IUCN, UNDP and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) today announced the launch of the third phase of the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) regional initiative with new funding from Sida. The new phase will run from 2014-2018 and will build on the significant achievements realized by MFF over the past seven years. IUCN Asia Regional Director Aban Marker Kabraji and AnnaMaria Oltorp Head of Development Cooperation, Sida launched MFF Phase 3 at a signing ceremony held in Bangkok.
Since its launch in 2006 as a disaster response and reconstruction effort in the six countries that were worst-affected by the 2004 tsunami, MFF has grown significantly in size and in the breadth of its activities. With the inclusion of Cambodia in 2013, MFF now has 10 member countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam) championing the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems as key natural infrastructure which support human well-being and security. Almost 200 projects have been implemented through the MFF grants mechanism, and its unique partnership-based model has brought together government, civil society and private sector to play more effective roles in the governance of coastal areas.
In Phase 3 MFF will focus on the development of resilience in ecosystem-dependent coastal communities and develop shared understanding and capacity for building community resilience to natural disasters and climate change related impacts. MFF will also continue to build on its efforts to influence coastal management policy with an increased emphasis on “soft governance”, as well as to expand its knowledge management and capacity development activities – providing hands-on training and learning opportunities for coastal management practitioners around the region. Phase 3 will also see greater emphasis on engaging with the private sector, both to harness the resources of the sector in support of sustainable coastal management, and to work with companies to reduce their impact on coastal ecosystems and communities.