The Fisheries Resource Management Project: Philippine Experience
Jessica Munoz, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippines
The Fisheries Resource Management Project (FRMP) being implemented by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Philippines aims to address the issues of fisheries resource depletion and poverty among municipal fishers. The Project is composed of three components, namely: fisheries management, income diversification and capacity building. Eighteen bays which were assessed as heavily exploited were chosen as project sites. The implementation of the Project is being done by existing organizational structure at the national, regional and local levels. This is to ensure that no additional layer is placed in the bureaucracy. Furthermore, existing organization and manpower can readily assume the implementation of project activities when the Project phases out. The FRMP adheres to the concept of community-based fisheries management. However, by the nature of its institutional arrangement and major activities, it is largely a co-management in nature, with the national government playing an active role in project implementation.
The Project had undertaken various activities that involved the fishers, local government units and the community as a whole. Fishers and local government units are involved in fisheries management planning and implementation. The community-based law enforcement involved volunteers are deputized as fish wardens to establish the Fisheries Law Enforcement Team. Fishers participated in the information, education and communication campaigns. The promotion of income diversification was achieved through the organization of self-reliant groups in the coastal community. Prospective beneficiaries of livelihood projects were trained and given financial support. NGOs were engaged to undertake community organizing with the aim to assist in the social mobilization of fishers. At present, people's organizations composed of fishers have availed of the livelihood projects offered by the Project. The Project has also invested a considerable resource for capacity building. Fishers and local government unit staff were trained in various aspects of fisheries management.
The implementation of FRMP showed the national government's desire to veer away from the traditional fisheries management where the national government formulates policies and implement projects and activities, to a regime that promotes the empowerment of the fishers and the community. Fisheries management involves processes that may seem unending and repetitive. However, fisheries management practitioners should bear in mind that fisheries co-management is not achieved overnight and that the success or failure of fisheries co-management will depend on how the various players did their roles and responsibilities in relation to the overall management framework.
A Historical and Institutional Overview of Fisheries Management in Japan
Mitsutaku Makino, Fisheries Research Agency, Japan
Until the Early Feudal Era (about 1700) Coastal waters were considered to be extensions of the land, and villages were responsible for establishing rules governing local resource use (i.e. autonomous management body). Offshore areas were basically open access. Later Feudal Era (about 1700-1868) labor-intensive and capitalized fisheries developed (beach seine fisheries, large set-net fisheries). A few fishermen monopolized coastal fishery. In the Offshore area, large-scale fisheries operators established their own guilds and made rules, protected by feudal lords.
Modernization Period (1868-1900) - In 1854, Japan abolished the national seclusion policy of 200 years, and Feudal Era ended in 1868. New government carried out dramatic modernization of institutional framework. As for Fishery, introduction of the Top-Down, centralized license system in 1875, and dissolved into chaos. Meiji Fishery Law 1901-1945 First law that put fishing rights and licenses in a statutory form. Rights were granted to local fishermen's organizations and individuals. The nature of rights was property rights. Especially after the amendment in 1910, these were exclusive rights concentrated to a few big right holders.
Fishery reform after the WWII (1945-1949). Under the Allied Occupation, sweeping changes in national institutional framework (e.g., current constitution). Allied Power requested democratization of the fishery. To cope with domestic food shortages, and to improve the economic status of the fishermen actually engaged in fishery operations.
The current fishery law (1949-). The fundamental concept (Section 1 of the law) is "the holistic utilization of sea areas". To arrange and coordinate various fishing operations within a certain area from an overall point of view, not from the viewpoint of each economic unit. Various levels and scales of coordinating organizations have been instituted. Fishing rights are not exclusive real rights, but limited real rights (subject to limitations set out by coordinating organizations).
Fishery Policy Council
The advisory body to the government for national level fishery coordination, design of national fishery policy, etc.
Wide-Area Fisheries Coordinating Committees (WFCCs)
Coordination of resource use and management of highly migratory species. Also addresses Resource Restoration Plans.
Area Fishery Coordinating Committees (AFCCs)
Mainly composed of democratically elected fishermen. Coordination through the Fishery Ground Plan, Prefectural Fishery Coordinating Regulations, and Committee
Local Fisheries Cooperative Associations (local FCAs)
Composed of local fishermen. They establish operational regulations (FCA regulations) that stipulate gear restrictions, seasonal/area closures, etc., according to local environment.
