3. Participatory monitoring: Key elements and experiences
Continuous learning and sharing of experiences is crucial for the effective implementation of the SSF Guidelines. Available lessons learned, best practices and tools should be used and reinventing the wheel avoided, but at the same time, the local context may differ to such a degree that specific tools and solutions must be modified or developed. Monitoring of progress will be important to keep track of what is working (and what is not) and participatory monitoring can help making information available and shared.
Please share any experiences, both good and bad, as well as lessons learned related to participatory monitoring.
· What do you think are key elements of successful participatory monitoring?
Key elements are fisher’s knowledge involving the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and local ecological knowledge (LEK). Incorporation of TEK and LEK is relevant in recognizing fisher’s participation and shared decision-making regarding fisheries resources management.
· What are your experiences with participatory monitoring?
Through my career in Fisheries Management I’ve learnt both science and fisher’s knowledge play a major role in fisheries resources management. For instance, Tanzanian coastal communities have long histories of interaction with the marine environment. Their unique customs and taboos have been developed over many centuries and communicated from generation to generation to ensure the sustainability of coral reefs and fishery resources. In early times area-based restrictions were applied in some villages to manage octopus stocks. For example, In Kisimkazi village Mtwara Region, there was a traditional management system which included seasonal closures of octopus fishery, with controls on fishing gear and access to the area by outside fishers. Currently, octopus seasonal fishing closure is practiced in Somanga and Songosongo in Kilwa district and Jojo in Mafia district along the coastal.
Likewise, community-based fisheries management approach such as Beach Management Units (BMU’s) and Collaborative Fisheries Management Areas (CFMA’s) is practiced in Tanzania, as institutional arrangements for sharing responsibilities between government and local communities in managing fisheries resources.
· Who should be the key actors involved in or responsible for the design and implementation of a monitoring system for the SSF Guidelines?
Should involve both local communities, CSO’s, NGO’s, Local Government and Central Government.
Ms. Lilian Ibengwe