Integrated key stakeholders’ opinion for selection of community fisheries conservation zones and setting a priority action plan
A five-day field visit and meeting were conducted by IUCN and the Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT) from 19 to 21 June 2013 in order to understand the real situation on the ground, and to identify sites for fisheries conservation for effective implementation of the EU-Non State Actors project (EU-NSA).
This field visit was conducted in three sites around the Tonle Sap - Plov Touk Commune in Kampong Thom Province, Peam Bang Commune in Kampong Thom Province and Kampong Plouk Commune in Siem Reap Province. In each target site, the field visit resulted in discussion amongst the project’s technical staff, representatives of the Fisheries Administrative, the Community Fisheries, and the Commune Council.
“In many countries, small-scale fishers are under pressure because of over-fishing, often committed by outsiders. The most effective response is to establish local Community Fisheries. This is what the EU-NSA project will do in the selected sites”, said Jake Brunner, Programme Coordinator for IUCN Cambodia, Myanmar and Viet Nam.
In Plov Touk Commune, the Community Fisheries has not yet been established. Community members and the Commune Council requested the Government and NGOs to support their establishment.
Sok Teu, Chief of Plov Touk Cummunity said, “The geography of Peam Khnorng Village is highly conducive for fisheries conservation because there is a deep pool and a flooded forest situated between Plov Tok creek and Plov Touk Lake”.
Fisheries communities in Peam Bang Commune and Kampong Phluk Commune were established a long time ago. However, these communities are not strong enough. Hence, there is a need to improve their capacity to manage resources sustainably. As agreed during the meeting with community, Balot located in Peam Bang Commune and the former fishing lot number 5 in Kampong Phluk Commune were selected to implement the EU-NSA project.
On the important role of communities, Kimsreng Kong, Senior Programme Officer at IUCN Cambodia stated, “Communities are owners of their natural resources. The project implementation team will help the Community Fisheries to manage and use those local resources sustainably. Clear management planning and clear boundary for conservation and to make community fisheries recognized by law integrate the Community Fisheries Management Plan into the Community Investment Plan are important.”
Commenting about the ways ahead for this EU-NSA project, Jake Brunner added, “Good management for us is law enforcement by the Government and real participatory management from the community, so community involvement is vital. This project will support community fisheries in the demarcation and legal processes. It will also provide equipment for patrolling and facilitate collaboration with higher levels of local government.”
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