Our objectives of the Darwin Scoping Award are to: 1) Bring together representatives of different mangrove-associated organisations for a participatory workshop to discuss past initiatives and challenges; 2) Conduct desk-based research into current and past initiatives restoring and conserving mangroves in the Delta (WWF, IUCN, National Centre for Remote Sensing, Pakistan Navy, Sindh Wildlife and Forestry Department, UNDP, UNEP, GEF); 3) Meet with remote organisations working in the Delta area (Indus Earth Trust, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Integrated Development and Empowerment, WDA Thatta) and 4) Scope specific project-sites in the Delta where mangrove conservation and restoration remain priority.
To date, Bioclimate and SCOPE have contacted organisations and projects actively promoting sustainable mangrove development activities (involving fisheries, aquaculture, women’s empowerment, restoration, re-planting) in the Delta area. We have also opened dialogue with researchers from the University of Karachi (Departments of Geography, Sustainable Halophytes and the Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology) and ZSL (London - Heather Koldeway) to discuss collaborative ideas. UoK Centre of Marine Excellence previously partnered in a Darwin Initiative to protect Cetacean and Marine Pelagic Biodiversity with University of London (2005-2008).
Under this Scoping Award, we will conduct five main activities.
1) Undertake a gap-analysis of Delta-Mangrove Initiatives. This will involve collating existing mangrove maps and undertaking a rapid assessment of existing and past livelihood interventions.
2) Conduct a workshop with organisations involved in mangrove initiatives in Pakistan. The workshop has six main aims: a) Investigate the extent to which in-country organisations understand, measure and monitor the ecological, hydrological and topographical requirements for mangrove restoration; b) Understand past initiatives, approaches and challenges to mangrove conservation and restoration; c) Understand the evidence base for livelihood development interventions; d) Define common challenges for a holistic community-led mangrove management model in the context of the Indus Delta; and e) Understand existing in-country methodologies for measuring mangrove associated biological diversity, including fish diversity.
3) Develop ‘Participatory Data-Collection Methods for Delta Mangroves’ implicitly describing key indicators required for assessment of a) Mangrove Health and Restoration; b) Mangrove-Biodiversity Assessment and c) Mangrove Community Livelihoods.
4) Visit selected communities in the Delta to understand the socio-economic context of biodiversity conservation. We will: a) Meet local-leaders, fishers and mangrove users; b) Collate basic information regarding rules of customary entitlement to specific mangrove forest tracts; c) Gather evidence of traditional cropping or management regimes; d) Assess the principle threats to specific mangrove sites and e) Identify the current status of ownership, access and tenure in the context of Delta mangrove forests.
5) Pilot the ‘participatory data-collection methods’ at select communities in the Delta.
The Scoping Award would therefore provide an opportunity to i) Collect spatially explicit data on past and current mangrove restoration initiatives; ii) Identify prospective sites for future focus; iii) Trial participatory data collection methods in the Delta. Both SCOPE and UoK have contributed to the main aims of this Scoping Award and have provided letters of support (attached) to this application.