Hearing, counting and empowering women: GAF7 conference showcases gender equality progress and challenges

These were the key themes that emerged from ‘Expanding the Horizons’the FISH-sponsored 7th Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries conference (GAF7) in Bangkok on 18-21 October 2018. The conference brought together around 150 experts, researchers and practitioners to discuss strategies to enhance gender inclusiveness and equality.

Strengthening community roles in aquatic resource governance in Uganda

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.

Investing in collaboration to manage environmental resource conflict

Conflict over environmental resources endangers rural people’s livelihoods and can increase the risk of broader social conflict. Yet action to sustain shared resources can also be a potent source of community building. Investing in capacities for conflict management can help launch innovations that build resilient rural livelihoods and strengthen institutions for equitable environmental governance. Governments and development agencies should invest in such capacity and integrate collaborative dialogue about environmental resources into program and policy implementation.

Innovations to strengthen aquatic resource governance on Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake

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.

From conflict to collaboration in natural resource management: A handbook and toolkit for practitioners working in aquatic resource systems

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.

Dialogue to address the roots of resource competition: Lessons for policy and practice

Conflict management is an intrinsic element of natural resource management, and becomes increasingly important amid growing pressure on natural resources from local uses, as well as from external drivers such as climate change and international investment. If policymakers and practitioners aim to truly improve livelihood resilience and reduce vulnerabilities of poor rural households, issues of resource competition and conflict management cannot be ignored.

Communication interventions for gender equality and social equity in aquatic agricultural systems: A review of the literature

In light of recent calls to integrate gender equality and social equity (GESE) strategies into development projects, researchers have begun to explore the gender-related inequalities in aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) and agriculture. This literature review addresses a gap in existing research by identifying the role of GESE-related communication components in AAS and agricultural interventions.

Collaborating for Resilience: A practitioner’s guide

In many countries, resource conflict is a leading risk to livelihoods. For some communities, it is a matter of survival. Yet, many development interventions aiming to address these challenges fail or fall far short of their potential. Common reasons include conflicting agendas, power and politics; poor local commitment and leadership; lack of coordination; plus high costs and low sustainability, as programs often unravel when development finance ends.

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