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Results and achievements of the Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP)
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Results and achievements of the Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP)

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The Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP) set out to strengthen capacity among participating small-scale fishing communities and their supporting institutions in …

The Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP) set out to strengthen capacity among participating small-scale fishing communities and their supporting institutions in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. The four-year (2009 – 2013) RFLP was funded by the Kingdom of Spain and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

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  • Cambodia entire coast;Indonesia – 3 districts and 1 municipality in Nusa Tenggara Timor province;Philippines – northern half of Zamboanga del Norte province on Mindanao island;Sri Lanka – 2 fisheries districts on the northwest of the country, south of the war zone;Timor-Leste – 5 districts;Viet Nam – 3 central provinces of Quang Nam, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Tri;
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    • 1. The Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme: results and achievements
    • 2. RFLP sought to improve the livelihoods and reduce vulnerability of small-scale fishers and their families.
    • 3. It also helped foster more sustainable resource management practices.
    • 4. Sri Lanka Cambodia Viet Nam Philippines Timor-Leste Indonesia The programme took place in six countries.
    • 5. It was funded by the Kingdom of Spain and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
    • 6. Capacity building was at the heart of RFLP.
    • 7. In all some 35,500 fishers, family members and government staff took part in over 1,150 capacity building activities.
    • 8. This included community members (who were mainly women).
    • 9. Government staff
    • 10. As well as fishers themselves
    • 11. All RFLP activities sought to provide practical skills and tangible benefits to those who participated.
    • 12. RFLP undertook activities in six main thematic areas. TRANSITION SLIDE 1. Co-management of marine resources
    • 13. The first was the co-management of marine resources
    • 14. The sharing of management responsibility and authority between local communities and the government over fisheries resources can play a major role in their improvement.
    • 15. RFLP therefore sought to introduce or reinforce co-management mechanisms through a number of means.
    • 16. In all 65 various co-management mechanisms or bodies were introduced or reinforced
    • 17. For example, in Viet Nam the first ever Fisheries Associations were formed in Quang Nam and Quang Tri provinces.
    • 18. In Sri Lanka legislation was changed, Fisheries Management Committees formed and the eco-systems approach to fisheries management introduced.
    • 19. Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Councils were formed or reactivated in the Philippines.
    • 20. Innovative Village Regulations were introduced in Indonesia as a basis for marine resource management.
    • 21. Meanwhile, in Timor-Leste a traditional Tara Bandu resource management mechanism was documented for the first time.
    • 22. Over 40 resource management plans were developed and elements implemented.
    • 23. In Cambodia 15 Community Fisheries Area Management Plans were developed.
    • 24. In Viet Nam Commune resource management plans were put in place.
    • 25. Coastal and Fisheries Resource Management Plans were developed in the Philippines.
    • 26. Fisheries and Mangrove Management Plans were devised for Negombo, Chilaw and Puttalam lagoons in Sri Lanka.
    • 27. Demarcation of community fishing areas took place, for example as here in Cambodia. The resource management plans were implemented in a variety of ways
    • 28. In Cambodia anti-trawling devices have also been deployed.
    • 29. And community-patrolling capacity increased.
    • 30. Patrol boats were also provided in the Philippines.
    • 31. As well as in Viet Nam.
    • 32. Illegal nets have been confiscated and instances of illegal fishing have decreased in Cambodia. Enhancing patrolling capacity has delivered good results.
    • 33. Illegal traps have been confiscated and burnt in Viet Nam
    • 34. In the Philippines Fisheries Law Enforcement Teams supported by RFLP have played an important role.
    • 35. They have helped enforce a 3-month ban on commercial sardine fishing that has greatly helped stocks recover.
    • 36. Tara Bandu in Timor-Leste have already proven effective.
    • 37. As community-based mechanisms to effectively co-manage local resources.
    • 38. As a result of RFLP’s actions fisher- government relations have been greatly enhanced in many countries.
    • 39. This plays a hugely important role in ensuring resources are co-managed effectively.
    • 40. RFLP put in place processes and mechanisms to gather and generate data and information about fisheries and small-scale fishing communities. This will form the basis for informed fisheries management plans.
    • 41. In Timor-Leste an online National Fisheries Statistics System was established.
    • 42. As part of this initiative, the first ever national census of fishing vessels in Timor-Leste took place.
