International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Participatory Community Fisheries Management for Sustainable Livelihoods

The Improving Conservation and Sustainable Use of Shared Fish Resources through Co-management Demonstration Project is supported by the United Nations Development Project with funding from the Global Environmental Facility through the Permanent Okavango River Basin River Commission (OKACOM). Working in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) of Namibia and the local NGO Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) as the implementing partner, the demonstration project aims to facilitate the establishment of community-based Fisheries Protected Areas (FPA) in the Joseph Mbambangandu Conservancy, located in Kavango-East region. Human driven factors such as unregulated fishing practices, overfishing, use of dragnets and mosquito nets have resulted in declining fish catches on the Okavango River. The establishment of FPA aims to promote participatory fisheries management and empower local communities to implement community agreed measures to counter unsustainable fishing and allow fisheries stock to recover. This approach is aimed at a long-term goal to secure fisheries as a sustainable livelihood. By July 2020, eight community-based fish guards and fish monitors, were recruited, trained and equipped to effectively work with the community, government fisheries officials and NNF in implementing sustainable fish practices. Here are some insights from the men and women involved in facilitating community-based sustainable fishing practices within their communities.The Joseph Mbambangandu Conservancy covers the rural villages of Tjeye, Mantjenya, Gove and Utokota, which line the banks of the Okavango River. Rainfed agriculture, fishing and seasonal floodplain gardening form the main livelihood activities. In 2018, OKACOM engaged local stakeholders through the Okavango Basin Management Committee to discuss how the Conservancy could demonstrate community-based fisheries management through co-management. The approach is new in the Kavango region although it has been implemented in Zambezi region with sound success.

5526: Support to the Cubango-Okavango River Basin Strategic Action Programme Implementation

13 Dec 2021