Review of progress against the RSF showed that the original elements are still valid. However, there has been a shift in focus from asset provision towards capacity building, institutional building and improving management. This shift highlights the need for continued action and support for the rehabilitation and reconstruction process over the next five years.
The workshop agreed that in order to move from emergency relief to longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction the following cross-cutting challenges needed to be addressed:
1. Improved data and information and the need for better coordination asset distribution as well as all activities involved in the fishery/aquaculture rehabilitation. These include:
Strengthening communication and sharing of information;
Maintaining and improving the function of coordination units;
Key information elements for fishery/aquaculture management systems (e.g. beneficiary identification, registration, licensing etc.);
Management Information Systems;
Monitoring and feedback on the impacts of tsunami rehabilitation programmes.
2. Assuring appropriate financial mechanisms are in place at both the macro level for fishery/aquaculture infrastructure reconstruction and at the micro level for development of fishing communities. These include:
Securing donor/government funds;
Establishing support from rural financial institutions and systems (e.g. soft loans, revolving funds, credit etc.);
Promotion of community level capacity to access/manage financial resources.
3. Strengthening human capacity (through training and skill upgrading) for communities, government officials and NGOs, in the areas of:
Resource assessment and mitigation/restoration;
Fisheries/Coastal Resource Management/co-management;
Capacity building at community level in leadership/organizational skills;
Socio-economics and financial management.
4. Empowering and ensuring full participation of communities in the rehabilitation process.
Reducing dependency and encouraging self sufficiency/self help;
Reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience;
Strengthening social institutions/networks (e.g. communities; cooperatives, fishers groups) and involving them in decision making;
Promotion of consensus and ownership of rehabilitation processes.
More specifically, country priorities depended on the stage at which countries had reached, between emergency relief to full rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Ensuring all affected parties have been identified and addressing any outstanding gaps in asset replacement or rehabilitation needs;
Aligning assistance with the real needs of the affected parties (appropriate scales of input, communication of needs, financial sustainability);
Resource assessment, based on scientific studies and traditional knowledge; to inform decision making on implementation of responsible fisheries and aquaculture (e.g. fishing capacity, appropriate infrastructure development, aquaculture zoning etc.);
Clarifying policy objectives in terms of economic, social and resource objectives, for coastal resource allocation, managing fishing capacity, strengthening institutions for fishery (coastal and offshore) management and responsible aquaculture;
Improving fishery and aquaculture co-management through the effective participation of stakeholders, dialogue and consensus in decision making;
Strengthening disaster preparedness at both national and local levels, through contingency planning and simple and effective early warning systems (e.g. pilot systems for fishing communities);
Promoting resilience of fishers and fishing communities (e.g. improving sea-safety for fishers, fishing operations, vessel quality; insurance etc.);
Ensuring that development of fishery/aquaculture infrastructure is appropriate and commensurate with the capacity of the fishery/aquaculture resources; and ensuring that the developments can be financially sustained;
Promoting opportunities for income diversification and alternative employment particularly amongst groups which remain vulnerable;
Improved post harvest/value adding of fishery products (e.g. product development, access to market information, value chain analysis, training).
The workshop recognized that there are issues relating to migrant workers and the shelter and relocation of internally displaced persons and (e.g. foreign fishing crews, persons housed in camps, persons who are unable to return to their homes). However, it was concluded that these are outside the immediate competence of CONSRN. The workshop further recognized that where these people are engaged in fishing/aquaculture, CONSRN has a role relating to supporting skills enhancement and addressing their rehabilitation needs.
It was also noted that management of transboundary fishery issues were important, but were beyond the scope of this workshop (management of shared resources, addressing the causes and management of IUU fishing etc.).
At a regional level, a number of broad activities were identified including:
1. Resource assessments (especially the impact of tsunami on resources);
2. Early warning system communication;
3. Lessons learned, experience and information sharing.
Priority action for CONSRN could include:
1. Assessment of resources;
2. Conduct training needs assessments and implement capacity strengthening;
3. Support to clarification of fishery/aquaculture policy objectives;
4. Coordination and information sharing.