Pacific R2R Science-Policy Approach

Pacific State of Coast
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Pacific Island Countries face similar threats to their fresh and coastal water systems and biodiversity, covering land, forest, agriculture and coastal/ marine sectors. The assessment and prioritisation of these threats, and policy responses to them, are often based on conjecture and sometimes speculations – not always science or evidence based.

To provide an evidence-based and inclusive integrative process, the Pacific Regional IW R2R Project has developed a cascading approach to identifying and selecting national priority areas for ICM/ IWRM interventions or actions for future upscaling R2R investments and planning. This integrated approach maximises existing data and stakeholder input, and reduces the amount of time and resources needed to characterise priority coastal areas and/or sites at both local and national scales.

The identified priority areas are characterised based on socio-political and environmental factors, and further informed by spatial modelling that identifies priority areas or “hot-spots” nationally, locally, or at site level, noting that the latter may not be useful in small atoll countries where priority areas are often known and documented.

Information gathered produces a detailed assessment of the ecological state and health of an area, identify and prioritise human activities and the main risks, and generate priority policy options for interventions based on collated data and stakeholder input. Thematic maps are generated and packaged to assist national stakeholders in strategic planning and decision-making. These habitat and resource maps and analysed data compiled into a national State of the Coast Report that provides communities and decision makers a snapshot view of environmental health and options. All the above knowledge is used to support formulation of national ICM/ IWRM reforms and investment plans, and contributing to poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods and climate resilience.

Science to Policy Process

The GEF Pacific Ridge to Reef (R2R) Programme Initiative is working with projects’ countries in the Pacific region to test and mainstream innovative solutions, integrated and climate resilient approaches to land, water, forest, biodiversity and coastal resource management. The R2R approach requires commitments and support at the subnational and national levels because people and resource users play a central role in ensuring that the provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural functions and roles of ecosystem goods and services are maintained and enhanced.

The GEF International Waters R2R Project document specifies the outcomes required to effect mainstreaming of the R2R concept, as follows:

Outcomes 1.1 Successful pilot projects testing innovative solutions involving linking ICM, IWRM and climate change adaptation;

Outcome 1.2 National diagnostic analyses for ICM conducted for prioritizing and scaling-up key ICM/IWRM reforms and investments;

Outcome 3.1National and regional strategic action frameworks for ICM/IWRM endorsed nationally and regionally.

In order to achieve the above outcomes, several scientific and technical processes need to be carried out, and these are:

  1. Rapid Assessment of Priority Coastal Areas (RapCA)
  2. Island Diagnostic Analysis (IDA)
  3. State of the Coast Report (SoC Report)
  4. Strategic Action Framework and Planning (SAF, SAP)


Click here to access Pacific State of Coast Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Pacific Ridge to Reef Programme.