    • 43. 96% of vessels nationwide were registered with details entered into Google Earth where they are instantly accessible.
    • 44. A pilot system to report and record data on illegal fishing using personal locator beacons was successfully launched.
    • 45. Boat positions and incidences of illegal fishing are logged online in real time. Fishers also use the device to call for help in emergency. As a result of RFLP efforts the Timorese Government plans to adopt this system nationwide.
    • 46. A National Maritime Authority will also be formed to deal with emergency response for when fishers push the ‘help’ button.
    • 47. In Timor-Leste bathymetric data was also gathered through the use of GPS sounders.
    • 48. The GPS sounders helped the fishers to find fish.
    • 49. While at the same time the authorities could gather data on water depth, temperature and fisher movements.
    • 50. Areas of community interest were mapped. This included where fishers went to sea or if there were saltwater crocodiles present.
    • 51. Fish catch monitoring also took place in Timor-Leste, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
    • 52. Other important skills taught included how to carry out marine resource surveys.
    • 53. These skills were put to use in the development of marine resource maps in the Philippines
    • 54. As well as village regulations to manage local resources in Indonesia.
    • 55. Transition slide 2. Reducing vulnerability of small- scale fishers and their families
    • 56. Fishing remains the world’s most dangerous occupation.
    • 57. RFLP therefore helped improve the safety of fishers at sea and the vulnerability of fishing communities it worked with.
    • 58. Training and basic equipment such as life jackets were provided.
    • 59. Rescue and safety techniques taught.
    • 60. As were boat building and boat maintenance skills.
    • 61. Boat building skills.
    • 62. Basic first aid skills were especially popular with women who could put them to use in the home.
    • 63. Outboard engine maintenance and repair skills were especially popular with fishers.
    • 64. Being able to fix and maintain their engines enhances safety and their ability to fish and make money.
    • 65. Navigation skills were taught.
    • 66. Fishers were also helped to become ‘officially’ licensed in Viet Nam, Indonesia and Cambodia.
    • 67. Women were involved in training to help encourage safer practices by husbands or brothers etc.
    • 68. A variety of safety at sea awareness campaigns and materials were produced.
    • 69. Leading and landing lights in Sri Lanka and Cambodia helped fishers return safely in the dark or bad weather.
    • 70. Accident reporting systems were piloted in Indonesia, Cambodia and Viet Nam as well as Timor-Leste.
    • 71. In Timor the system revealed the scale of deaths and injuries from saltwater crocodile attacks.
    • 72. RFLP helped develop a National Plan of Action for Safety of Fishers and Vessels at Sea in Sri Lanka.
    • 73. 16 people were rescued from a sinking boat in Timor-Leste when a phone kept dry in an RFLP-supplied ‘Aquapac’ was used to call for help. As a result of RFLP safety at sea activities there were a number of documented cases of lives being saved.
    • 74. A fisher was also saved by an RFLP lifejacket when he was washed overboard. Saved in Sri Lanka – a diver put RFLP training to use when lost at sea.
    • 75. TRANSITION SLIDE 3. Improving the quality of fishery products and market chains TRANSITION SLIDE
    • 76. A wide range of actions to improve production techniques, product quality and marketing so as to boost fishers’ income from their efforts.
    • 77. Hygiene and sanitation practices were improved through training, developing awareness raising material and
    • 78. Post harvest losses were reduced and incomes enhanced through the provision of ice boxes and aerators in Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam.
    • 79. In Indonesia motorcycle cool boxes allowed fisheries products to be transported more hygienically, economically and over longer distances.
    • 80. Capacity building took place to improve product quality in all six RFLP countries.
    • 81. Producers were trained in new techniques and gained certification.
    • 82. Better processes, product quality, packaging, certification and marketing all led to increased sales and income.
    • 83. Direct marketing efforts boosted sales of fisheries products in Viet Nam.
    • 84. Participation in provincial and national trade shows in Indonesia drove sales and boosted confidence of producers.
    • 85. Beach access paths in Sri Lanka resulted in a considerable increase in income for fishers by facilitating access for more buyers.
    • 86. Thuan An port in Viet Nam’s Thua Thien Hue province was renovated to enhance hygiene standards.
    • 87. Hygiene and management levels at Oeba fish landing centre in Kupang, Indonesia were enhanced following an intense participatory process.
