Title: Workshop on COMMUNITY-BASED AQUATIC RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
Mr. Nyro Tum is a fisheries/aquatic expert who has professional experience for nearly two decades. He is a dirty hand man who directly works with local communities and stakeholders at the grounds to build up their capacity and promote participation in managing aquatic resources, particular fishes. Mr. Nyro hold a master of science in freshwater aquatic management from the Rural University of Agriculture and a bachelor of science in fisheries management from the Prek Leap National Colleague of Agriculture, Cambodia. Asides the degree mentioned, he also has lots of chance attending many oversea training courses which are related to fisheries management/governance, freshwater aquatic management, integrated water resources management, NRM and climate change etc.
More than 30 per cent of Cambodia’s land area is covered by wetlands, approximately two million Cambodians receive livelihood benefits from the fisheries sector and fish is one of the most important components in the diet for the majority of the Cambodian people. Hence, the fisheries sector plays an essential role in Cambodia’s food supply and a productive and sustainable fisheries sector is vital for enhanced food security, improved livelihoods and sustainable management of natural resources.
It is alarming that overfishing lost fish habitats due to losses of wetlands, the construction of dams for hydropower, intensification of rice farming and climate change pose new threats to future fish production. These changes are likely to have a negative impact on the natural resource base and jeopardize the country’s efforts to enhance food and nutrition security. Some of these problems can be addressed by the establishment of community fish protected area – Allowing community involved in managing, arranging and sustainable use by themselves – which helps to ease the pressure on wild fish catches, provide complementary fish sources to aquaculture and have the potential for positive impacts on food and nutrition security in general and the generation of benefits for local communities depending upon artisanal fisheries in particular. Community fish protected areas have potential to increase fisheries productivity of wetlands and at the same time conserve wild populations of fish species and other aquatic animals. The Royal Government of Cambodia has therefore set the ambitious goal for 1,200 communes to have an effectively operated CFPA each by 2019.
Although CFPAs have been established and operated in the country for fairly long time, many of those CFPAs are functioning effectively. At present there is some lack of technical capacity and resources to support dissemination of information on good CFPA management practices to the communities and effective engagement of the communities in implementing good CFPA management practices. There is also great need to strengthen the cooperation and networking with stakeholders outside the community in managing CFPAs.
The Fisheries Administration (FiA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has therefore requested Conservation and Development on Cambodia Organization, CDCam, for technical assistance to improve the management of existing CFPAs. This proposed project will provide technical assistance to build capacity of local authorities and community members in effective operation and management of CFPAs, which will increase the availability of fish from rice field fisheries and contribute to enhanced food and nutrition security as well as reduced rural vulnerability caused by climate change.
Based on practical experiences the protected areas or fish sanctuaries that are jointly managed by local communities are well-controlled and managed effectively. As the results, the fish population in respective protected areas had been increasing overwhelming – not less than triples in average.
Below are activities and steps that are being implemented to support local communities:
Demarcating boundary based on the community map with agreement from the Fisheries Administration and community fishery committees and relevant authorities.
Installating Boundary pole to avoid confusion and conflict between community members or outsiders.
Installating of signboards for awarensess raising and education among people in communities. The signboards can have many messages, such as: “Community Fisheries Protected Area,” “Fishery Resources Conservation Zone,” “No Fishing in the Protected area,” etc.
Dropping artificial reefs for fish and aquatic animal habitats. The reefs can be bundles of brush, tree stumps, broken boats or trees, etc.
Installing patrol guard watch towers and regularly patrolling of the site, particularly in the low-water dry season.
Rehabilitating shallow parts of the refuge ponds to improve aquatic habitats. This requires adequate discussion and coordination with the relevant Fisheries Adminstration officers.
Replanting flooded forests around refuge ponds.
Releasing fingerlings and broodstocks of endangered fish species into community fish protected areas and sanctuaries as well as other native aquatic animals.
Supplementing feeding with rice bran, homemade feed, and/or pelleted feed to fish and aquatic animals in protected areas and sanctuaries.
Annual monitoring and evaluation to evaluate fish health and densities in protected areas and sanctuaries.