Over recent decades co-management has become an increasingly popular form of governance reform in many developing countries. Viewed as a means of promoting sustainable and equitable management of natural resources, it has seen wide application in small-scale inland fisheries. However, perhaps because of its worthy credentials, there has been insufficient critical assessment of the results. This paper commences with a review of underlying theory which is then used to explore the reasons for failure of a co-management initiative in Sri Lankan reservoir fisheries between 2001 and 2002.
Rural households who fail to gain a voice in decisions over the management of shared forests, pasturelands, wetlands and fisheries face heightened risks to their livelihoods, particularly as competition increases between existing and new user groups. Exclusion from decision-making increases vulnerability of rural households, making it more difficult for them to move out of poverty and thwarting broader efforts to achieve sustainable resource management. Poor rural women in particular often face institutionalized barriers to effective participation in resource management.
Lake Victoria fisheries face severe environmental stresses. Stocks are declining in a context of increasing population and growing demand for the lake’s resources. Rising competition between users is putting conservation goals and rural livelihoods at risk. While Uganda’s co-management policy framework is well-developed, key resources for implementation are lacking, enforcement is poor, and the relations between stakeholders are unequal. Poor rural resource users face significant challenges to effectively participate in fisheries decision-making.
The Java Sea is a major fishing ground in Indonesia contributing 31% of the national marine fisheries production. Demersal and small pelagic fishery resources account for most production in the area. During the 1960s and 1970s, strong demand for fish, which in Indonesia resulted from both increased human population and increased per capita fish consumption, stimulated the development of fishing in the Java Sea. This led to development of up-stream and down-stream industries, increases in employment opportunities, and increases in the number of fishers and fishing households.
Early efforts to apply the concept of fisheries co-management in Southeast Asia focused primarily on building the effectiveness of local management institutions and advocating the merits of the approach so that it would be applied in new sites, while gradually learning and adapting to a range of obstacles in practice. Today, with co-management widely embraced by the research community and adopted as policy by an increasing number of governments, a second-generation perspective has emerged.
This brief proposes a dual structure for adaptive fisheries co-management. building upon the disappointments of earlier attempts at community based fisheries management, it recognizes the differences inherent in the management of highly migratory pelagics while encouraging local management units to develop and implement plans that improve conditions at landing sites and manage artisanal fisheries for non-migratory species in selected near-shore areas.
The Third National Fisheries Governance Dialogue was a direct follow up on the Second National Fisheries Governance Dialogue held in Elmina in April 2012. It was agreed at the Second dialogue that co-management was the way forward for sustaining Ghana’s fisheries and that its success would depend on a supportive legal framework.
Natural resource management is closely linked to conflict management, prevention and resolution. Managing natural resources involves reconciling diverging interests that often lead to conflict, which can undermine management institutions and lead to exploitation, environmental destruction and deteriorating livelihoods. If conflicts turn violent, they can rip apart the entire fabric of society. Thus, managing conflicts in a peaceful manner is decisive not only for successful and sustainable resource management but for societal stability in general.
Since the late 1980’s various forms of fisheries co-management initiatives have been implemented in some of the major fisheries in Zambia. The reasons for instituting co-management arrangements have been varied and have ranged from the need to control the influx of immigrant fishermen to the desire to encourage the use of legal fishing gear. This paper looks at the manner that co-management has evolved in three fisheries namely Lake Kariba, Lake Bangweulu and the Mweru-Luapula fisheries. It shows that after more than 10 years of co-management the results are still mixed.
Banchte Shekha is an NGO based in Jessore, south-west Bangladesh that has supported the development and empowerment of poor people, particularly women. In the CBFM-2 project they found it was possible to involve women in fisheries activities, despite initial opposition from conservative groups. Banchte Shekha was responsible for organizing 7 CBOs in CBFM-2 following their successful experiences with a single CBO in the first phase of the project.