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Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission

Regional strategic framework for rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in tsunami affected countries in Asia

Category Development & policy advice

The regional strategic framework presented here has been developed in support of recovery and rehabilitation efforts following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami waves that originated off the west coast of northern Sumatra on the 26 December 2004 and that caused extensive damage to coastal communities in the region. Estimates of the human cost are just under 300 000 killed (or still missing) with a negative impact on the livelihoods of around five million people. The total cost of recovery for the affected areas could be over $ 11.5 billion USD. Importantly, the majority of those affected in the coastal communities had livelihoods based on agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries, or were employed in associated enterprises. In response to the disaster, a consortium (CONSRN) of key regional agencies was formed with the objective of supporting coordination and harmonization of rehabilitation efforts in fisheries and aquaculture. In particular, it was agreed that activities were to focus on collating and disseminating information, carrying out assessments and supporting partners and governments to build a common vision for post-tsunami rehabilitation of the sector. A regional workshop on Rehabilitation of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Coastal Communities of tsunami affected countries in Asia (28th February-1st March 2005, Bangkok, Thailand) was held with the objective of defining and agreeing a joint vision, strategies and a set of guiding principles. The framework presented here consists of a vision for the rehabilitation of the fishery and aquaculture sectors which reflects an ideal state towards which all strategies and activities contribute and which avoids the mistakes of the past. Six strategic elements in support of this vision are described. These include support to: improving policy and institutions; providing appropriate physical assets; restoring the environment (while ensuring equitable access); providing appropriate financial support; improving capacity in support of community livelihoods, responsible coastal resource management and the rebuilding of social assets. The framework outline the rationale for these strategic elements and describes potential activities and outputs in support of them. A series of agreed guiding principles are outlined which are intended to guide the rehabilitation and development activities described in the framework. The framework outlines the basis for action by the consortium and partners. In order to support further action, a provisional implementation strategy for activities in its support has also been developed. The key elements of this include: collaboration in conducting needs assessments, development of agreed rehabilitation plans, working together to mobilize resources for rehabilitation and implementation of these plans through projects and programmes either independently as members or jointly as a consortium. While this regional strategic framework has been developed from the output of a consortium workshop it is intended to support not just the work of the partners but also to guide and inform other agencies involved in the broader tsunami rehabilitation and development work.