Prepared by Daniela Barguil CoopeSoliDar R.L
Seven young representatives from fishing communities of Central America and Mexico met in Tárcoles, Costa Rica, the 7th and 8th of June ( Oceans Day) , for a two day workshop, organized by UICN- Mesoamerican and Caribbean Regional Office, CoopeSoliDar R.L and CEESP and CEESP Youth, with the support of the organizations that nominated the young participants: ACRA (Nicaragua), Committee for the Defence and Development of the Flora and Fauna of the Fonseca Gulf- CODDEFFAGOLF (Honduras), CoopeTárcoles R.L. (Costa Rica), the Federation of Artisanal Fishing of Guatemala (FENAPESCA), and the Federation of Artisanal Fishing of El Salvador (FACOPADES).
This workshop was organized as a preparatory event for these young representatives participation in the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea, and as a follow up of their participation in FAO´s regional civil society consultation regarding the “Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries” (Nicaragua, on February 18, 2012).
The objective of this meeting was to prepare the young representatives for the World Conservation Congress and for their participation in the Knowledge Café that they will be moderating, “Marine Governance: Reflections from conservation, Access rights to the ocean, and social and cultural resilience”, where they will be taking the experiences from their communities and from a youth vision. We believe that these previous and post activities to the Congress will guarantee a follow up of the leadership of this young fisherfolk representatives.
The participants had important discussions from their perspectives and from their community experiences regarding the subjects of livelihoods, integral water management, climate change, food security and governance of marine protected areas. They also visited an example of community resource governance, visiting the artisanal fishing community of Tárcoles, the fishing cooperative CoopeTárcoles R.L. and their initiative of the Community-based Marine Area of Responsible Fishing, as part of a Guided Visit through ConsorcioPorLaMar R.L. (www.consorcioporlamar.com), in which they were able to share experiences with other community members, fishers and fish workers. According to the participants opinions this visit strengthened their views regarding responsible fishing, fisherfolk organization, food security and community governance.
The main issues discussed for their local marine communities and for the small scale fishing sector were related to challenges with access to health, education, overfishing, pollution, climate change, marine coastal land rights, better opportunities for youth in coastal areas, participation of youth in decision-making and in fisherfolk organization structures, marine conservation and responsible fishing, and the importance of food security and sovereignty linked to the use and access to resources.
The second part of the workshop consisted in providing the participants with general information regarding the IUCN and the World Conservation Congress (WCC), introducing CEESP and CEESP Youth, explaining what they are and how they work. Then, the young representatives discussed and proposed the messages that they will be taking to the conservation community at the WCC next September in Jeju. Their messages regarding human rights and opportunities for coastal youth, marine governance and participation, responsible fishing, rights of access to land and marine-coastal zones, knowledge, climate change and other challenges will be presented and widely discussed at the Knowledge Café that these young representatives will be leading at the WCC, Jeju Korea, the 11 of September 2012, and at other events at the Congress, where the young participants will be sharing their experiences from their perspectives as coastal fisherfolk youth.
Footnote: The participants were: Erick Isaacs Jarquín (ACRA, Nicaragua), Franklin Gómez Quevedo (CODDEFFAGOLF, Honduras), Gamaliel García Alvarado (UICN, México), Mynor Bautista Carrillo (Federation of Artisanal Fishing of Guatemala, FENAPESCA), Rosa Sandoval de Zepeda (Federation of Artisanal Fishing of El Salvador, FACOPADES) and Laura Morales Rojas and Gilberto Naranjo Venegas (CoopeTárcoles R.L., Costa Rica).