On December 28-29, 2018, IUCN organised a visit to Kampong Phluk by staff of NTFP-EP, WWF, CEPA and NGO Forum to the Tonle Sap followed by a workshop in Siem Reap. These four NGOs are part of IUCN NL’s Shared Resources-Joint Solutions (SRJS) initiative to strengthen community-based fisheries and forestry in the Mekong Flooded Forest in Stung Treng and Kratie Province.
The field trip to and workshop were used to discuss a checklist that IUCN prepared to rapidly assess community fisheries effectiveness, share successful experiences with fish conservation area (FCA) management, and do a SWOT analysis of sustainable financing options for community fisheries management in Cambodia.
Twenty-seven members of community fisheries committees in Stung Treng, Kratie, and Siem Reap Provinces were joined by representative from the Fisheries Administration, SRJS partners, and IUCN. Ly Vuthy, Acting Director of the Fisheries Administration’s Community Fisheries Development Department, led the community fisheries delegation.
The rapid assessment checklist consists of 20 questions covering legitimacy, ownership, institutional capacity, cooperation and participation, patrol infrastructure, co-management rules, and sustainable financing. IUCN presented the results of its 4-year EU-funded project implemented in collaboration with FACT establishing FCAs in three sites in the Tonle Sap. There were presentations on community fisheries and ecotourism, co-management and sustainable financing through membership expansion, and outsider payments. IUCN also shared its experience setting up a $5,000 mini trust fund to co-finance FCA management in Boeung Chhmar. The SWOT analysis highlighted community-based ecotourism, fisheries product processing, and saving groups.
The visit was marked by high levels of participation and yielded many insights on how to improve community fisheries management effectiveness.