1) Bringing improvement in the implementation of CCRF:
- We must accept the fact that FAO CCRF is yet to be comprehended and operationalized in many countries due to poor capacity of the line department, socio-political reasons and lack of political will. Besides, there are a number of sustainability related issues which are cross-sectoral and hence go beyond the jurisdiction of the line agency (Department of Fisheries). There is an urgent need for creating Global, National and State / Provincial level Overview Committees (SOC) to guide and monitor the implementation of CCRF. These national and State level Committees would also provide cross-sectoral coordination support. Among other emerging issues the SOC will address inter-sectoral conflicts related to resource use, promote environmental protection and rehabilitation programme, facilitate pollution reduction, bring convergence between the programme and projects of various sectors and improve research – development linkage. Leadership of departments like Department of Irrigation, Department of Environment and Forest, Department of Water Resources, Department of Revenue, Department of Rural Development, Department of Urban Development, Pollution Control Boards, Department of Animal Husbandry, Department of Dairy, Financial institutions, Fisheries / Aquaculture Research Institutes and the Department of Fisheries be brought under the fold of this committee. The committee may meet once in six months to review the progress of implementation of CCRF and deliberate on emerging sustainability issues and suggest future course of action.
- Encouraging and assisting the countries in developing long term plan and policies for the development of fisheries sector with due priority to environmental, social, nutritional and livelihood security under the overall framework of CCRF. Highlighting expected outputs in terms of nutritional security (per capita availability of fish to the native population), generation of additional employment, income generation (poverty to prosperity) and restoration of environment would be highly useful in convincing the policy makers and drawing their support.
2) How will nations maintain the integrity of the resources…….
- Government in general view the fisheries and aquaculture resources as a source of revenue generation and as such considerable time and efforts are directed towards generating revenue thereby resource sustainability concerns becomes secondary. If the national governments are made to realize that mainstreaming sustainability concerns across the resource user communities and assisting / empowering them in achieving their goals of livelihoods, environmental and nutritional security would equally help the state in realizing its inclusive economic growth objectives while reducing system loss.
- In many countries aquaculture and fisheries are not treated at par with agriculture in terms of allocation of water, water and power tariff and taxation. This anomaly is to be removed.
3) Socio-economic issues affecting sustainability …………….
- Poverty – resource degradation / over-exploitation of resource nexus.
- Existing access and use rights policies deserves improvement for the promotion of stewardship and assuming greater role of communities in resource use planning and responsible utilization of resources.
- Fisheries /aquaculture facilitates and encourages harvesting of rain and flood waters, holding them in undrainable ponds, floodplains, reservoirs, lakes etc., and allow these ecosystems in producing goods such as fish, aquatic fruits, plants, etc., and performing a range of other ecosystem services like supporting aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, recharging ground water table and making water available for domestic use, irrigation, livestock animals, etc. All these clearly indicate the potential of complementarity of fisheries and aquaculture with other farming practices like livestock, dairy, horticulture, agriculture, etc., is enormous and deserves priority attention for development of integrated resource use.
4) To what extent can contribution be made to policy development …………..
- Co-management / Community based management regime be made mandatory for receiving subsidies with regard to Common Pool Property Resources.
5) Gender specific needs………….
- Housing facilities are extended to fishing communities as welfare measure. By giving ownership of the house to the women member of the family would help women in accessing institutional finance and other entitlements.
- Small-scale ornamental fish breeding and rearing enterprise be kept reserved for women.
- Similarly, women members of the farm family be given priority for receiving subsidy and other incentives meant for homestead pond based aquaculture.
6) What continuous improvements …….
- Institutional strengthening in the fisheries sector with special attention towards improvement of data base, introduction of computer based monitoring and evaluation system, strengthening of fisheries extension services and introducing a strong component on social mobilization to facilitate strengthening of community organizations.
- Greater involvement of NGOs as service providers especially in the area of community empowerment, delivery of extension services, etc.
7) How sustainable aquaculture …………….
- Fish health / disease management be adequately incorporated in aquaculture package of practices
- Quarantine, health certification and regulation related to transboundry movement of aquatic animals be strengthened and enforced
- CCRF and other guidelines be followed for the introduction of exotics
- Replacing fish meal with vegetable protein rich feed ingredients.
- Promotion of aquaculture practices which depend largely on primary productivity and where application of feed is supplemental
- Promotion of rain fed undrainable earthen ponds which rely on harvesting and holding of rainwater.
International Civil Service (FAO of UN)- Retired
Ex-Director / VC, CIFE (ICAR), Mumbai
Fisheries Development Advisor- Government of UP, MP and Bodoland Territorial Development Council (BTC)
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