More Specialized Purpose
Fishery Management Organizations (FMOs)
Autonomous body of fishermen. FMO rules are more detailed and stricter than the FCA regulations.
Recent legislation and amendments
In 1990, Resource Management Agreement System (i.e. official support system for resource management by FMOs). Total Allowable Catch (TAC) since 1997 for 7 species and Total Allowable Effort (TAE) (since 2001). In 2001, Basic Law on Fisheries Policy: new policy framework for the 21st century (Resource rehabilitation plan. The target self-sufficiency: 53 to 66 percent in 2012).
The role of local government
Responsible for the administrative procedure, and give scientific and legal advice. 130-150 staff in Prefectural fisheries division (about 80-90 of them are for research), only one policing boat (34 t, 5 crews). Annual budget: $58 100 000 (including personnel expenses. About 0.4 percent of the prefecture total budget.)
Some emerging issues
coastal ecosystem management
A review of Various Tools for Fisheries Management and their Applicability to Asian Countries
Tadashi Yamamoto, Honorary President of Japan International Fisheries Research Society
This was a review of various tools for fisheries management and their applicability to Asian countries. The presentation highlighted the dual nature of small-scale and industrial fisheries in Asian countries, and the different objectives and characteristics in terms of fishing labour. It was also noted the different management tools and different principles of policy for management. In small-scale fisheries should be managed on a decentralized process, using fishing rights and licences only to some extent. In industrial fisheries management should be more centralized and use fishing licences only.
A number of different management tools were outlined, such as TACs, Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs), group user rights, etc., and for each one their main characteristics in terms of whether such tools are top-down or bottom-up management measures, the extent to which central or local government (or a mix) should be responsible for them, and some issues relating to costs incurred by the government.
Fisheries Co-management in Cambodia
Ly Vuthy, Community Fishery Development Office, Department of Fisheries (DOF), Cambodia
Fisheries resources management in Cambodia is governed by the 1987 FIAT Fisheries Law (a new law is in the process of approval). The law specifies limited access fisheries (fishing lots, which are temporary spatial concession) and open system and open access fisheries (middle-scale and family fisheries defined by type of gear). Co-management, in the Cambodian context, is understood as a cooperative arrangement between the government and local communities and called community fisheries (CF). The establishment of CF is considered a process of learning by doing which may vary from one place and according to the actors involved. First experiences include:
1994: Community pond fisheries were supported by AIT in Svay Rieng Province.
1995: FAO Participatory Natural Resource Management Project includes in Siem Reap includes community-based fisheries management (CBFM).
1998: CFs were established in Kratie and Strung Treng Province.
When, after the initiation of the Fisheries Reform in 2000, 56 percent of the fishing lots were cancelled, to be managed by CF, a legal base and institutional framework needed to be provided. To facilitate this, a Royal Decree on CF establishment was signed by the King. The Royal Decree provided the legal basic for the Royal Government to issue the Sub-decree on CF Management, which defined roles and responsibilities of communities and state, given DOF/MAFF general jurisdiction over CF management. On the institutional side, the Community Fisheries Development Office was established in DOF to deal with the overall administration and facilitation of CF and Community Fisheries Development Units were instituted at provincial level.
As a result, CFs grew from 165 in 2001 to 386 now. However, the process is only in its initial phase, as 65 percent of the CFs have no by-laws and internal regulations, 75 percent lack clear delineation of their community fishing grounds and 85 percent have no management plan, all of which are needed for approval of their legal status as CF.
Management of fisheries resources: Some experiences through involvement of communities in the Bay of Bengal region
Yugraj S. Yadava, Bay of Bengal Programme Inter-governmental Organization (BOBP-IGO), India
Phang-nga Bay, presents a good example of Government, BOBP, NGO and Community partnership in the management of resources. Governors and community leaders from three provinces signed an agreement to ban push nets and trawlers within the 3-km zone reserved for small-scale fisheries. Community members later adopted this as a bay-wide policy.
Eventually, a mangrove reforestation programme in 35 villages of Phang-nga Bay was initiated, a cadre of volunteers for surveillance was set up, revolving funds created and training of fisher folk in data collection and public hearings organized. These became regular features of the activities in Phang-nga Bay.
The format for discussions (community-government dialogues) actually influences the type and content and outcomes of the dialogues.
