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Characteristics and performance of fisheries co-management in Asia. Synthesis of knowledge and case studies: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Philippines and Sri Lanka

The overarching objective of this report was to determine, from current evidence and experiences from the region, a view of co-management application and performance. Among the findings of the review are:

(1) Co-management is associated with positive trends across a range of social, ecological and governance indicators; (2) While overall trends in co-management performance are positive, between years the outcomes experienced by fishers and community members vary substantially between positive experiences and improvements and negative experiences and declines; (3) There is substantial variation in the systems to which co-management is applied and the degrees of inclusion, agency, influence and authority of managing partners; (4) Impacts of co-management on environmental and resource condition, and on the livelihood and economic conditions are determined as much by macro-level drivers of change as by co-management; (5) Initiatives associated with improved or alternative livelihoods were frequent; (6) A history of institutional and policy change created conditions enabling co-management arrangements; (7) Co-management is associated with improvements to representation and inclusion of resource users and beneficiaries; (8) National and international commitments have been made to progress gender equity, women’s empowerment, and socially inclusive processes and outcomes; but substantial challenges remain in meeting them; (9) Co-management is generally associated with higher levels of buy-in and compliance by resource users; (10) Monitoring and evaluation should move towards best practice impact evaluation techniques; (11) Co-management arrangements for fisheries are widespread, diverse, dynamic and supported by a range of institutional structures and organizations.