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.
Community-based management and co-management are mainstream approaches to marine conservation and sustainable resource management. In the tropical Pacific, these approaches have proliferated through the spread of locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs). LMMAs have garnered support because they can be adapted to different contexts and focus on locally identified objectives, negotiated and implemented by the people involved.
Cambodia’s recent freshwater fishery sector reform, instigated at the top level of government, is one of the country’s most significant contemporary policy developments addressing natural resources management and rural development. Implemented in two main waves, the reforms culminated in the complete removal of inland commercial fishing lots. Yet serious problems still need to be addressed, including reportedly widespread illegal fishing, difficulties in protecting critical habitats, and competition among state agencies over resource management authority.
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.
International investments in agroindustry present a growing source of tension for local populations who rely on land, forests, water and fisheries for their livelihoods, particularly where local tenure security is put at risk. For governments, civil society organizations and the communities directly affected, engaging the private sector early is critical in order to avoid an escalation of conflict and to build collaboration that can yield dividends for all. Yet care must be taken to address power differences among actors and to avoid manipulation by individuals or interest groups.
Co-management of natural resources entails sharing authority and responsibility among government agencies, industry associations and community-based institutions. Policymakers and development agencies have embraced the approach because of the potential to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of management efforts focused on common-pool resources such as forests, pasturelands, wetlands and fisheries.
Coastal ecosystems in the Philippines are under stress from the combined effects of human overexploitation and habitat destruction. In recent years, the concept of an integrated approach to coastal resource management has been adopted to address this. This new paradigm, generally described as co-management, makes use of the participation of the different sectors (e.g. government, community) in the management process. CRMCs are multi-sectoral in nature with inter-LGU partnerships and different resource-sharing schemes.
It is generally accepted that co-management systems are more cost-effective than centralized management of natural resources. However, no attempts have been made to empirically verify the transaction costs involved in fisheries co-management. Some estimates of transaction costs of fisheries co-management in San Salvador Island, Philippines, are presented in this paper. These estimates are used to compare the various transaction costs in co-managed and in centrally managed fisheries in San Salvador Island.
The Cogtong Bay experience represents a bold attempt to pursue a shared responsibility between the government and local residents for rehabilitating coastal resources. Some of the factors that provided the impetus to co-management arrangements were the recognition of resource management problems, dependence on coastal resources for livelihood and the desire for more sustainable resource use.