ASEAN Regional Workshop for Facilitating Community-based Resources Management in Coastal and Inland Fisheries

Date: 18-21 February 2014
Venue: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

1. Review country’s activities and legal framework for facilitating community-based resources management with fishing right system;
2. Identify key factors for successful implementation of community-based management; and
3. Identify ways and means for future promotion of community-based resources management by the countries.

Conclusion of the Workshop
The ASEAN Regional Workshop for Facilitating Community-based Resources Management in Coastal and Inland Fisheries was organized on 18-21 February 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with support from the ASEAN Foundation and Japanese Trust Fund. The Workshop was participated by the representatives from the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Member Countries (except Singapore), representative from the ASEAN Foundation, SEAFDEC Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General and officials of SEAFDEC Secretariat and Training Department, and experts on community-based resources management as resource persons.

The Opening of the Workshop was officiated by H.E. Mr. San Vanty, Under-Secretary of the State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia, together with H.E. Prof. Dr. Nao Thuok, Director of Fisheries Administration and the SEAFDEC Council Director for Cambodia, and Mr. Hajime Kawamura, the Deputy Secretary-General of SEAFDEC.

The former Assistant Director-General of Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO, Mr. Ichiro Nomura, delivered a Keynote Speech on “Importance of Community-based Management for Southeast Asian Small-scale Fisheries”. Then, the background, objectives and expected outputs from the Workshop as presented by Mr. Lieng Sopha, from the Fisheries of Administration of Cambodia. After that, the Member Countries presented their country's activities, legal framework and difficulties/problems for facilitating community-based resources management. 

Then, Dr. Yuttana Theparoonrat from SEAFDEC made presentation on “SEAFDEC Support Activities to Member Countries for Facilitation of Implementation Community-based Management”. The on-going projects/activities of SEAFDEC were also presented, e.g. particularly the training of the trainers (TOT) conducted in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam, aiming to enhance the capacity of fisheries officers and trainers of these countries on fisheries management approaches, co-management, so that these trainers could further conduct mobile on-site trainings (MOT) in their respective countries. In addition to topics on management, other aspects as required by countries could also be incorporated in the training.

Moreover, the invited resource persons namely, 1) Dr. Mitsutaku Makino, 2) Mr. Rikio Sato, 3) Ms. Ravadee Prasertcharoensuk, and 4) Dr. Kungwan Juntarashote presented on the 1) Community-Based Management with Fishing Rights in Japan, 2) Effectiveness and Efficiencies of Autonomous Resource Management by Fishery Group and Case Study in Japan, 3) Ecosystem-based Management as a Tool for Conflict Resolution and Conservation of Marine Fisheries: Experience from MFF’s Large Project, 4) Activities Facilitate of Community-based Management in ASEAN, respectively.

Based on the countries’ presentations and the experiences shared by resource persons, the Workshop concluded the key factors for the success implementation of the CBRM and fishing right system, as follows:

A) Government Factors
- Availability and implementation of legal and policy framework that support the establishment of CBRM and rights-based fisheries; and allow fishers group/organization to manage their own resources, with clear roles and responsibilities defined for resource users, government and concern stakeholders.
- Government and/or other agencies to provide support to community-based co-management, such as in term of financial/technical supports to the activities, and capacity building to enhance awareness and understanding of fisheries officers and resource users to fully understand the management concept.
- Set clear process for the implementation and facilitation of CBRM, the process should include: Set up of support official team to facilitate CRFM; Pre-survey on fisheries condition of community for making strategies to facilitate CBRM; Education to community fishers on community-based fisheries management; Conduct of planning meeting with core persons; and establishment of CRMO.
- External agencies (e.g. NGOs, academic and research institutions) could play roles in expedite the co-management process (define problems; provide independent advice, ideas and expertise, etc.).
- Community resource management rights are defined (with legal basis), and mechanism/structure established for allocation of rights to community members. Rights should be referred to territorial and use right, and should not be treated as property rights or could not be transferred to others.

B) Fisheries Community Factors
- Fisheries resource boundaries should be clearly defined. Boundary should take in to consideration watershed or life cycle of target species, in order to ensure effective management. Cooperation among fisheries communities is necessary for management of resources that share similar ecosystem, particularly migratory and shared resources.
- Community membership could be clearly defined, e.g. individual fishers or households with rights to fish in the area, and to participate in area management. Group members should also be homogenous, e.g. in social dimension, types of fishing operation, with common problems and needs.
- Community members, resource users and stakeholders that could be affected by management measures should be included and actively participated in the formulation/adjustment in the implementation of such management measures. Community could also take active roles in data collection to support formulation of appropriate management measures. Migrant fishers should also be joined on the decision of management measures.
- Establishment of management measures should be based on available data (e.g. daily catch, fishing effort, etc.) and information, taking into consideration specific situation and requirements of different localities, as well as culture and traditional knowledge of the communities. Management measures should be based on holistic approach, and consider ecosystem approach that balances the need for social-economic and ecology dimensions.
- Individual community members should find rules/regulations for management credible and equitable to encourage participation of all partners.
- Community has active/responsible leader.
- Community members should be encouraged to have willingness to cooperate and contribute (time, effort, etc.) to management process. In this regard, incentive structure for individual community members should be clearly defined (incentives in social and economic aspects) in order to encourage community participation. Compensation should be considered, e.g. for reducing fishing pressures, etc. In addition, fisheries organization should also have incentives for undertaking management roles/functions.
- Community members educated and empowered, to have full awareness on their rights to participate in decision-making and implementation process of management measures.                                  
- Under the community resource users rights, all member of CBRM must take responsibility for their activities decisions without being pressured from government and politics.
- Membership of local organization should be clearly defined.
- Community has adequate financial resources to sustain community-based co-management activities. To sustain the management activities, financial resources should not rely only on external support, but community should also earn incomes from other sources such as membership fee, etc.

In addition, the difficulties and problems of the ASEAN Member Countries in facilitating CBRM as well as the way forward for the promotion of CBRM and related initiatives in their respective countries were indentified. For the conclusion of the Workshop, the Workshop suggested SEAFDEC to consider preparing a policy brief on CBRM, which could compile lessons learnt from various CBRM-related initiatives, in order to promote understanding on CBRM for policy makers and relevant stakeholders. The Workshop also suggested the compilation of success stories on CBRM in order to facilitate sharing of lessons learnt and implementation in other countries. This could be done through production of tools and materials, including audio-materials. Representatives attending in the Workshop were also encouraged to continue promoting CBRM, as well as to encourage policy makers in their respective countries to promote the application of CBRM concept in the future.