A vision for fisheries and aquaculture was developed and shared by the tsunami affected countries, NGOs, and international/regional agencies and represents an ideal state towards which all strategies and activities would contribute. In particular, the importance of getting "rehabilitation right" means an adequate investment in time and well-planned inclusive processes. The goal is a rehabilitated sector minus the past mistakes and is a substantial improvement over the pre-tsunami situation.
While recognizing the sovereign rights of each affected country and the cultural context of coastal communities, the shared vision for fisheries and aquaculture is a sector that:
1. contributes to poverty alleviation, sustainable livelihoods and food security at household, local and national levels;
2. is based on sound regulation, good governance and functional management institutions that ensure equitable development and safety within the different parts of the sector;
3. uses appropriate technologies with due recognition of the environmentally sustainable limits to harvesting natural resources and aquaculture products;
4. is part of a holistic view of the coastal ecosystems and is managed according to the principles of integrated coastal zone management, including the wider aspects of land tenure and relocation of communities; and
5. has a well integrated supply chain from harvest to consumer that supports labour intensive post-harvest activities (which are mainly carried out by women), equitable trade and marketing that ensures safe food for all.
Guiding principles to achieve the vision
The workshop also agreed on some guiding principles that provide the ground rules for the development and implementation of regional and country level rehabilitation activities of CONSRN and its partners. It also recommended that these key principles serve as a guide for the actions of others. Full details of the principles are attached in Appendix G. In summary, the principles center on:
Putting people first in rehabilitation
A livelihood focused approach, which ensures that natural systems have an enhanced ability to provide a broad and sustainable range of livelihood strategies, which are accessible to all members of these communities (including women, children and marginalized groups). This approach should also take into account the diversity of additional and existing livelihood strategies available to people in coastal communities, such as farming, fish processing, gardening, marketing etc. Key aspects include reduction of the vulnerability of communities, partnerships, participation and comanagement, understanding of the diversity of communities, human rights, labour standards and equitable access to resources.
Rehabilitating the whole production and marketing chain
For both fisheries and aquaculture, special attention should be given to the whole supply chain, including trading and marketing to ensure minimal losses and wastage (including during transportation). Fisheries should be based on better fish handling at sea to ensure high quality of landed fish, and supported by high quality onshore infrastructure. The goal is to ensure maximisation of fish quality and value-added potential for post-harvest processing and sale of fish products. Aquaculture should also be based on management of processes to ensure high quality and safe food for human consumption.
Rehabilitation that is consistent with international and regional agreements and guidelines:
Rehabilitation activity should positively contribute to the agreements and guidelines on: poverty alleviation and food security contained in the Millennium Declaration, the ASEAN Resolution & Plan of Action adopted by the Millennium Conference; the BIMSTEC declaration; the principles of sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture outlined in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF); NACA Principles for Sustainable Aquaculture; SEAFDEC Regional Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries in Southeast Asia and the recently agreed UNEP principles for tsunami reconstruction
In particular, action should follow a multi-sectoral approach which ensures that the natural resource base of the coastal zone is sustained through equitable integrated coastal zone management. There should be an emphasis on support for institutional and policy reforms that address fishing overcapacity, unsustainable fishing practices and unsustainable aquaculture
Specific guidelines for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors
Specific guidelines for the fishery sector include those that ensure:
a well-regulated fishing capacity that is commensurate with the sustainable yield of the fishery resource;
a balance of small-scale artisanal fisher folk fishing inshore waters and larger-scale "industrial" vessels restricted to off-shore waters (with a "pro-poor" policy that gives preference to beach-based labour intensive fishing);
use of non-destructive fishing gear and practices and adequate safety at sea;
healthy ecosystems that have been rehabilitated through participatory practices that involve the people that depend on them;
an industry based on good governance with strong institutional support from both government and NGO's; and
a sector supported by a high quality on-shore infrastructure that ensures food safety and value-adding potential in post-harvest processing and sale of fish products.
Specific guidelines for the aquaculture sector include those that ensure:
environmentally sound management practices that do not pollute, damage habitats or cause long-term irreversible harm (including use of feed and seed from sustainable sources);
use of technologies and farm-management practices that are appropriate to rural people and minimize impacts on other users of the coastal environment;
supports farmer organizations, marketing and processing manufacturing of inputs and outputs, fair trade and markets, international and regional partnerships and wide-scale communication, facilitation of dialogue and sharing of experiences.
The implementation activities will follow a step-wise approach starting with detailed impact/ damage assessments and needs analyses that form the basis of all rehabilitation activities. These assessments should include the institutional capacity of different organizations at all levels (and economic sectors) to deliver effectively and the organizational ability of recipients to receive and utilize inputs. Actions taken should have a clear indication of measurable outcomes with an emphasis on "accountability" and "transparency". Effective communication is a core element of any intervention and such actions will support coordinated partnership between governments, NGOs, international agencies and bilateral donors. In particular, the findings and outcomes of assessments should be communicated clearly to development partners throughout the process.