Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries

in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication

The Republic of the Philippines

In the Philippines, an archipelagic country that comprises more than 7 100 islands, small-scale fisheries often vary from one place to another. However, a common trait is their critical importance as providers of food security and nutrition for many across the country. Small-scale fisheries and those involved in them face many challenges that threaten their sustainability. These include unsustainable management of aquatic resources in many areas, post-harvest losses, and high exposure and vulnerability to extreme hydrometeorological events.

In the country, FAO implements two parallel projects: the project entitled “Implementing the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines for Gender-Equitable and Climate-Resilient Food Systems and Livelihoods”, funded by the Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism (FMM), and the project named “Creating an enabling environment for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries”, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Under the FMM project, efforts concentrate on reducing post-harvest losses and improving the quality of fish products by, for instance, supporting small-scale fisheries organizations to procure cold storage facilities, accompanied by related training and capacity development on its use and management. Also, the FMM project supports discussions with relevant stakeholders on opportunities for social protection schemes that truly address the needs of small-scale fishers, of fishworkers and of their communities. This will be followed by the development and piloting of appropriate social protection arrangements in four small-scale fishing communities.

In parallel to the FMM project, initial work under the SIDA initiative focuses on three major assessments: (1) a Training Needs Assessment (TNA); (2) a Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Assessment; and (3) an Access to Social Protection Assessment. Thus far, the SIDA project has already conducted four trainings, the specific themes of which were identified and requested by small-scale fisheries stakeholders during the TNA. These include

  • updating integrated coastal management plans, including fisheries management plans, to align with the SSF Guidelines;
  • organizational development and leadership for small-scale fisheries organizations;
  • financial literacy and entrepreneurship for small-scale fisheries organizations; and
  • adaptation to climate change and participatory disaster risk management.

Other skills enhancement needs identified by the small-scale fisheries stakeholders during the TNA includ

  • fisheries management plans, the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, and coastal zoning;
  • coastal integrity and fisheries vulnerability assessment tools; and
  • community fish catch monitoring, documentation and data handling.

Apart from assistance to address identified gaps in skills and capacities, the SIDA project also provides support to Local Government Units (LGUs) to update their Integrated Coastal Management Plans. This will aid concerned LGUs in enacting and enforcing ordinances aligned with the provisions of the SSF Guidelines. The project is currently designing appropriate interventions in response to the findings of the FSN and Access to Social Protection Assessments, which will be implemented in a second phase

Learn more about the  SIDA project.

Learn more about the  FMM project.

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