Conclusions and lessons learnt
The fisherfolk requested the Department of Fisheries Thailand (DOF Thailand) to consider the entire Bay to be included in the Department of Fisheries/Bay of Bengal Programm/Community-based Fisheries Management project (DOF/BOBP CBFM) so that the communities could better decide on planning the fishing rights within the Bay and allocation of areas to certain uses, fishing gear and perhaps zoning schemes.
Consensus was reached on including setting objectives for multiple uses of the Bay's resources and finding sustainable activities and income that are environment friendly. The initiative was seen as a major step towards changing the old course of the top-down approach to bottom-up approach and shared responsibility.
Implemented in a tripartite arrangement with BOBP as the 'think tank' and resource manager, Government of India (GOI) as facilitator and State Governments as implementor with the communities at the core of the programme.
Fisherfolk appreciated use of participatory tools and approaches that helped them comprehend the realities about fishing pressures.
Series of stakeholder meetings eased tension in relationships between the three major groups of boat owners - kattamarams, vallams and motorised boats.
Participatory Research Approach (PRA) tools were quickly picked up by community members.
Grassroots level government staff appreciated and used the CBFM as it brought them 'closer' to communities.
Conclusions and lessons learnt
because of the larger size of the participating states (larger than many small countries), logistics, funding and time frame are constraints.
conflicts were not eliminated but there was better understanding of each other's situations.
panchayats (local self-governing bodies) were not fully involved in decision-making.
bureaucracy sometimes made the process cumbersome.
participatory processes, though very efficient, at times may be time consuming and more costly.
Pulao Payar, Malaysia
There were 2 projects - (i) Special area management plan for Pulao Payar Marine Park, a local level activity and (ii) Coastal fisheries management at national level:
marine park council established.
Conclusions and lessons learnt
The level of awareness increased significantly.
Points to Ponder
What differentiates between co-management, community-based management and participatory approaches to management? Basically they are interchangeable expressions defined as:
"A situation in which two or more social actors negotiate, define and guarantee among themselves a fair sharing of the management functions, entitlements and responsibilities for a given territory, area or set of natural resources" (Feyeraband et. al., 2000)
Are there parallels that can be drawn between the two CBFMs (Fisheries and Forestry)? Is CBFM (Fisheries) trying to "reinvent the wheel" at times and not making the most by learning from other sectors particularly forestry where co-management successes are ahead of fisheries.
Unlike in the forestry sector, where "ownership" of forests have been given to communities (communal property), fisheries lags behind. "Social communication" is a major instrument in the success of CBFM, how much of this has been practiced is still to be determined.
"Learning by doing" also involves a lot of trial and error. Who pays for it? CBFM may help with tools and guiding principles and may not concretise "models" because of the vast differences in culture and traditions - countries like India could be an example.
The Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC)
Peter Stephen, Capacity Building Coordinator, RECOFTC, Thailand
RECOFTC was established in 1982 amidst growing calls for a training and capacity building institution to support community forests - this is a similar situation we are facing in fisheries today....
"To enhance capacities at all levels to assist people of the Asia-Pacific region to develop community forestry and manage forest resources for optimum social, economic and environmental benefits"
program planning and delivery
Our (enabling) environment
80 percent of the world's poorest (living on less than US$1 per day) depend on forest resources for their livelihood.
377 million ha or 22 percent of all forests in developing countries are owned by communities. This figure may reach 540 million ha or 45 percent by 2015.
forest-owning communities invest between US$1.3 billion and US$2.6 billion in sustainable forest management per year.
decentralisation, governance, partnerships, poverty and equity.
Our (challenging) environment - key findings from Community Forests (CF) status analysis:
with regional economic growth.
significant proportion of forestland is under some degree of community management.
many countries do have supportive policies, but they are plagued with problems.
many national institutions have been developed, but capacity is still inadequate.
more forests are being placed under protected area status and communities are losing access.
participatory approaches are used in fire management, community-private partnerships, production forest management. There is no single model.
documentation and dissemination of sound science and traditional systems is still missing (and written in English).
increasing trend to cross-sectoral linkages.
Co-management is founded in communication and relationships
Wolf Hartmann, Management of River and Reservoir Fisheries (MRRF) in the Mekong Basin, MRC Fisheries Programme, Lao PDR
Management is, above all, management decision-making
When talking about fisheries management, we immediately think of such things as control of effort, regulation of gear and, particularly in inland fisheries, the enhancement of habitats and stocks. This is, we are talking about the implementation of management measures. However, 'management' means, above all, decision-making on measures to be taken. To manage is to exercise "the right to regulate internal use patterns and transform the resource by making improvements".
