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LESSONS:

Coastal Resource Management Project

sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development | country: Sri Lanka

One key lesson is the need to involve communities in project activities from inception to completion. Law enforcement alone cannot safeguard the environment. To ensure communities benefit, their involvement is important even in large infrastructure development and rehabilitation projects. Social awareness programs are important throughout project implementation and beyond to encourage community ownership of their resources. Even at the institutional level, a sense of ownership has to be developed early in the project. This can prevent delays during implementation and ensure continued operation and maintenance. Communication among stakeholders should be strengthened to convey correct messages and prevent misunderstandings.

The project trained coastal communities in alternative livelihoods to prevent their over- exploitation of coastal resources. To ensure the sustainability of the alternative livelihoods, they should link to markets to generate income. If not, communities may return to their traditional activities.

Delays in implementation ensue when components are clustered in a project. Further, clustering discourages ownership of project outputs. Combining harbor development with coastal conservation delayed project implementation considerably because the activities are not complementary.

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