Rehabilitation and protection of tropical Mangrove ecosystems as a contribution to climate and coastal protection, to the conservation of biodiversity as well as the natural livelihoods in India and Sri Lanka – Kick-off Meeting from 27th February – 03rd March 2017, Pakhiralaya, Sundarbans, India

27Feb

The kick-off meeting saw the participation of 2 partner organization from Srilanka namely Nagenahiru and EMACE, 2 partner organization from India namely CreNIEO and NEWS and GNF, Germany. The list of participants are as follows :-

1) Sajeewa W. Emmanuel and Ajitha P. Ulvishewa from Nagenahiru Sri Lanka
2) E. Abeyratne and Akila Abeyratne from EMACE Sri Lanka
3) Premanjali Rao and Premchandran from CreNIEO India
4) Udo Gattenlöhner and Thies Geertz from GNF Germany
5) Ajanta Dey, Malancha Roy, Karishma Barman, Sukanta Gayen, Kesab Ghosh, Pradipta Ranjan Basu, Paritosh Giri, Milon Sinha and Biswajit Mondal from NEWS India.

28.02.17

First session

The meeting was initiated by a welcome speech of Ms. Ajanta Dey
Mr Udo Gattenlöhner discussed about agenda of the meeting, outline of the project, details of budget allocation and work plan of four implementing NGOs, in his introductory presentation
Member of each implementing NGO had presented structure, objectives and past experiences of their organization, site for the implementation of the proposed project and outline of the scope of work.
Nagenahiru focused on mangrove restoration and protection of the designated project site of Madampa lake, establishment of mangrove nurseries, solar LED fishing lamp for night fishing, establishment of LED service centers, ecotourism, woman empowerment, capacity building programme for local fisherman and community.
Emace has selected Bolgoda Lake for the site of mangrove restoration. They will achieve their project goal through site selection and restoration, discussions with different stakeholders, establishment of knowledge, community, livelihood improvement through different activities like handmade clothing, weaving handloom, wetland craft, mask, furniture, toy making, implementing climate smart agriculture, wood carvings, conducting different environmental awareness programmes with school students, communities.
CReNIEO has selected some sites of Pulicat Lake for mangrove restoration. The scope of work includes maintenance, demarcation and fencing of selected sites, hydrological corrections, building of household nurseries, toilets, pond excavation, generation of alternative livelihoods through livestock rearing, purchase of fishing gears, fish aggregating devices, plantation of fruit trees, organizing several training and awareness programme for youth and separate programme for organic farming and crab fattening, conducting several educational programmes, formation of mangrove club.
NEWS projected the selected sites of Sundarban for 70 ha mangrove restoration and protection. This activity encompasses afforestation, hydrological corrections, canal excavation, demarcation and stratification of sites, selection of species, establishment of household nurseries, seed collection, training of women group for nursery preparation, maintenance and protection of afforested sites. Generation of alternative income for local communities including establishing smokeless chullah, biogas units, establishment of rainwater harvesting unit in school, establishment of farm school, three tier embankment plantations of fodder, fuel wood and horticultural species. Capacity building workshop on integrated farming and fishing will be organized for local communities.
GNF (Mr Thies Geertz) summarizes the rules and regulations of the project. The first part deals with documentation procedure, information about change in fund allocation, necessary documentation for the project, designated format of the receipt, fixed asset list, procedure for procurement, preference of local offers, three quotations before buying, benefit value analysis not to be based on cheap price but on the effectiveness of the brand. Part two deals with schedule of interim and final reports, specimen of financial statements. Part three deals with administration and accounting, financial sources, pre-defined installments of BMZ, fund flow structure, drawing or request of funds, financial flexibility, restrictions, provisions for the use of BMZ logo. He highlighted to partners to be specific about the use of logo in the manner as described.

Second session

Two groups were formed EMACE and Nagenahiru prepared their time series chart based on the prime activities and sub activities, challenges, probable solutions required to achieve the project goal with the help of Mr Thies Geertz and CReNIEO and NEWS did the same with the help of Mr Udo Gattenlöhner. Fund allocation was also mentioned in the chart.
Each participating NGO gave short presentation on challenges, achievements and lesson learnt from the previous projects.

01.03.17

First session

Brief summary and justification of activity orientation in time series chart and fund allocation was delivered by each NGO.
Time series chart was continued based on educational awareness, national and international meetings, awareness programme and their respective fund allocation.
A group of local school children performed a short play regarding adverse effects of urbanization, pollution and its subsequent effects on flora and fauna of Sundarban.

Second session

Different methods were identified and determined for the monitoring of mangroves, beneficiaries.
CReNIEO and NEWS shared their existing practice for monitoring and also Nagenahiru and EMace shared theirs.
BMZ suggested the monitoring of stakeholders at different sectors NGO, Govt. State or Central, Scientist, private sector) of the society. A special emphasis was given on the policy making dialogues and discussions/integrations at all levels to have a total impact.

Notes
Session on monitoring

CReNIEO is doing a baseline survey to keep track of development of beneficiaries. They carry out weekly visits and talk to village committees, keeping track by means of village diaries. Standardized interviews are used to perform assessment of quantitative indicators (changes & utilization of income).
As regards monitoring of mangrove rehabilitation, CReNIEO uses standardized sequences of photos from fixed locations on monthly basis. At selected sampling sites assessed indicators include: height of trees & survival rate, natural regeneration, insects as biodiversity indicator and birds (breeding and nesting), siltation and algae in canals. Awareness monitoring of stakeholders include interviews with central government, state government, science and private sector during national stakeholder meetings.

NEWS uses standard protocol for monitoring of mangrove rehabilitation. Captured indicators include: plant density (natural and planted at 6 x6 ft. plots), total vegetation cover (5-step scale), total number of trees, species composition, variation, size of trees (height, diameter at 30 cm (D-30) and breast height (DBH)), inundation period, soil and water salinity (refractometer), soil texture, human impact at site and pest incidence at site.

In addition, they use observations on 4 non-mangrove species (incl. fishing cat) as biodiversity indicator. Community ownership of the project is rated on a 4-step scale from A-D.

For monitoring of beneficiaries they use a questionnaire to establish baseline. Field officers assess development of beneficiaries by farmer’s diaries (income, fishing, land tenure, livestock) 3 times per year.

EMACE is using a Logical Framework Analysis (LFA) based on reports from the field to monitor project progress and to facilitate adaptive management. The work of field officers is crucial for both NGOs, EMACE and Nagenahiru. Conducting face-to-face structured interviews with locals is a challenge in Sri Lanka due to the lack of trust on the part of the locals. Field officers conduct random interviews with locals and fill in assessment sheet. For the assessment of the political framework random interviews with decision makers can be done to capture baseline and progress.

02.03.17

Project implementation site (Manmathanagar) was visited; analysis of soil and water pH, water and soil salinity was done based on stratification of the site. The slope of the mudflat clearly indicated the two sites. Also soil samples were collected for soil texture analysis. GPS demarcation was done. All partner members participated in the area delineation, site suitability identification and selection of species.
Smokeless Chullah was demonstrated at Radharanipur and Nurseries of 8 species of mangroves were demonstrated by women groups at Pearatolla.
Surveillance and monitoring of mangroves was demonstrated at Amlamethi mudflat by the communities. Partner NGO’s had a hand on experience in those activities.

03.03.17

Richness of biodiversity in relation to mangrove restoration was done through bird watching, identification of mangrove plants in the buffer zone of the forest. Sundarban Tiger Reserve and Mangrove Identification Park was visited.