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.
Aquatic agricultural systems in developing countries face increasing competition from multiple stakeholders over rights to access and use natural resources, land, water, wetlands, and fisheries, essential to rural livelihoods. A key implication is the need to strengthen governance to enable equitable decision making amidst competition that spans sectors and scales, building capacities for resilience, and for transformations in institutions that perpetuate poverty.
There are increasing requirements for impact assessment by development partners in order to increase the accountability and effectiveness of research and development projects. Impact assessment research has been dominated by conventional economic methods. This context challenges agricultural research organizations to develop and apply alternative impact assessment methods incorporating economic, social, and environmental impact components.
Non-governmental organizations (ngo) and fisherfolk organizations already use human rights principles and legislation to campaign for the social, economic and cultural rights of fishing people. Yet, despite the widespread adoption of human rights principles by ngos and United Nations agencies over the last 20 years and the human rights-basis of the influential fao Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, progress with application of this approach in fisheries has lagged behind other sectors until recently.
Relying on a framework that highlights different dimensions of ‘decentralization’, this paper reviews fisheries co-management programmes as they have been implemented over the last 20 years in sub-Saharan Africa. It shows that in most cases, fisheries co-management programmes failed to improve governance, but simply altered the distribution of power and responsibility amongst the different stakeholders.
The opportunities for the six states that share the Mekong River to benefit directly from its joint management are more limited and the risks to the livelihoods of downstream communities from development schemes more important than the historic rhetoric of Mekong development has implied. Changes in the broader political and economic context have sidelined the Mekong River Commission, the one institution charged with regional cooperation to manage the river.
The Cambodian government introduced a dramatic reform in 2001 that reduced the allocation of commercial fishing lots in favor of local community access. Hailed by community activists, the policy shift nevertheless accelerated a crisis in the sector, with effectively open access and very poor law enforcement leading to intense exploitation and a surge in illegal fishing.
The diversity of social, ecological and economic characteristics of smallscale fisheries in developing countries means that context-specific assessments are required to understand and address shortcomings in their governance. This article contrasts three perspectives on governance reform focused alternately on wealth, rights and resilience, and argues that – far from being incompatible – these perspectives serve as useful counterweights to one another, and together can serve to guide policy responses.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is a research in development program which aims to foster innovation to respond to community needs, and through networking and social learning to bring about development outcomes and impact at scale. It aims to reach the poorest and most vulnerable communities that are dependent upon aquatic agricultural systems. AAS uses monitoring and evaluation to track progress along identified impact pathways for accountability and learning.
Common-pool resource management is a critical element in the interlocked challenges of food security, nutrition, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability. This paper examines strategic policy choices and governance challenges facing Cambodia‘s forests and fisheries, the most economically important subsectors of agriculture that rely on common-pool resources. It then outlines policy priorities for institutional development to achieve improvements in implementing these goals.