"It's co-management or no management!"
While management decision-making can take place away from the resource user, his or her involvement in decision-making is essential for management implementation and compliance with measures which have been decided on. There is no successful management without user involvement, as I have written in 2000, "It's co-management or no management!" There are no 'managed fisheries' on one and 'co-managed fisheries' on the other side. There are only 'managed fisheries' or 'unmanaged fisheries'. Successful management incorporates elements of good governance (such as transparency, accountability, participation), which are characteristics of co-management. Co-management is good governance in fisheries management and development! So, again: Co-management is not an alternative to conventional management. It is something different. It is a different dimension in management. Management is the "what (is being done)", co-management is the "how (it is being done)".
Is co-management a permanent arrangement?
Through much of the 'co-management year' there is actually very little co-management. In Lao PDR for example, most of the time management is taken care of by users. Representative from the government are present, but not in a very dominant way. Co-management as a moment of joint decision-making takes place once a year, in a central meeting, with representatives from all levels (local to national) present.
Capacity-building for co-management has many dimensions
Self-organization of users is a prerequisite for them to become partners to a highly organized group of stakeholders - the government. We have seen that, even where user organizations have previously existed, they may have lost most of their earlier impetus. Developing or consolidating organizational routines and accompanying users in the implementation of such routines over a sufficiently long period is an essential part of capacity-building, where government organizations should play an important role. In the presentation on the situation of co-management in Cambodia it became very clear that organizing is not enough. Many organizations are 'empty shells'. What is lacking are by-laws and regulations. By-laws and regulations are management institutions. Organizations are the hardware of management, they are visible. Institutions are the software; they are invisible, but essential. The most important 'institution' for local participation is the 'management plan'. It is the basic concept for management planning, management monitoring, and further development of the management system (management plan adaptation).
Does co-management mean "communicative management"?
Communication between the management partners in co-management, that is, the users and the Government, is a precondition for participatory management. Joint learning and joint planning is one approach: The co-managers develop a common language. An important result of co-management planning and implementation has been that users feel content, as their opinions are heard and they are being taken serious as 'specialists' in their own right. However, it is also important to communicate whatever has resulted from the experiences so far obtained from participatory management to other members of the society, through radio broadcasts in Lao PDR, for example, and a booklet in local language on "How to set up Community Fisheries" in Cambodia.
Co-management capacity-building goes beyond the individual and the local
Capacity-building goes beyond the individual and specific groups. It is aimed to go across groups and communities. Not only government staff, but government staff and users! Not only men, but men and women! Not only young adults, but children and the older people as well! Capacity-building also goes beyond the level of the individual water body. It goes from reservoirs and lakes to rivers and basins - all are interlinked! When "modeling" a river basin as part of a capacity-building exercise, we were surprised on how many such linkages exist!
Capacity-building goes beyond the local level. MRRF has developed a number of different formats of capacity-building which link communities between districts and provinces. It has developed and implemented, over a period of four years, a sequence of capacity-building on regional level on co-management in inland fisheries. These regional events are closely linked to national follow-up workshops, where participants evaluate "What is the same, and what is different?", and "What can we use, and what not?"
Co-management: devolving management responsibilities but not funds?
It has become clear that the development of financial capacity is an important condition for the implementation of many, but not all, activities which are contained in jointly agreed management plans. This should be emphasized: Not all activities need funding, and it's usually not at the beginning that the funding question kicks in. Financial capacity means two things: 1) the user groups must be able to monitor finances and account for them; however, 2) they also must have access to funding. This is a difficult question in some of the riparian countries. Part of the co-management promise is, for Governments, to economize on management expenditure by bringing in community members to perform certain management tasks. So, as in all likelihood; funding can not always come from outside, the possibilities of "self-financing" has to be investigated. Therefore, important tasks in creating financial capacity are the identification and development of sources of funding by and for user communities. There are three major mechanisms tried out in the sites supported by us:
1) credit and savings schemes, through which, among other purposes, the implementation by users of management measures have been supported.
2) development of alternative or supplementary economic activities, promoted by management organizations, which, among other purposes, contributed to the funding of that organization.
