Providing direct assistance to initiatives undertaken by Member States in the Organization’s fields of competence is the aim of UNESCO’s Participation Programme. Priorities are determined by the countries themselves, with proposals submitted via UNESCO National Commissions. The funds are modest (up to a maximum of US$26,000 granted for national project requests, with about six projects per country in each biennium, and up to US$46,000 for regional submissions). But UNESCO is not a funding agency. And support at these sorts of level may often be easier to assimilate than higher orders of financial contribution.
As an ensemble, Participation Programme projects touch on many of the technical fields and areas of concern addressed in the Mauritius Strategy, with several recent projects related to coastal and marine resources.
- Bahrain. Building up an environmental data base at the Environmental Research Centre at the University of Bahrain.
- Barbados. Coral reef monitoring and management training: youth within coastal communities. Characterization of secondary metabolites from marine corals found in Barbadian waters.
- Comoros. Littoral protection of Grande Comore, including support to involvement of local populations. Travelling exhibit on natural and cultural heritage of Comoros.
- Cook Islands. Sandwatch National Learners Conference.
- Dominican Republic. Regional meeting of schoolchildren and teachers taking part in the intersectoral project ‘Sandwatch’.
- Grenada. Development of Duquesne beach and surrounding heritage sites.
- Maldives. Development of microalgal culture laboratory. Fish camps for fisheries science students. Expanding the education and awareness programme of the Marine Research Centre.
- Malta. Sand dunes habitat protection. Setting up a marine biology course as a pilot project within the University of Malta.
- Marshall Islands. Preparation of childrens books on “lands-skies-oceans” based on Marshallese oral traditions.
- Niue. Research on pollution vulnerability of Alofi Bay (including sources, indicators, tools, measurements).
- Papua New Guinea. National public awareness workshops on marine resource preservation and rehabilitation.
- Tokelau. Traditional conservation methods and practices for handicrafts and fisheries.
- Tuvalu. Research documentation on ecological knowledge, Funafuti.
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* Information culled from a list of approved Participation Programme projects in documents prepared for various sessions of the UNESCO Executive Board, such as the 171st session in April 2005 (171 EX/34) and the 177th session in October 2007 (177/EX/56).