The aim of the review, entitled ‘Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Best Practices and Lessons Learned’, is to synthesise the status of community-based integrated coastal management (CBICM) in the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) in Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.  The main objectives are to present background information, review existing best practices and assess what enabling factors are needed to strengthen community-based integrated coastal zone management in these four countries to provide sustainability to fisheries and livelihoods.

For the purpose of the review the BOBLME Project /FAO definition of community-based integrated coastal management (CBICM) was adopted. BOBLME defines CBICM in terms of three sets of activities: (i) community-based fisheries and habitat management; (ii) co-management of fisheries and (iii) the creation of alternative livelihoods among fisher communities in the region.

Methodology and Structure of the Review Report

The review was done in two stages:

Stage 1:
The preparation of a baseline literature review and key note presentation of the findings at the regional workshop held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 28-29 July 2010; with delegates from the four countries. A workshop report was produced.

Stage 2:
The integration of key discussion points and recommendations from the regional workshop and further extraction of best practices and lessons from case studies from the literature.The Workshop Report constitutes a companion document to this review. The country recommendations from the workshop are presented in that report.

During preparation of the review effort was given to highlighting viewpoints of the government agencies, the NGOs, and civil society organizations, and, potentially, the private sector. It is the consultant’s experience that a mixture of perceptions and arguments from these four sides will contribute to a more balanced view of the broad-scale picture of fisheries and coastal livelihood within the context of irreversible globalisation.

The review report is presented in four sections:

Section 1:
Provides a background and introduction to the dimensions of the review, the methodology, summary of information from BOBLME Stage 1 National Reports and thematic Study Reports, and reflections on aspects of livelihood stemming from the literature since completion of BOBLME Stage 1 in 2004, and presents the existing scientific awareness of sustainable fisheries management as the reference framework for subsequent parts.

Section 2:
Presents the status of ICM in the BOBLME-SA and its relationship with small-scale fisheries, concepts and the reference framework for exploring and analyzing the opportunity for sustainable management fisheries as represented by selected case studies.

Section 3:
Focuses on selected case studies from the four countries that provide material for detailed exploration from ecosystem, social and economic standpoints, and provides a framework that could be enriched by way of sub-regional discussion in the form of a workshop.

Section 4:
Provides conclusions and proposals for discussion at the BOBLME-SA workshop. These proposals are expected to lead to recommendations following the workshop discourse.

The Structure of the Review and How To Read It
The main body of the review document consists of three sections (sections 1, 2 & 4).These may be read without reading Section 3. Section 3 has been included in order to provide important background and contextual information to deepen the understanding of the main discussion presented in the main sections.