3) taxation for the benefit of management organizations. This can be in the form of taxation of the fishery as such (as in a case in Vietnam), or of fish marketing. In Lao PDR the user organization and a private concession holder is authorized by the district government to charge fish traders a fee (tax) on fish marketed. This may have, potentially, four effects: a) making available sufficient funds for waterbody management; b) creating an incentive for fishers to market through their own/shared organization; c) create a group of active fishers who are all shareholders ("owners") of catch destined for sale; d) discourage illegal fishing and marketing.
This would also be an example of creating financial capacity through institutional development.
Is co-management "no action, talking only"?
When doing the slides for this presentation, I suddenly realized that the photos showed exclusively group interaction. And I knew there would be this comment from the plenary: "So co-management is 'no action, talking only' (or NATO)?" Somebody said to me: "We can't only do co-management. We have to do something tangible, too...!" Most certainly! The co-management "promise" is to increase tangibility of our (conventional) management by maximising agreement and compliance by all concerned. Co-management is "conventional management ++". It is in addition to what conventional management proposes. We are not suggesting substituting conventional management with a different set of management activities. Co-management is doing conventional management in a participatory way.
Some enabling socio-political prerequisites for co-management
Ulrich Schmidt, Observer, Cambodia
The concepts of co-management of fisheries are still poorly understood by many. Taking our definition that co-management:
"can be understood as a partnership approach where government and the fishery resource users share the responsibility and authority for the management of a fishery or fisheries in an area...."
It is evident that the platform where success or failure will be determined will be the interface of collaboration between government and users. We can imagine then two ends of a wide spectrum of relationships. In the (rather idealized) scenario there are two main features:
user organization/communities that are fully empowered, (i.e. politically allowed to manage) and in terms of capacity (ability to manage - knowledge, communication, financial means), and
government providing, as a sovereign function of state, the legal and regulatory framework and good governance/legality to enforce it impartially.
The interface between these will consist of a political dialogue to ensure compliance and adaptability. Here, co-management would be achieved based on a contract between the main players, considering also interest and needs of secondary sector stakeholders.
In today's reality (with few exceptions), where users, their institutions and communities are weak (or kept weak), empowerment will remain, for some time to come, largely externally (Government/Donor/NGO) driven, with probable negative effect on self-help capacities, high transaction cost and less potential for self-sustained locally evolved management (i.e. less incentives for Government and users to invest). In this situation, the emergence of a functional and increasingly balanced partnership will depend:
on successful decentralization processes and other advances in societal developments (good governance, legality), to provide the climate of change, and
a broad process of facilitation of slowly increasing effective and responsible participation of empowered resource user organizations in co-management.
Among others, the following factors may be of critical importance here:
being externally driven (initially at least), facilitation of co-management will generally be a top-down process.
the process of gradually changing this to a more bottom-up effort will be slow. In many cases, it will imply a trade-off, that balances excess external inputs (with detrimental effects on self-esteem and self-help capacities of the users) with inadequate/ineffective resources (financial/capacity which result in lack of progress, frustration, and risking the arrest of the process all together)
Under the conditions of imperfect governance, which often characterize the social context of small-scale fisheries, appropriation and extraction of natural resources may involve some degree of political-economical opportunism by influential or powerful interests. If this results in outsiders harvesting the resources managed by communities and user organizations without permission and/or compensation, it will make completely disincentivize any efforts towards sustainable resource use, by both government and users.
Many communities and user organizations are effected by poverty and inherent hierarchical/paternalistic structures, which imply the risk of elite capture within the communities, endangering legitimacy of representation and democratic decision-making. If not confronted effectively by improved communication and learning and the establishment of basic democratic processes, this may have grave effects on benefit distribution and, thus, the acceptability of co-management by the majority of the resource users.
Coastal Resources Co-Management Dimensions: Tentative definition of indicators for projects regional portfolio sharing
Yves Henocque, Co-Director and Kamonpan Awaiwanont, Training Coordinator, Coastal Habitats and Resources Management Project (CHARM-EU), Thailand
As underlined in the rationale of this regional Workshop, successes and failures of past and current coastal resources co-management efforts are often poorly or non-documented. Drawing lessons from this growing body of experiences in the region is still a slow and difficult process for lack of readily available documents that analyse how the differences in project design and implementation are influencing outcomes. There is a growing need to learn from one another's experience and develop features of coastal zone management projects that work successfully.
