Participatory Modeling for Nature-based Solutions in the WIO-Region “PAMO”

Tanzania and Madagascar

Project duration 2022 to 2025

project summary

To facilitate the implementation of Nature-based solutions (NbS) and to identify scenarios of an optimized use of local ecosystems for and with local communities, the project “Participatory Modeling for Nature-based Solutions in the WIO-Region“ (PAMO) intends to provide decision makers with qualitative and quantitative decision support tools through participatory modelling.

Tropical coastal ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean region are under enormous pressure from increasing resource use, environmental degradation, and global climate change. This impedes their huge potential for mitigating the effects of climate change and their provision of a wide range of economic and non-monetary values to local communities. In that regard NbS can simultaneously improve coastal livelihoods and the state of ecosystems.

To ensure and optimize the outcomes of NbS a structured approach is needed that considers the complexity of the socio-ecological system. Therefore, PAMO promotes decision support tools that can facilitate an evidence-based exploration of potential impacts of NbS planning scenarios. Through integrating valuable traditional or indigenous expertise these tools can offer needed insights into the evaluation of spatial prioritization in the coastal realm, as well as societal and environmental implications of management measures.

The proposed decision support models and tools facilitate developing scenarios and making decisions on the protection and sustainable use of coastal ecosystems. The project provides a step forward, moving from analyzing individual NbS to facilitating an NbS-based management of coastal resources by integrating knowledge from local stakeholders, scientific institutions, and societal and environmental projections.


Increase awareness among institutions for including local knowledge in decision making processes and the importance of ecosystems in providing essential goods and services to local communities.

Develop qualitative models of the socio-ecological system from different stakeholder perspectives.

Increase local capacities for management-related activities among relevant institutions in East Africa to enhance the suggested measures. 

Develop policy advice on the use of local knowledge in the management of coastal ecosystems in Tanzania and Madagascar, as well as the wider WIO region.

areas of work

  • Mapping of local stakeholder needs and regional requirements with ecosystem services and conducting interviews, surveys, and workshops with local stakeholders
  • Participatory development of concept maps with local actors and implement a knowledge data base for causal relations of NbS with their potential impacts
  • Matchmaking activities between local knowledge holders, NGOs, scientists, and policy makers to create a multi-stakeholder working group
  • Jointly develop a factsheet on the local decision support concepts, as well as recommendations and a handbook on local stakeholder involvement based on local expertise and feedback from working groups and disseminate this information 
  • Jointly Run a pilot training with partners in the region for decision-making institutions and other interested stakeholders to evaluate and improve the training
  • Develop specific policy briefs, on the application of nature-based solutions, thereby using participatory decision support concepts targeted towards the case studies and regional perspective
  • Apply the developed decision support concepts to identify scenarios that maximize the output of nature-based services to the coastal communities at two pilot sites