An interactive tool to support women, youth, community leaders on how to review their local fisheries management practices and knowledge was presented on Thursday to the Cultivating Equality: Advancing Gender Research in Agriculture and Food Systems Conference, a gathering of researchers from across different Pacific countries and CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) centres.
Available on the Pacific Community (SPC) website, this Community-based Fisheries Management Plan Reviews – Facilitation Guide, co-published by SPC, WorldFish and the University of Wollongong, sets out a participatory process for women, men, and youth to have a say in what the rules are for fishing in their coastal area, who makes the rules and how they are enforced.
The guide offers tips to support facilitators in conducting effective participatory reviews of community-based fisheries management (CBFM), including through the active engagement of people of diverse backgrounds, ages, and genders. It is accompanied by a set of data collection sheets to record involvement of women, youth, and men in decision making.
“Community-based fisheries management is vital for food security and livelihoods in the Pacific. It allows each community to manage their fishing, harvesting and other effects of human use of their coast and marine areas. We need processes like this review to ensure that no one is excluded from decisions about their fish and aquatic foods, and as we know inclusive decisions are more likely to be upheld over time. The guide is designed to be used by community facilitators, with activities to capture indigenous knowledge and management aspirations, using oral storytelling and visual tools that can allow everyone to participate,” said Dr Anouk Ride, Representative of WorldFish.
Community-based Fisheries Management is a key priority for coastal fisheries in the Pacific premised on the understanding that each community is responsible for its respective marine environment. It enables communities to assume this lead role in managing fisheries and adjacent coastal areas and resources. The guide uses a diagram of a fish that symbolises the CBFM plan where participants write down their suggestions and decisions.
“In its first trials of the tool in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the tool was found to increase the role of women and youth in decisions about coastal fisheries management and in representation on decision-making committees,” said Céline Muron, SPC Information and Outreach officer.
The preparation of this guide was funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and produced with support from the European Union and Government of Sweden through the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme.
This story was published at SPC on 14 October 2021, reposted via PACNEWS.