Protocol for

Sustainable Financing Assessment

Assessing the financing status of local marine management approaches

As with any form of natural resource management, local approaches to marine management require resourcing to managers to manage. In local approaches to marine management, these managers are often those people living in coastal communities, sometimes working voluntarily and often in challenging working conditions. Managers also include staff from local government departments of fisheries, the environment, or economic affairs.
Developing sustainable financing solutions in these contexts requires adopting a participatory approach and attitude. There are various approaches to the development of Conservation Finance or Sustainable Financing solutions that have been developed for Protected Areas. These include business planning for Protected Area systems (see, for example, CFA 2008, Flores et al. 2008, Landreau, 2012) and landscape-level approaches, such as IUCN’s LIFT (IUCN 2018).
Many of these approaches are designed for landscape-level programmes, and Protected Areas, and are not adapted to smaller-scale but essential local marine management initiatives. However, the ‘conservation investment planning’ approach, which is the basis for this Assessment Protocol, offers a process with which to diagnose and develop financing solutions (Emerton et al. 2018).
Importantly, all these approaches and tools for sustainable financing advocate for starting with an initial assessment of the status of financing, or ‘diagnosis’, in order that the financing needs and gaps are clear from a local perspective.

The Assessment Protocol

This Assessment Protocol (embedded top left) is designed to provide a stepwise process to understand the sustainable financing status of local marine management approaches, and as a basis for designing and developing local sustainable financing solutions.
The protocol is based on the first step in the ‘conservation investment planning’ approach and aims to form a form a basis for conducting the next steps of this process, as described in Annex 1. 

If you are reading this Protocol, you might be from a community group, research group, local government or non-governmental organisation. Hopefully, you are wanting to understand the status of financing of local marine management, and you might be planning for the design of local sustainable financing mechanisms. Thank you for taking the time to read this document.

The Protocol is written for understanding the financing status of community marine management areas, and conducting this assessment alone will not result in the development of financing instruments. However, understanding financing status is of course an essential first step.
The Protocol also limits stakeholder engagement to a handful of site-level stakeholders (those responsible with management), meaning the voice (and information related to management costs and income streams) of important groups such as fishers, fishing associations, and local entrepreneurs is not included, apart from via representatives in the participating community management entities. Further stakeholder engagement and planning is required at later stages to develop sustainable financing mechanisms.
Please bear in mind that this document has been developed based on a single assessment conducted in Kenya. While some refinements have been made to the Assessment Protocol since the initial assessment, we as authors recognise that it would benefit from further improvements and refinements. We have therefore written it in a way to be flexible enough to allow for adaptation to different contexts and projects.
Good luck with your assessment.