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The Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP) set out to strengthen capacity among participating small-scale fishing communities and their supporting institutions in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. By doing so RFLP sought to improve the livelihoods of fishers and their families while fostering more sustainable fisheries resources management practices.

The four-year (2009 – 2013) RFLP was funded by the Kingdom of Spain and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) working in close collaboration with national authorities in participating countries.

RFLP sought to support small-scale fishers through activities under six main areas namely:

  • To put in place mechanisms and capacity for joint management of fisheries between the fishers and government authorities.
  • To implement measures to improve safety at sea and reduce vulnerability for fishers and other community members.
  • To address the loss of income from fish and fishery products due to poor handling, preservation and processing practices while improving marketing systems.
  • To strengthen existing (or introduce new) income generating activities and provide support for their implementation.
  • To facilitate access to micro-finance services for fishers, processors and vendors while helping community members better understand savings and credit mechanisms.
  • To pool together, analyze and disseminate lessons learned in the different countries.

Over the course of RFLP some 35,500 fishers including 13,357 women (38%), members of fisher communities and government staff took part in over 1,150 capacity building activities. These took place at the national and regional level and encompassed a wide variety of areas ranging from fishery resource management planning to handicraft production and from chicken raising to the use of fish finders. How many participants in RFLP activities have put their new skills to use can be seen in Making a difference: stories of change from the Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme.

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