Joining forces to improve management of the world’s threatened coastlines, the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Coastal Resources Center of the University of Rhode Island (CRC/URI) completed a three-week certificate level course on Integrated Coastal Ecosystem Management. The Coastal Institute-Asia, conducted from 23 July to 10 August in Thailand, graduated 27 participants representing twelve countries from Asia, Africa and North America. The program provided the practical skills to design implement and learn from integrated coastal management experiences around the world, with a focus on the Asian region.
The Coastal Institute was the 10th in the biannual series conducted by CRC/URI, and the first to be held in Asia. It built upon a two-year partnership between AIT and CRC/URI through the Post-Tsunami Sustainable Coastal Livelihoods Project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The course was an early step in advancing the Mangroves for the Future initiative of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), which funded eight participants from Indian Ocean coastal communities. It shared lessons learned in coastal community resilience, resulting from the US-Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System Program, also funded by USAID. For the first time, the course combined a cadre of Master degree students with field practitioners, and partnered AIT’s Academic program with their Extension program.