Pesca continental

Aquaculture and Fisheries in Rice-Based Ecosystems. Studies and reports from Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines

Aquatic biodiversity and inland fisheries

This report contains the assessments of availability and use of aquatic organisms in rice ecosystems conducted in late 2013 in four sites in Indonesia (three in West Java and one in Bali), three sites in Xieng Khouang Province in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and four sites in three provinces on Luzon Island in the Philippines. A standard methodology was applied in conducting the assessments. The documentation was made of the animal and plant organisms found in the study sites and being collected by the people, the methods and tools to capture or gather them, and their uses as food, medicine and for other purposes. Local people have generally acknowledged a general decline in the abundance and diversity of the species. Factors included the intensification of rice cultivation accompanied by the use of chemical inputs, increasing exploitation driven by population increase and in some cases a high market demand for some species, and destructive fishing. Recommendations range from expanding the study period to observe biodiversity changes during other seasons of the year, locally tailored management measures using the study sites as pilot areas, national policy that protect the ricefield ecosystem biodiversity and enhance their flow of services, extending the assessment to the value chain of the species which have an increasing market demand, to institutional arrangements and collaboration between national, regional and international agencies and organizations. Awareness raising of the value of the products and services of ricefield ecosystems and capacity building for communities and government agencies for management of the ecosystem were strongly recommended. This was taken one step further in Lao PDR where a small pilot project was undertaken with the Department of Livestock and Fisheries, to develop improved methodologies for integrating work on the valuation of aquatic resources into local policy development processes. This included the development of local capacity and demonstrated that a facilitated process of collaboration between local communities and local government agricultural extension officers, can successfully influence local policy and establish institutional mechanisms to sustain this work at both local and national levels.