RESCCUE’s regional activities aim at:
- Mutual enrichment of project participants and stakeholders;
- Learning by project leaders and stakeholders throughout the project;
- Capitalising on and disseminating the results and lessons learnt and replicating the successes; and
- Providing regional-level technical assistance in areas or using methods falling outside the RESCCUE team’s purview or skills and that operators cannot provide locally.
These activities are what makes RESCCUE a truly regional project that reaches beyond its field activities on pilot sites.
All regional activities listed below follow a common guiding principle: they must be fed by activities undertaken on pilot sites, and conversely be useful to stakeholders involved locally.
TOWARDS GREENER TAXES AND SUBSIDIES IN PACIFIC ISLAND COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES (PICTS)
The Institute carries out this activity for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) as lead consultant, with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian National University (ANU) and the Global Change Institute (GCI), University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, as sub-contractors.
Contact: Emma Watkins – [email protected]
International efforts towards greener taxes and subsidies are reflected among others in Aichi target n°3, adopted at the 10th conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nagoya, 2010):
By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio economic conditions.
It aims to tie taxation (including tax exemptions and customs tariffs) and subsidies more closely to sustainable development objectives, in particular those related to biodiversity and ecosystems in a ridge-to-reef approach.
The objective is four-fold:
- Gain recognition for the decisive effects on integrated coastal management and climate change resilience of taxation and subsidies applied to economic activities;
- Highlight and assess the funding potential associated to tax and subsidies reforms;
- Share experiences in greening existing taxes, introducing green taxes, or identifying and eliminating harmful subsidies;
- Facilitate greener taxation and subsidies in PICTs.
The activity consists in:
- Developing a baseline study reviewing existing harmful subsidies and fiscal policies in PICTs in various economic sectors, based on selected examples, as well as past and current reform efforts;
- Organising a series of sub-regional experience sharing workshops;
Producing workshop reports that highlight stakeholders particular interests and avenues for action towards greener taxes and subsidies in PICTs.
- Government departments handling taxation and subsidies and the environment in the four RESCCUE countries and in other PICTs
- Local and international NGOs and media
- ODA and CROP agencies
Directly concerned major companies and industry bodies.
STRENGTHENING BIODIVERSITY OFFSETS POLICIES AND PRACTICES IN PICTS
This activity was carried out by a consortium consisting of The Biodiversity Consultancy (TBC) as lead consultant with Bio eKo, Environment Consultants Fiji / NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, Pae Tai – Pae Uta (PTPU), Te Ipukarea Society, and Golder Associates, as sub-contractors.
Contact: Guy Dutson – [email protected]
Efforts towards the objective to stop biodiversity erosion translate among other into a strengthened focus on the impact mitigation hierarchy as a coherent whole. A particular challenge pertains to developing and implementing robust biodiversity offsets policies and practices. Offsets are both praised as a key way to achieve No Net Loss or Net Gain without halting development, and feared to have potentially strong adverse impacts.
While the “avoid, minimise, rehabilitate/restore” part of the mitigation hierarchy has already seen much progress in the Pacific, offsets have developed on a very ad hoc basis and without much exchange of experience. This activity contributed filling this regional gap while allowing the Pacific region to take a more active part in a key conservation debate.
The activity consisted in:
- Developing a baseline study taking stock of recent developments in the mitigation hierarchy and biodiversity offsets in the Pacific
- Organising a regional experience sharing workshop that also brought experience from other regions
- Producing a set of sub-regional roadmaps to move beyond a project-by-project approach towards strengthened mitigation hierarchy and biodiversity offsets policies and practices in the Pacific so as to achieve the No Net Loss or Net Gain objective.
- Government departments tasked with implementing the mitigation hierarchy in the four RESCCUE countries and territories and in other PICTs;
- Local and international NGOs and media;
- ODA and CROP agencies;
- Directly concerned major companies and industry bodies.
INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT (ICM) PLANS
This activity was implemented by James Comley, Institute of Applied Science at the University of the South Pacific, and Julien Rochette.
Contact: Julien Rochette – [email protected]
ICM implementation is based on a wide variety of instruments, including so-called “plans”. ICM plans can be defined as documents that:
- provide for land-use planning;
- are part of a long-term strategic vision;
- aim, including through zoning, to prevent and arbitrate in user conflicts by allocating parts of an area to specific activities or priority uses;
- may include an action plan;
- are regularly evaluated and updated; and
- are designed to contribute to implementing ICM in all or part of a country.
ICM plans can be documents labelled “ICM Plan” and developed for just such a purpose, but can also be land-use planning documents that do not specifically mention the term ICM in their titles, or can be climate-change adaptation documents designed for coastal areas. Such documents are ICM plans when they have, first and foremost, the objective of integrating sectoral policies with strategic resource management planning over an extended timeframe.
The activity, jointly conducted under the RESCCUE and INTEGRE projects, aimed to assess the state of the art of ICM plan and to produce guidelines for Pacific Island countries and territories.
ICM experts James Comley and Julien Rochette have produced, between September 2014 and May 2015, two reports.
The first one, based on an extensive literature review and five case-studies, aims to identify lessons learnt and best practices regarding: i) the ICM plan development process; ii) ICM plan content; and iii) the relevant governance mechanisms to be established by or around the ICM plan:
The second one provides guidance to practitioners on the development, content and governance of ICM Plans (at either national or subnational level). Besides some general advice in these areas a possible step-by-step process is proposed.
- ICM plan managing operators and government bodies
- Stakeholders involved in developing ICM plans on the sites
- All government bodies and ICM projects in the Pacific.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
Participation in the Oceans 2015 Initiative
The Oceans 2015 Initiative was designed to provide negotiators and stakeholders at the 21st conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) with key information on what the future holds for the oceans depending on international negotiations outcomes. It was led by CNRS-UPMC and IDDRI and supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the BNP Paribas Foundation and the Monégasque Association for Ocean Acidification. R. Billé coordinated work on management options for climate change and ocean acidification, by mobilising, among others, the results of current or past climate change adaptation projects in the Pacific. It helped to explain and demonstrate the links between projects such as RESCCUE and COP 21.
- The initiative’s main report was published by the journal Science: Contrasting Futures for Ocean and Society from Different Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions Scenarios.
- Its key messages were synthesized in :
- a Policy Brief published by IDDRI: Intertwined ocean and climate: implications for international climate negotiations. IDDRI Policy Brief n°04/15.
- An animated movie: here
- A further commentary on the implications of COP21 for the ocean was published by the journal Nature Climate Change in 2016: Implications of the Paris Agreement for the ocean.
Participation in COP 21
After contributing to preparations for SPC’s participation in COP 21 throughout 2015, the RESCCUE team was on SPC’s delegation to Paris to support member countries during the negotiations and participate in technical events.
Participation in the Ocean Solutions Initiative
A follow-on project from the Oceans 2015 Initiative, the Ocean Solutions Initiative aims at assessing the relative effectiveness and feasibility of the main proposed options relating to (i) how the ocean can contribute to climate change mitigation, and (ii) what we can do to address the impacts of climate change on ocean ecosystems and ecosystem services.
It is led by IDDRI and CNRS-UPMC and supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the BNP Paribas Foundation, the Monégasque Association for Ocean Acidification and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM).