Call for project proposals on strengthening regional coastal ecosystems |16 November 2023
The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) has launched a regional call for projects aimed at strengthening coastal resilience in the South-West Indian Ocean.
This is being done through the Resilience of Coastal Ecosystems of the South-West Indian Ocean’ (RECOS) project, which is aimed at strengthening the resilience of coastal populations and ecosystems to the effects of climate change by restoring ecosystem services.
An expert from the RECOS project, Adèle De Toma is in Seychelles and she gave details on the call for projects.
RECOS is a project of the IOC which works with five member states, namely the Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion.
Reunion is not a direct beneficiary of the project as RECOS is funded by the French Development Agency and the French Fund for Environment.
It is a five-year project which started at the end of 2021 and will complete in 2026.
The RECOS project promotes the integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) at regional and national level in the IOC countries.
Ms De Toma said the ICZM protocol on the Nairobi Convention for the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Oceanwas signed recently, and the mission of IOC is also to support the countries in carrying their commitments to the RECOS project, which is in line with the ICZM approach.
Secondly, it is also aimed at carrying out concrete field actions.
For this, there are several activities and the main one is to conduct pilot projects in the IOC beneficiary countries. These projects were identified before the start of the RECOS project during the feasibility study, four years prior, according to her.
In Seychelles the project is still under development and will target a site at Côte d’Or, Praslin to develop an eco-management approach for the conservation of the marine coastal area there, whereby the environment department will work closely with the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority and other partners, to co-manage the area to protect sea grass.
“Also through the RECOS project, there is the call for proposals which has been opened since the start of September and will close on December 4, 2023 for concept notes to be submitted,” she added.
The call for proposals comprises of two batches, with the first being the carrying out of the ICZM projects.
Ms De Toma said they want to get projects that look at environmental issues but also social economic aspects, adding that they also want to have collaborative projects as to better propose concrete actions to have long-term potential positive impacts on the environment and the population.
This call for proposal is opened for the private sector, non-governmental organisations, social and economic partners, trade-union organisations, anddistrict authorities.
The second batch is about research and development on the resilience of coastal populations and ecosystems, and is targeting research institutes, universities and academies.
One million euros have been allocated for this with the grant amount being between 50,000€ to 150,000€ for the first batch, and between €100,000 and €150,000 for the second batch, per project proposal.
Grant beneficiaries’ financial or in-kind contribution will be at a minimum of 5%.
“It is a process with two steps, with the first being the pre-selection, which we are in now. This is why we are waiting for the concept notes and the form to fill is on the IOC website. The IOC will select the concept notes after the closing date and those selected will be asked to develop the full proposal during a timeframe of two months. There will be a jury to select beneficiariesfor the grant composed of members of a scientific committee set up by the RECOS project,” said Ms De Toma.
The marine ecosystems of our region are valuable and most of the people are dependent on marine resources especially for fisheries and tourism sectors.
There are many threats towards our marine ecosystems in our region so there is a need to preserve these ecosystems in the coming years, she added.
Individuals or groups requiring more information can check the IOC website https://www.commissionoceanindien.org/appel-a-projets-recos/
Mandy Bertin (text and photos)