Activities requiring implementation were mainly on the pilot site located in the Northeast Coastal Area (ZCNE) as defined in the UNESCO World Heritage listing application.
There are many pressures on and threats to the ZCNE including human activity (mining and fires, etc.), damage to the forest cover by invasive species, soil erosion and climate change.
RESCCUE is active in six municipal areas, i.e. Poindimie, Touho, Hienghene, Ouegoa, Pouebo and Poum with field operations focusing mainly on the Thiem watershed in Touho municipality.
Consistency and synergy are expected between the Northern Province technical divisions and municipal authorities on one side and INTEGRE activities in the ZCNE on the other, as both were designed to complement each other on joint sites. The activities in the Northern province are detailed below.
Support for implementing provincial integrated coastal management (ICM) policies
In order to strengthen participatory management of the ZCNE, the Northern Province and local stakeholders receive technical and financial support from RESCCUE and INTEGRE. Training and awareness are being provided to control the hazards that pose a threat to this outstanding area’s natural habitats.
Thiem watershed protection
The Tiwae Pwo_i (Poyes) field operations area is located in Tuo Cemuhi (Touho) municipality and contains the whole Thiem watershed, which includes the Haccinen Basin, the main drinking water supply catchment for eight of the municipality’s 10 tribal areas. The pressures brought to bear on the site are mainly fire and invasive species, i.e. feral pigs and rusa deer.
The project’s management activities, as summarised by the diagram below, are designed to gain an understanding of and reduce these pressures with the aim of protecting the water resources.
Economic and financial “toolbox” for implementing and guiding public policy
- Identifying and implementing innovative funding mechanisms for ICM.
The Poum and Poindimie Management Committees and related associations are particularly involved in this work. Ecolabelling and responsible tourism were seen as promising options following a feasibility study on possible funding mechanisms.
A legal analysis of potential funding mechanisms for sustainable sea-cucumber fishery management was also carried out in collaboration with the Northern Province Department of Aquatic Environments and Resources.
- Economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by forests and a comparative analysis of different management scenarios.
The analyses aim to demonstrate the economic benefits generated by sustainably managing the Thiem watershed for the purposes of advocating with local and Northern Province politicians.Fire and invasive species are hazards that must absolutely be addressed in management plans to ensure one of the forest’s basic functions is maintained, namely preserving the quality and quantity of potential drinking water all year round.