REPORT ON THE STUDY TRIP TO THE PHILIPPINES OF LOCALLY BASED COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN PATHEW DISTRICT, CHUMPORN PROVINCE (LBCRM-PD)
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1. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY TRIP 1.1 Under the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Fishing Consultative Group Mechanism, SEAFDEC/Trainning Department (TD) and the Department of Fisheries in Thailand (DOF) have just started a coastal resource management project. This project is entitled "Locally Based Coastal Resource Management in Pathew District, Chumporn Province" (LBCRM-PD). The purpose of the project is to "establish a practical framework for locally based coastal resource management through the encouragement of fishers participation, supported by the creation of alternative job opportunities in coastal fishing communities". This project pilots a practical system at the center of which, Sub-District Administrative Organizations (Ao.Bo.To) and a network of community-based management unit stand, taking charge of coastal resource management in the demarcated zones proclaimed by the DOF. 1.2 Capacity building of officers in charge, community leaders and resource users is a crucial factor to the effective implementation of the project. With a greater participation of the people in the project site, any locally based management system on coastal resource management would work well. Great cooperation and good coordination between the government side and the people would lead the project to great success. There have been a number of pilot projects on community-based fisheries management (CBFM) in Thailand. Some successful and/or failure lesson trough the implementation of early attempts gives hints and suggestions of what viable models of CBFM approaches would be adopted at the project site. Of course, the project includes training curriculums that introduce the lessons learned. However, LBCRM-PD intends to set up a more mechanized system at locally wide levels that covers Tambol Pakklong (Pakklong Sub-District Tambol) consisting of six coastal fishing communities. There are very few models in Thailand that may guide this project into the right direction. 1.3 The Philippines has the most developed decentralized system of coastal resource management in the ASEAN region. There are a wide variety of locally based systems for coastal resource management including barangay-based, municipally based and alliance-based of a plurality of municipalities. Under the Fisheries Code of 1998 (Republic Act No.8550) and the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No.7160), municipal governments and people have enough mandates to regulate "municipal fisheries" and control "municipal waters". Both have made great efforts to develop locally demanded management systems with a mandate to make ordinances. Some municipalities have introduced their own registration and licensing system within the framework of the Fisheries Code. It can be assumed that there may be viable models that would be adaptable to Thai coastal fisheries management, as far as institutional arrangements and systemic procedures are concerned. Of course, we must remember the great differences in terms of political, social, historical and cultural backgrounds for coastal resource management between the Philippines and Thailand. 1.4 The purposes of the study trips were as follows : 1) To enhance the abilities of TD staff and DOF officials as regards the implementation of coastal resource management projects. 2) To study successful pilot projects and the workable framework of coastal resource management in the Philippines. 3) To exchange information and data regarding Coastal Fisheries Resource Management (CRFM) with the Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resource (BFAR).