Although some evaluation tools have been developed for project performance, outcome, and management capacity assessments, involved communities are rarely involved in these evaluation processes. It is thus proposed to develop with concerned communities, a strategy that will link their activities in a "learning portfolio" about the conditions under which a co-management approach to habitats and coastal resources is most effective. A learning portfolio's net impact should become far greater than the sum of its parts.
To allow this added benefit of cross-learning from site experiences to happen, a common language and framework of action are needed, in other words a "social contract" or a mutually developed agreement that governs how the portfolio functions. It would include a statement of the vision of the portfolio, outlines ideas of what the members of the portfolio will do together, and describes the obligations and benefits of being a member. After presenting the general concept and some examples of a learning portfolio, it is proposed to practically start developing a common coastal resources co-management learning framework in the region.
Five key attributes
integrated approaches and methods
- integration of science with policies
- combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches to resource management;
- integration between large- and small-scale management
- integration among sectors and disciplines
Main issues at stake
institution building - in the sense of institutional process and property rights for conservation of natural resources.
institutional integration - in the sense of a clear definition of roles, rights and duties within and between organizations.
management capacity - in the sense of achievement rate of CRM projects in the community/local government plans.
representation and participation - in the sense of the mechanism that effectively allows a good representation and participation of the diverse groups.
knowledge production - in the sense of the knowledge the community has about its own natural resources and habitats.
behavioural incentives - in the sense of accountability of leaders and access to loans through saving groups.
conflict resolution - in the sense of accommodation of groups diversity towards common objectives.
operational support - in the sense of existence of more or less developed saving groups and other funding mechanisms.
The Wetlands Alliance - Building local capacity for sustainable wetlands management
Nick Innes-Taylor, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Outreach, Thailand
Brings together strengths of four institutions (AIT, WWF, WorldFish Center, CORIN) in:
· focusing on poverty and wetlands in and around the Mekong region
· based on existing collaboration
Focusing on the importance of aquatic resources which are a key element in poor people's livelihoods, but relatively little is known.
Aiming to develop and support local management capacity and mitigation. Local development agencies can begin to work more effectively for poverty alleviation, even if their resources and information are limited.
The alliance will work towards institutional policy change. Local agencies are ideal partners for adapting and applying knowledge gained by working the alliance.
Building local capacity for co-Management
promoting poverty-focused agenda
Thai Baan village research as a mechanism for improving stakeholder and government dialogue
Richard Friend, Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme (MWBP), Lao PDR
How to negotiate between stakeholders, who are often faced with conflict, lack of trust, lack of information?
Thai Baan is a research approach in which local people themselves define and carry out all research activities. It builds on local knowledge and experience for assessment, monitoring and management of natural resources.
Thai Baan in Songkhram, Thailand
Arose as a Thai NGO and controversial origins over water infrastructure projects. Thai Baan in Songkhram supports decentralized planning and management. It is working with Tambon - Subdistrict Administration Organizations (schools, academics, district and provincial government) with 240 villagers (village researchers) from 4 villages in Nakhon Phanom Province
Thai Baan research topics
Thai Baan achievements
inclusion in provincial strategic plans
Monitoring and assessment as part of the management process. It was noted that it is important in Thai Baan research to feed back information to other communities in the river basin. In part this is happening with the results being incorporated into local curricula, and with networks being developed in the region.
Promoting Fisheries Co-Management in Southeast Asia: SEAFDEC Approach and Directions
Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) Secretariat, Thailand
- decentralization and rights-based fisheries
- human resource development for fisheries management
- fishery statistics and information
- resource enhancement
Co-management - perspective
group user rights ® small-scale fisheries
Co-management - ways forward
develop initiatives/tools to support national mainstreaming of co-management for small-scale fisheries (2006-2010)
Co-management and issues related to access: the case of "outsiders"
Eric Meusch, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Lao Programme Office, Lao PDR
Local people, when identifying emerging problems related to aquatic resources management, often associate many of the problems identified with "Outsiders". The term outsider can include a wide range of people depending on the context, but it generally means those people from outside the administrative or decision-making sphere of the implementing group. Whether outsiders are people from the next village or from a foreign fishing vessel, they can pose a significant threat to local resource management regimes. The basic issue is that decisions made by one group of stakeholders may not influence the behavior of the other groups of stakeholders that are also using the resource.
