EMPOWERING COASTAL FISHING COMMUNITIES THROUGH CAPACITY BUILDING FOR THE PROTECTION/REHABILITATION OF THE MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY
The project is aimed at providing training and capacity-building to empower local fishing communities in 5 areas covering four states in Peninsular on issues related to the coastal and marine biodiversity. The aim of the training is to enable the fishing communities to strengthen their engagement in policy making to improve governance and enforcement related to coastal and marine biodiversity protection and to enable the provision of feedback from the ground of the threats to coastal and marine biodiversity resources. The project will also involve mangrove replanting activities to further enable community based initiatives in biodiversity conservation and protection.
Malaysia’s coastal and marine biodiversity continues to be under threat from land development, overfishing, trawling and pollution. Fishing communities who depend on the coastal and marine biodiversity, when made conscious and are empowered can play a very critical role as the “eyes and ears” of government in ensuring that such threats are exposed and addressed. They will also be able to play a critical role in providing policy inputs if given the opportunity. Encouraging such participation from local community groups into policy making and in providing feedback from the ground continues to remain weak as the capacities of such local community groups to ensure effective and meaningful participation in policy-making needs further strengthening. When local communities are sufficiently empowered, they can play an effective role in biodiversity protection and promotion.
The objective of the project is to strengthen and empower fishing communities through capacity building efforts to play an active role in protecting and rehabilitating the coastal and marine biodiversity, including through effective engagement in monitoring of threats to biodiversity and in undertaking mangrove replanting activities. This will in turn ensure the realization of sustainable livelihoods for these fishing communities.
Project activities include:
• Training of fisher communities on rights, law and governance at the local and national level, including on relevant existing policies relating to fisheries and coastal/marine ecosystem and biodiversity. This will also include an understanding of threats to fishery resources such as destructive fishing practices, pollution and land-based activities that destroy fishery habitats.

• Carrying out representation activities on issues related to threats to fishery resources and the coastal/marine biodiversity;

• Dialogue with authorities and policy makers on issues related to protection and rehabilitation of the coastal and marine ecosystem (e.g. enforcement of Fisheries Act to protect inshore fishermen, Oceans Policy and Biodiversity Policy), and

• Capacity-building and strengthening of community based mangrove replanting and rehabilitation initiatives;

Expected outputs:
• Strengthening and empowerment of the JARING network.

• Creation of a core group of fisher folk activists who will help undertake the activities which have been planned and in protecting the coastal and marine biodiversity.

• There will be a reduction in destructive fishery practices due to vigilance of local fisher communities;

• Mangrove areas are rehabilitated and forests are regenerated in the areas and states involved;

• Community based mangrove ecosystem is promoted further in more states;

• The livelihood of fisher communities involved is improved; and the
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee: Sahabat Alam Malaysia
Country: Malaysia
Area Of Work: Biodiversity
Operational Phase: Phase 5
Grant Amount: US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash: US$ 8,133.00
Co-Financing in-Kind: US$ 7,466.00
Project Number: MAL/SGP/OP5/STAR/BD/12/04
Start Date: 5/2012
End Date: 12/2013
Status: Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
Empowering and building the capacity of the local fisher communities will strengthen their engagement to improve governance and enforcement in relation to coastal and marine biodiversity protection, which is crucial for their sustainable livelihoods.
Notable Community Participation
Local fishing communities in 5 different coastal locations in 4 states in Peninsular will be involved in this project.
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