LME:LEARN supports twinning exchanges in between GEF LME/ICM/MPA projects, with various intergovernmental and governmental institutions (e.g., IOC, NOAA, etc.), as well as educational and research institutions. The activity brings together project managers, scientists and technical experts, non-governmental organization leaders, and policy makers for exchanges of project experiences and lessons learned during multi-day or week “learning missions.” The exchanges enable participating institutions to share experience and learn from each other in practical ways through collaborative face-to-face interactions and “hands on” workshops (one to five days), short term visits to projects and regional institutes (one to three weeks) or short personnel visits (usually a week in duration).

The objectives of twinning activities include the exchange of project experience and expertise at the operational level; project management capacity development for more effective protection of shared resources and sustainable management of LMEs; and knowledge management capcity development.

Although a majority of twinnings are done on the basis of pre-determined capacity building needs, there is additional funding to support previously unforeseen interactions.  Projects are therefore encouraged to submit their proposals.


In order to submit twinning proposals, projects are to fill out a proposal form. Upon completion of the twinning, participants are asked to fill out an Twinning Report and Evaluation form to reflect on the outcomes, impact and follow up actions as a result of the learning exchange.

Detailed Criteria for Learning Exchanges:

► Person or institution proposing the exchange must be affiliated with a GEF-supported International Waters project, Water management or water governance, (freshwater, coastal or marine).

► Exchange partners may be affiliated with:

  • GEF International Waters or waters-related projects;
  • National, State, Provincial, Local Government Agencies;
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs);
  • Multi-Lateral Basin Organizations;
  • Partnerships of agencies or organizations addressing LME issues.

► Priority will be given to potential exchanges that promote learning on the following project management and ecological priorities:

  • Public Participation and Stakolders Involvolment;
  • Knowledge Management or Knowledge Sharing;
  • Monitoring and Evaluation;
  • Water Management Indicators;
  • Information Management, Data Management or Databases;
  • Public/Private Partnerships for Financing and Project Implementation;
  •  Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and/or Strategic Action Program (SAP) Development;
  • Sustaining and Replicating Successful Project Initiatives;

► At least one of the participating institutions should have demonstrated real progress to date.