    • 88. Previously unused fish landing centers in Timor-Leste were also given a new lease of life.
    • 89. They became centers for data collection and sharing, and ice production.
    • 90. They were also used for training events so as to make them more relevant to the community.
    • 91. 4. Strengthening livelihoods TRANSITION SLIDE
    • 92. Approximately 40 different livelihoods initiatives were launched by RFLP.
    • 93. These will enhance income opportunities for participants while potentially contributing to reduced pressure on natural resources.
    • 94. A significant amount of community consultation took place to identify potential livelihoods options.
    • 95. Considerable emphasis was also placed on building business planning and management skills before livelihoods actions were launched.
    • 96. Examples of RFLP livelihoods actions include… Sewing skills in the Philippines
    • 97. With groups trained to make bags, hats and underwear.
    • 98. Handicrafts in Sri Lanka
    • 99. Small-scale aquaculture in Indonesia
    • 100. Support to a National Aquaculture Development Strategy in Timor-Leste. New Zealand will fund the first implementation phase.
    • 101. Vocational training – IT skills in Sri Lanka
    • 102. Hairdressing and beauty culture were taught in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines.
    • 103. Fibre glass products were made in Indonesia.
    • 104. Indonesian youth also learned IT repair skills.
    • 105. …and how to fix engines.
    • 106. Fisher wives in the Philippines were supported to launch a fishing product supply store.
    • 107. A boat removal and repair facility was constructed in Cambodia.
    • 108. Fishers trained in engine repair in Timor-Leste also launched small workshops.
    • 109. Various fish-based and non- fish based food products were produced for sale.
    • 110. In Sri Lanka a coconut oil production facility became operational.
    • 111. As did a coir products production centre.
    • 112. Rice banks were built and launched in Cambodia.
    • 113. These help farmer/fishers borrow rice when they need it as well as offer affordable loans.
    • 114. Pig raising was supported in Viet Nam often in conjunction with biogas facilities.
    • 115. Chicken raising was successful in Viet Nam and Cambodia.
    • 116. Home gardens in Sri Lanka provided fisher families with financial and nutritional benefits.
    • 117. Fisher families in Sri Lanka also tried their hand at dairy farming.
    • 118. Sand leeks were grown in Viet Nam.
    • 119. And seaweed farming techniques improved in Indonesia.
    • 120. Biogas introduced in Viet Nam and Indonesia helps fisher families spend less on kerosene, reduces time spent looking for wood and also helps clean the environment by using animal waste etc.
    • 121. 5. RFLP boosted financial literacy and access to micro-finance services. TRANSITION SLIDE
    • 122. Emphasis was placed on raising basic financial literacy in all RFLP countries.
    • 123. Significant progress was made in Sri Lanka.
    • 124. Sri Lankan fisheries societies were helped to operate more efficiently and more professionally.
    • 125. As a result the government requested replication of RFLP’s micro-finance strategy for fishers nationwide.
    • 126. Community-based savings groups also boosted membership in Cambodia following RFLP training.
    • 127. 6. Sharing knowledge between RFLP countries and other interested stakeholders TRANSITION SLIDE
    • 128. RFLP gathered information on its activities and produced a wide range of knowledge sharing materials
    • 129. These included advisory and lessons learned notes.
    • 130. Publications
    • 131. Case studies
    • 132. Newsletters
    • 133. RFLP also contributed to regional policy dialogue through participation in regional fisheries workshops and events and publication of policy papers.
    • 134. TRANSITION SLIDE Gender mainstreaming
    • 135. Gender analysis took place and a specific gender strategy was developed. RFLP sought to mainstream gender in all its activities.
    • 136. Approx 38% of participants in RFLP capacity building activities were women.
    • 137. RFLP successfully increased the membership and involvement of women in management bodies such as Fisheries Associations in Viet Nam.
    • 138. Changes to Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Act mean that women can now sit on co-management bodies.
    • 139. Seats on the Fish Finance Network Association board of directors in Sri Lanka were set aside for women.
    • 140. Women also became signatories to Tara Bandu in Timor-Leste in a symbolic step.
    • 141. Transition slide
    • 142. RFLP would like to extend its thanks to the Kingdom of Spain and all those who have supported and participated in its activities. Their contribution has been vital to the programme’s success!
    • 143. Thank you for your attention!
    • 144. Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia www.rflp.org