The ASCLME Project has developed an innovative new tool to understand the inter-relationships between countries, their people and the marine environment. The Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) is an integrated tool to gather a comprehensive state-of-the-environment report, combining information on the environment, socio-economics, legislation and threats.
Once complete, the MEDAs will form the factual basis of each country’s contribution to the regional Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses (TDAs). As such they are fundamentally important to the success of the ASCLME Project. MEDAs will capture essential information related to the dynamic biophysical processes that define the LMEs, and identify areas of concern that will feed into the Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses (TDAs), and the Strategic Action Programmes (SAPs), one for the Agulhas Current LME, and the other for southern part of the Somali Current LME. The parallel UNEP (WIO-LaB) and World Bank (SWIOFP) Projects will also feed pertinent information into the TDA/SAP formulation process, and identify policy, legal and institutional reforms and investments required to address transboundary priorities. The Strategic Action Programmes are the primary objective of the Project and will form the legal agreements by which the countries manage the LMEs.
The review section of the MEDAs will be comprehensive, exhaustive, fully referenced and make use of any national state of the coast/ocean/environment reports that are available. They will review current ecosystem knowledge and knowledge gaps, and will be written in a style suitable for publication. Throughout the text, for each numbered section, inserts will be provided on i) issues or areas of concern, ii) data sets, and iii) gaps in existing knowledge.
In addition to the review section, which is the factual part of the MEDA, each will contain national diagnostic analyses which will draw out elements into specific information to inform the TDA and SAP. These will include a causal chain analysis, a cost-benefit analysis, a monitoring and indicator assessment programme and a policy briefing document.
Whilst the TDA/SAP process is very effective at the regional level, each MEDA will result in a nationally relevant publication and information resource for management of the marine ecosystem by each country. It will add a new dimension to the management of LMEs by better understanding the overall state of the environment within each country. This approach may, when combined with those from neighbouring countries, reveal additional transboundary issues that may not have been apparent had the process started by only examining those issues which clearly have transboundary implications. Furthermore, a healthy, well-understood and well-managed national marine ecosystem will inevitably have positive impacts at the regional scale.
You may like to take a look at the MEDA Template here.
A more technical overview of the MEDAs and how they fit into the more traditional TDA and SAP approach can be found on the MEDA/TDA/SAP page.
The Final MEDAs (as printed) are available from here.