Training Resource Material: Coastal and Marine Biodiversity and Protected Area Management for field-level managers

About the Curriculum

This curriculum is suitable for the field-level MPA managers, viz. Range Forest Officers, Foresters and Forest Guards. This curriculum is also suitable for the officials from Pollution Control Board, irrigation, revenue, fisheries, agriculture and other such departments that have an important stake in use and management of coastal and marine resources.

This curriculum has been designed for a stand-alone course to be delivered over one month duration. However, because of its modular structure and participatory training methods, it provides enough flexibility and can be customized for delivery over shorter durations i.e. 15 days (including 4-days of SCUBA training), one-week (for participants who do not require SCUBA diving training) , and shorter field expeditions.

Learning Outcomes of the Course:

By the end of the course, the participants will be able to:

  • Outline concepts and issues related to managing coastal and marine biodiversity, and demonstrate the types and relevance of different categories of MPAs in different scenarios
  • Differentiate clearly, between the ecological and socio-political context, conservation approaches and legal-policy framework between terrestrial and coastal-marine PAs.
  • Conduct assessment and monitoring of coastal and marine habitats and species and prepare field reports
  • Develop, under supervision, operational plan for MPAs based on management effectiveness guidelines
  • Be open to acquiring more knowledge on coastal and marine biodiversity relevant issues

The modularized course

Module 1: An Introduction to Coastal and Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

This module provides the foundation of the course by providing the basic concepts of biodiversity at the genetic, species and habitat levels, focussing on the examples and peculiarities of the coastal and marine ecosystems. An verview of the concept of the ecosystem services and examples of the four types of ecosystem services- provisioning, regulatory, supportive and cultural, are followed by a detailed description of the key coastal and marine habitats and species. The module ends with a discussion on the key differences between the terrestrial and coastal-marine ecosystems.

Module 2: Coastal and marine biodiversity and ecosystems services in the overall environment and development context

This module sets the foundation of the issues of coastal and marine conservation in the overall development context and facilitates participants in understanding the overall development agenda via Global Sustainable Development Goals, the concepts of sustainability, of sustainable livelihoods and its interlinkages with the ecosystem services. The module takes a deeper look into the economic values, and threats to coastal and marine biodiversity and focuses in detail on the climate change and disaster aspects and their interrelationship with the coastal and marine biodiversity conservation. To make the learning easy for participants, this module comprises two very interesting training methods—ecological footprint game, and a simulation game on a fictitious country—Bakul.

Module 3: Mainstreaming coastal and marine biodiversity into overall development and environmental planning

This module provides the conceptual background and introduces the tool for mainstreaming biodiversity. To ensure that biodiversity-related issues and concerns become a part of the larger development planning process in the country, there is a need to incorporate it into policies, strategies and action plan. There is also a need to use science-based tools to understand the impact that projects can have on the environment and ensure that spatial planning incorporates measures for conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity.

Module 4: Coastal and Marine Protected Areas and sustainable fisheries management

This module provides much needed information on the basics of fisheries management, principles and ractices of sustainable fisheries management in and around marine protected areas, and on the marine protected areas (MPAs). The modules provides insights into the differences between them and terrestrial protected areas, the categories and types of MPAs and their management systems and an overview of the elements of sustainable fisheries management. This module covers the key issues of fisheries and indigenous communities in the context of MPAs. Apart from providing information on different types of MPAs in India and their locations, the module elaborates benefits of and challenges for MPAs.

Module 5: Governance, law and policies for managing coastal and marine ecosystems, biodiversity and protected areas

This module gives an outline and a brief history of the diverse governance, legal and policy frameworks for managing coastal and marine ecosystems. The governance, policies and laws have been presented in two sections. The first section deals with global conventions and guidelines that provide a framework to the maritime countries to draft national policies and legislation for conservation and management of coastal and marine habitats and species. The second section provides an overview of the major policies, law, rules and guidelines in India

Module 6: Assessment and monitoring of coastal and marine biodiversity and relevant issues

This module has been designed to provide the required information on different coastal and marine ecosystems, critical marine habitats, their importance and assessment. Participants identify species found in coastal and marine ecosystems, and learn and practice assessment methodologies of different habitats and species. This module is delivered through different learning techniques, such as class room sessions to understand the assessment frameworks, hands-on assessment practice in contained pool as well as open-water conditions, exposure visits to beach, intertidal and mangrove ecosystems, and fisheries areas to understand the relevance of assessment and monitoring exercises.

Module 7: Effective management planning of coastal and marine protected areas

This module provides an overview of the management experiences in terrestrial as well as marine environments. A description of the elements of management plan and guidelines for effective protected area management along with the key indicators form the major part of the learning from this module. Case studies help participants in applying concepts and guidelines to the real life cases.

Module 8: Communicating Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Conservation and management issues

This module will help managers of marine and coastal protected areas (MPAs) understand how media looks at coastal and marine conservation issues. Since conservation is not in the media priority and MPAs come into news only when an event happens, the module will help managers to understand how to get journalist attention on conservation using the news pegs. The module will introduce the different tools for media relations, their strengths and limitations. It will also discuss how to use these tools during a crisis communication situation.