Coastal ecosystems and associated watersheds provide a wide range of services to coastal communities, including food, building materials, fuelwood as well as shoreline protection against storm surges and floods. Therefore, in areas prone to natural hazards, using coastal ecosystems as natural protective “infrastructure” would not only decrease exposure but also enhance livelihood options and resilience of local people.

UNEP in collaboration with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) implemented a capacity-building initiative for the Asia-Pacific region, which was supported by the European Commission AIDCO programme.

Implemented in 2007-2009, the project strengthened capacities of coastal zone managers as well as disaster risk reduction practitioners in India, Indonesia, Maldives and Sri Lanka to integrate ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) in coastal zone management. The project also collaborated with Mangroves For the Future (MFF), a multi-agency, multi-country initiative which promotes coastal ecosystem restoration for sustainable development.

A major output included National Training Courses on DRR for Coastal Zone Managers, which received enthusiastic uptake from participants and positive reviews from an EU-sponsored external evaluation. The training exercise enabled coastal zone managers to improve land-use planning and to design hazard mitigation projects that utilized ecosystem-based solutions.

In partnership with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), UNEP developed a Regional Training Manual based on the national trainings on DRR for coastal zone managers.

Resources

Regional Training Manual on Disaster Risk Reduction for Coastal Zone Managers

Capacity Building to Integrate Disaster Risk Reduction into Coastal Zone Management in Indonesia

Training Manual for Coastal Managers on Disaster Risk Reduction

Regional and National Training Manuals on Disaster Risk Reduction for Coastal Zone Managers