum). The capital from the livelihood development activities such as aquaculture will return to Ban Don Bay Conservation Network Fund as agreed in the time limited (1 – 2 years). The BDBCN fund then will be utilized for the projects (10 projects still in the pipelines). There are capacity building activities through this process for example monitoring training (cash flow workshop will be conducted) as well as cross learning between the grantees. • Grant selection process, each proposal will have to get approval from the committee in 3 levels (sub district, district and provincial) to reassure that there is transparency and as the quality assurance. • Communication strategy, the WI-TO shown the strong capability in the communication. There are quarterly newsletter public and distribute to Baan Don Bay Network (2 issues were printed, total of 1000copies/issue). There’s also website (www.withailand.org/MFF/), social network (Facebook), and publication channel via http://issuu.com/withailand . The team also monitors the site statistic. The team should use their strength and the knowledge and data from project in policy advocacy to address the problem in Ao Ban Don Bay
Dr Janaka De Silva (3rd from the right) with the first bioright project
The team visits 3 BioRight+ projects 1. Fish cultivation in small natural ponds and cages by Mr Savai Kongkachuay and 10 members of Muang Conservation Group 2. Mangrove Restoration in Tha Chang District by Mr Nanoon KumRak and 23 member of Tha Chang Conservation Group 3. Fish cultivation in cages and mangrove conservation in Chai ya District by Mr Winai Naetwong and 13 member of Chai Ya Conservation and Saving Group
Right (above) flooding cause unexpected damage to the fish culture and the most concern to the grantee is â€˜water pollution from the mountainâ€™. (below) the pond
Left â€“right clockwise; small fish to feed the seabass , woman shown the record of the project (financial, situation, observation); a man feed the fish to seabass in the cages