Given this fact, institutionalizing local management through a co-management arrangement can be an important tool in providing local communities recourse against intrusion from outside groups who have less interest in resource management. Although local people may agree among themselves concerning various access restrictions (area-based, gear-based, seasonal, etc.), they have little influence over outside groups without support of government at various levels. By getting communities and local governments to work together in a co-management arrangement, local people are less likely to conflict directly with outsiders because of the role that government can play in supporting locally initiated rules and mediating conflicts.
In other cases, however, a co-management arrangement can benefit outside groups that have a legitimate stake in resource use and management. Groups with traditional, seasonal, migrant access patterns can potentially be excluded by local villages in attempts to limit fishing pressure. This can unintentionally place biases against certain, often marginalized, groups who are unfairly impacted by management decisions. Government can play an important role in insuring that traditional access rights of outside groups are respected in co-management arrangements.
Outsiders are often considered threats to community-based natural resource management initiatives, a problem that co-management arrangements can help resolve by including government agencies at the appropriate level of authority. This can help support community management activities where outside threats come from outside the community's sphere of decision making and influence. It can also assist in securing the rights of legitimate outside stakeholders who have been excluded by local-based management bodies.
Co-management, poverty alleviation and controlling access
Susana Siar, FAO Fisheries Department, Rome, Italy
Small-scale fisheries maybe full-time, part-time or seasonal. In particular open access may be perceived to guarantee the "right to survive" of everyone, particularly the poor. Whilst open access may seem to benefit everybody, a result is that with nobody actually responsible for sustaining the resource, there is a tendency towards overfishing and over capacity. The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries offers the following general guidance to States:
institutional and legal frameworks to determine possible uses and govern access
The FAO "Increasing the Contribution of Small-Scale Fisheries to Poverty Alleviation and Food Security" (Technical Guidelines) also encourage States to end free and open access through input or output controls. The challenge is how co-management can lead to control of access and at the same time guarantee the "right to survive" of the poor? Co-management may not directly lead to poverty alleviation and does not automatically result in access control.
What can be done?
· targeting the poor and
organizing them into a stakeholder group
Assigning user rights
· microfinance to support livelihoods diversification
· human resource development
· devolution of authority
· collection of data for sound
decision-making: socioeconomic, demographic, bio-physical, local knowledge,
Empowerment of Coastal Fishing Communities for Livelihood Security (GOB/UNDP/FAO Project: BGD/97/017)
Zafar Ahmad, National Project Director, Empowerment of Coastal Fishery Communities (ECFC), Bangladesh
The primary target group are coastal fishers both men and women who are poor and disadvantaged section of the society and most prone to recurring natural disasters and sea borne accidents.
The immediate objectives of the project are: to assist the communities organize themselves into village level organizations, that are self managed and self directed; to introduce various economic and community welfare activities which are operated and managed by their organizations; and to facilitate sustainable conservation and management of coastal, marine and estuarine fisheries resources and habitats by the communities thus empowered.
Organization of fishing communities
Fishing communities of 117 coastal villages are organized into 248 village level organizations (123 men and 125 women covering about 20 000 households). Village organizations connected and linked through the network of Upazilla and District level federations. Realizing the benefit of organization, 8 new villages have come forward to join the project.
Self reliance and self sustaining organizations
Savings as initial activity of organization: US$156 816 (as on May 2005), being used as credit to members for meeting emergencies/income generating activities. Fund for operation of Community Organizations (COs): US$2 780 (as on May 2005). Welfare fund to support victim families: US$13 722. US$800 per family already given to 2 families for loss of lives by sea borne accident. US$400 per family given to a family for death of mother during delivery. All these are contributing to confidence building and development of self reliance.
A bottom up election procedure is followed to induct honest, dedicated and efficient worker in the executive committees of COs. The concept of "VO Leadership" has been changed to "Shebok" - a designation that implies sacrifice, not position. Inducting District Fishery Officers (DFO) and Upazilla Nirbahi Officers (UNO) in District Federation of Fishers (DFF) and Upazilla Federation of Officers (UFF)-Empowerment committees respectively as non voting members.
Mobilization and capacity building of District and Upazilla level GO partners
First ever in Bangladesh, the capacity of DOF officials has been built up on community empowerment. Moreover, several Upazilla level DOF officials have been trained with special technical training and study tour abroad.
Promoting income generation
Income generating activities (IGA) are aimed at reducing fishing pressure in the coastal and offshore waters. IGA supports are provided only after the required capacity is built up among the members. Till May 2005, a total of 4 773 families have been operating different small business. A total of 80 demonstrations on various village based business activities with successful operators done.
