Intervention made by: International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF)
Made at: Second Ad hoc working group on protected areas, CBD. Intervention: Agenda Item 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 Review of implementation of the programme of work. 11-15 Feb 2008.
3.1.1. Assessment of progress made in implementation
3.1.2. Obstacles encountered during the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas and ways and means to overcome them
We welcome discussions under this agenda item, and would like to fully support the intervention by the IPs. We would also like flag some key issues from a small-scale fishing community perspective, issues that need to be addressed for overcoming the obstacles encountered during implementation of this programme of work on protected areas, specifically on marine protected areas.
These issues identified are based on a workshop that the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) had on Social Dimensions of Marine Protected Area (MPAs), just prior to WGPA2, where six studies facilitated by ICSF in India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and Tanzania, were presented and discussed.
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have set themselves a target of bringing at least 10 per cent of the world’s marine ecoregions under protection by 2012. While conservation initiatives certainly need an impetus, we are concerned that in the quest for meeting quantitative targets, the nature and quality of fishing community participation in governance is being compromised, curtailing the very effectiveness of this programme of work. In our experience, the process of ensuring effective and meaningful community participation in management and protected area implementation is challenging, and needs, above all, time. There need to be far greater stress on issues of Process and Governance.
We have the following specific proposals:
- To increase awareness on the provisions of PA programme of work and to ensure its implementation, particularly of Programme Element 2, there is need to organize specific capacity building workshops on governance and social issues, with participation of indigenous and local fishing community representatives, governments, and natural and social scientists, at the national and regional level.
- The direct participation of fishing community representatives in all CBD workshop and meetings related to protected areas, such as the sub-regional capacity-building workshops, should be facilitated. Specific efforts to strengthen fishing community participation need to be made given that MPAs are an important part of this programme of work. In order to make this participation meaningful and effective, preparatory processes prior to meetings need to be organized and supported, and translation of documents/ interpretation ensured.
- Specific recommendations on improving reporting by governments on this POW have already been made. We would, in addition, like to stress that there is need for specific reporting on marine protected areas. This would also enable governments to review governance frameworks in use for management of marine protected areas, given that, in several countries, terrestrial frameworks and institutions are used for the management of marine protected areas, despite the unique nature of the coastal and marine ecosystems as well as the social institutions that relate to these resources.
- There is need to develop specific toolkits for the identification, designation, management, monitoring and evaluation of marine protected areas, suited to the specific context of fishing communities and the marine environment, and with a focus on socio-economic components.
- While the initiatives to develop national databases, and the World Database on Protected Areas, is essential, it is imperative that gender-segregated baseline socioeconomic data is an integral part of this database. This will also facilitate monitoring on whether ILC’s are actually benefiting from this programme of work.
- While welcoming the proposal to establish multi-stakeholder coordination committees. However, we stress again that ILC should have a special status in these, as rights holder and not stakeholders.