The working groups identified a range of issues which fell under nine principal themes:
1. A need for coordination of assistance and for fishery management;
2. Assessment of impacts/scientific studies for decision making;
3. Clarifying fishery policy managing capacity and institutions for coastal management;
4. Aligning assistance with needs;
5. Strengthening human capacity;
6. Preparedness, safety and simple early warning systems;
7. Strengthening communities;
8. Appropriate financial mechanisms and access to them, funds and finance;
9. Post harvest/value adding - opportunities for alternative employment.
The priority issues raised by the countries under each theme, and recommended solutions, are presented in full in Appendix E.
Indonesia - five priority need areas included:
Improving coordination between government, donors, NGOs and communities which has not been effective. What was needed was well planned meetings among stakeholders, assigning of tasks and responsibilities, use of feedback and control mechanism;
Matching needs to requirements was important. Donors tended to make assumptions about the needs. It was important to make interventions sustainable. This could be achieved through improving the profile of the sector, strengthening the community, using participatory approaches and controlling delivery and implementation;
Mechanism for distributions were too focussed around the main centres and needed to be broadened. A coordination team was needed, additional information should be provided to the public along with good monitoring and accountability;
Capacity building was needed for beneficiaries and organizations. This should involve assessment of training needs, formulation of training content etc.;
An early warning system was needed along with safety awareness. Infrastructure plans for the future were required, an understanding of disasters and a natural disaster fund established.
India - five priority need areas included:
Scientific studies to better understand the impact of the tsunami, especially in the longer term;
Development of institutional arrangements for capacity building (identification and strengthening of institutions);
Prioritising the balance between economic and social issues (identify stakeholders, multi level meetings, development of consensus, development of policy and strategy (using a bottom up approach);
Planning and implementation of infrastructure projects with consideration of issues related to ownership and management (e.g. to identify actors, collect plans, linking of policies, development of plans with dialogue between agencies and building consensus);
Building of social capital to handle credit, marketing and resource management (developing a framework which is conducive to collaboration, common programmes) and training.
Malaysia - five priority need areas included:
Human resource development (ensuring knowledge of and ability to support policy implementation). Understanding of fisheries management and economics, additional training of government officers, additional training for fishers;
Sustainability of long term plans. Human capacity and social assets were required to enable community empowerment, perhaps through extension services;
A need to align needs with rehabilitation activities and planning. This requires development of a fishery profile, strengthening of the communities, use of participatory approaches, communication and control over delivery and implementation;
National disaster preparedness and a plan is important. The government needs to pre-position a store of emergency materials, develop community warning systems, software and hardware;
Appropriate financial mechanisms need to be developed and linked to a national disaster fund.
Maldives - five priority need areas included:
Provision of shelter and displacement of people away from original home Islands and lack of livelihoods opportunities at new locations;
Provision of alternative livelihoods while in shelter housing;
Need to create social institutions to increase community resilience and assist with post tsunami recovery;
Lack of processing infrastructure, technology and marketing;
Lack of access to investment capital.
Maldives recognized that there is an ongoing need to secure financial support for addressing shelter housing issues. An associated factor is implementing appropriate programs to mitigate transitional and long term impacts from displacement from traditional fishing grounds by providing short term employment opportunities and skill retraining. Maldives was beginning to engage in the process of establishing and building community and cooperative organizational capacity and this was an ongoing need. Developing processing technology towards adding value and improving fish quality and safety was identified as a key future direction. Developing financial institutions and mechanisms to underpin capital investment was also recognized as important for the future of the Maldives.
In a discussion session following the group presentations, a question was raised for India regarding whether or not they saw the issue of building social capital as a long or short term exercise. India responded that it was considered a long term process.
Points were also raised regarding clarification on how outstanding current issues were to be dealt with (such as any groups or individuals that may have missed out on rehabilitation support). There was concern that there still may be a relief gap in some countries. There was also a request to consider the danger of exporting problems to other sectors/areas unless comprehensive planning was carried out (for example moving large number of fishers into another sector).
There was also a request that the groups recognize the consideration of regional issues (such as transboundary fisheries/ecosystems and migrant workers). These issues may be a good area for CONSRN to work in. Lastly, there was a concern expressed regarding the common coordination issues. Coordination does not deliver unless there are clear objectives and leadership. The workshop agreed that there are many lessons to be learnt from the different countries.
Myanmar - five priority need areas included:
Displaced people in shelters and lack of permanent housing;
Lack of access to investment capital;
Communication to fishers/communities about tsunami warnings and rehabilitation process;
Immediate lack of vessels and managing vessel capacity into the future;
Resource status is unknown and there is no effective management.
Problems identified with shelter housing and lack of access to investment capital requires the mobilization of financial resources both within Myanmar and amongst the donor community. It was also recognized that a review of the institutional framework and mechanisms underpinning capital finance is required. Myanmar sees a critical need to develop telecommunications infrastructure to open communication with isolated fisher communities. This would need to be backed up with a dedicated education and awareness program. There is still an immediate need to replace fishing boats damaged or destroyed during the tsunami but Myanmar also recognized that the management of vessel capacity into the future would be a key issue. There is little information on resource status and there is an immediate need to carry out baseline resource assessments and develop fishery management plans.
Sri Lanka - five priority need areas included:
Development of policy for the sector, a policy paper was underway but this may also need mobilisation of funds establishment of coordination units, data systems, MIS, fisheries ID cards and vessel registration;
Strengthening of coordination and information flow in the sector, funding for institutional infrastructure and rehabilitation development (for example addressing gaps such as the multi-day boat issue);
Institutionalisation of coastal management approaches and capacity building for coastal communities, government officers, fishers and stakeholders;
Capacity building for livelihoods development through credit/microfinance and value addition for products;
Evaluation of the tsunami impact on ecosystems through conducting surveys and assessments, regular monitoring and linking with the capture fishery sector.
Thailand - five priority need areas included:
Coordination, which was currently insufficient. There is a lack of human resources. What is needed is a lead agency with staff assigned for the long term to gather and communicate information;
An early warning system is required (simple system). Infrastructure is needed and perhaps a project piloted;
Capacity building for management for fisheries and development (training for fishers and officials) and a resource impact assessment;
Revolving fund/micro-credit is needed. These could be soft loans. There is a need to provide the community with funds and capacity building to manage them (including soft loans);
Community group strengthening and empowerment is needed. It is important to make sure the community was united with an emphasis on cooperative approaches.