Micro Capital Grant (MCG)
Out of 117 villages 95 villages already constructed Village Development Committee (VDC), 95 percent of the MCG businesses operating well with only 12 MCG businesses have been fall in sick in terms of irregular pay back. About 5 000 beneficiaries got gainful employment through 421 business and resource re-generation related activities. Beneficiaries have earned a modest profit of more than US$225 000 from MCG supported business. Beneficiaries have returned an amount of US$60 220 to their respective Village Organizations or VDC accounts.
Promoting other welfare activities
46 primary schools are operating by communities in the project area. Class III in all schools and 6 new schools are running by exclusive VO supports. Awareness built up on PHC and WATSAN. More than 20 villages have achieved 100 percent sanitation, in other villages sanitation coverage within 60-80 percent range.
Fishers built up capacity to cope with natural disaster. Most significant preparedness for disaster is their US$173 318 savings deposited in the bank. They have developed and introduced low-cost sea-safety device, demonstrated unprecedented preparedness in actual cyclone situation, also made others alert at midnight on getting tsunami signal.
Adequate awareness built up on legal aspects including Fish Acts and regulations, family laws and human rights. Public hearings have helped in bringing the communities, local government authorities, lawyers, Government Organization (GO) agencies including administrators and police officers at one platform for giving instant solutions to many lingering problems.
Community participated fisheries management or fisheries co-management introduced. Fishers now involved in planning, implementation and monitoring of fisheries related activities. All other stakeholders are also made partners in the process.
Coastal community radio programme introduced for the community and by the community aired.
Some considerations on empowerment
Blake Ratner, Regional Director, Greater Mekong Sub-region WorldFish Center, Cambodia
Empowerment is often conceived as something we (government, outside agencies, etc.) do to communities. This gives the impression of local (poor) communities as the receivers and outside agents as the providers. In my experience, however, the truest examples of community empowerment begin with local initiatives.
Nevertheless, there is much government and external agents can do to promote community empowerment. Much depends on the legal and governance framework in place, including aspects like devolution of appropriate authority and mechanisms for conflict resolution that have been discussed. Other aspects of the legal and governance framework that we have not mentioned but are equally important include protections for basic rights such as the freedom for a group to organize and to express its views publicly, and fair legal recourse (a functioning judicial system). At the local level, the capacities of community organizations, their linkages to other organizations, and the knowledge and awareness of community members contribute as well to empowerment, and are factors that outside groups can influence.
On the one hand, empowerment is an outcome of factors including these. On the other hand, empowerment is a process. As communities become more empowered, they are better equipped to advocate for improvements in the legal and governance framework, to create and sustain linkages, to improve their capacities further, etc. To promote community empowerment, governments need to think not just about what services they provide, but also how they respond when communities mobilize and seek change.
Enabling environment - empowering communities
Fermin Manolo, Community-based Coastal Resource Management (CBCRM) Center, Philippines
The case of the Community-based Coastal Resource Management (CBCRM) approach in the Philippines and the work of the CBCRM-Resource Center is based on a long history of social movement which has an environmental activism, from the 70's and the Environmental Movement which gained momentum since the 80's.
Post Martial Law Constitution, 1987
Local Government Code of 1991
Fisheries Code of 1998
· natural resources as state
owned (Regalian Doctrine)
· re-orientation of fishery
management philosophy from maximization to sustainable management
The creation of the above legal and policy framework and environment resulted from the intense effort of NGOs, social movement organizations and their allies inside government.
Community-based coastal resource management (CBCRM)
Based on the assumptions of the failure of State-led model of natural resource management and risks of purely market-led natural resource management, CBCRM adopts a User Manager Principle (i.e. community as resource manager). The guiding principles of the approach are: equity; community control; democratization of access and sustainable management.
The approach used is people centered and ecosystem-based management and has the following components:
gender and development
The Co-management value of CBCRM approach is that it seeks to enable communities to effectively negotiate with other stakeholders and wrestle with antagonistic interest groups and; influence national and local government legislative and executive actions in:
devolution of some authorities to fisherfolk organizations
The CBCRM (now CBNRM) Resource Center is an NGO that aims to distil and propagate knowledge generated from the practice of CBCRM in the Philippines. It contributes to theory building in coastal resource management, including community-based and co-management. The center also provides capacity building support to community fishery efforts in Asia through training, research, publication, community to community exchange, post tsunami rehabilitation.