For the second time now, the Blue Solutions Initiative convened a Regional Forum on Solutions for Oceans, Coasts and Human Well-Being. This time it was held in Cancun, Mexico (April 2015) for participants from Latin America and the wider Caribbean Region.
The more than110 participants exchanged and discussed over two and half days inspiring coastal and marine solutions concerning the topics of marine spatial planning, sustainable finance as well as climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
The thematic sessions were introduced each by a key note speaker, followed by short presentations of so called blue solutions – success stories in coastal and marine management – focusing on the “what worked, why and how”. The participants learned about the various elements, also referred to as building blocks, which turned each project into a success story. In a participatory exercise the participants were then asked to re-use and adapt those building blocks to find solutions to new challenges. The solutions and building blocks will be available soon from an exchange platform currently under development.
“It was great to see so many people enthused by the “solutioning” approach. It provided a concrete, brief and very clear way of describing what had worked and why it was valuable, and so it made information sharing not only easy but also interesting. While all the stories were different, common approaches and “building blocks” could be spotted quickly and the innovative ones readily stood out. I think everyone learnt something new or at least could see how others were tackling similar solutions!”, says Téa García-Huidobro, Regional Programme Coordinator, IUCN Mexico, Central America and Caribbean.
"This “solution-ing” approach is seen as an innovative way of fostering knowledge exchange and capacity building amongst practitioners and decision makers in coastal and marine management.", Karen Podvin, Project Officer for Forests and Climate Change at the IUCN office for South America adds. “The forum was highly productive; firstly, sharing so many diverse experiences in coastal and marine ecosystems in the region among different stakeholders (i.e. local actors, government, NGOs, academia), provided vast ideas of solutions and their building blocks which can be useful elsewhere, and adapted to different contexts. Also, the ‘solutioning approach’ allowed comparing these diverse cases in a concise, practical and interactive way, making the learning and sharing processes very dynamic”.
The Regional Forum was supported by the Mexican Government, its Environment Ministry (SEMARNAT) and Protected Area agency (CONANP). It was organised in collaboration with the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI).
The Blue Solutions Initiative is a collaborative project funded by the Germany Ministry for Environment (BMUB), implemented by GIZ and its partners, including IUCN, UNEP and UNEP GRID-Arendal.