- Mobilizing fisherfolk for sustainable ICM is defined as harnessing the time talent and treasures (3T’s) of fisherfolk and enhancing their capacity, character and credibility (3C’s) for them to be empowered and actively participate and become a more effective partner in the program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. It is also important to institutionalize the representation of fisherfolk associations in applicable local bodies and recognize their collective contribution in the sustainable conservation, protection and management of the ecosystem towards an eco-friendly environment.
- The Municipal Government of Claveria, Cagayan started the mobilization of fisherfolk through the Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council (MFARMC) in 1998 during the administration of Mayor Celia T. Layus, MD. Responsibilities of MFARMC were well-defined in the 3-year Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Plan and passage of Claveria Fishery Code of 2000, a result of the roll-out project of the Associates for Rural Development- Governance and Local Democracy Project (ARD-GOLD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The practice of involving the fisherfolk was strengthened from insights learned from cross-visits in Bohol and from local government unit’s experience.
- In 1998 and even after the passage of the Code, fisherfolk were not well-represented in three local planning bodies. They were given less priorities in terms of assistance.
- Encouraging the fisherfolk and their associations participate in the identification of needs and concerns has led to a better program, project identification and implementation. Delivery of updated information and projects and services has never been faster. Communication and feedbacking among other stakeholders have also been improved. Registration of fisherfolk and fishing boats and gadgets has been facilitated with their assistance. Fishery Law Enforcement and ecological solid waste management have been improved through their collaborative efforts with national government agencies and the local government units.
- MFARMC has already been better represented in local bodies like the Municipal Development Council. Cash incentives and other incentives have been institutionalized to volunteers baptized law enforcers.
- The best practice has started since 2012.
Background and Problem
- To instill the values of self-reliance, responsibility, cooperation, respect, industriousness, trustworthiness, eco-consciousness in the fisherfolk
- To harness the leadership and management potentials of fisherfolk and building them as local government partners in ICM
- To provide an updated information on ICM and other related programs
- To provide the knowledge, proper attitudes and skills necessary for an effective partner of local government
- To help fisherfolk improve their ability to cope the effects of natural calamities and change in leadership
- To improve profitability and productivity
Claveria, Cagayan has 15 coastal barangays with a population of 30,482 of which 7,127 households depend on fishing for a living. It has 1,057 full-time fisherfolk and 1,033 part-time fisherfolk, with an average of 15 kilogram fish catch per unit effort. With the increasing number of fisherfolk and population, the fishing ground was observed to have been overfished and unregulated in the years 2000-2015. The inadequacy of alternative livelihood projects during lean months and occurrence of natural calamities, have resulted in illegal fishing activities on and off. Thus, most fisherfolk have insufficient income. The ICM program covers fishery and aquatic resources development and environmental management, e.g. Ecological Solid Waste Management with only two employees working separately with the program. With limited funds, the local government could not provide all the needs to address the concerns/problems of fisherfolk. Also, with the personal services limitation, the local government cannot create and hire positions that would address the timely delivery of ICM services to fisherfolk. There were fisherfolk and fisherfolk associations who volunteered and were tapped/empowered but sometimes could not function well due to inadequate or limited access to information. There is also a communication gap especially in law enforcement both for fishing and solid waste and lack of cooperation of some government agency personnel in program implementation, as well as inadequacy of logistical support. The fisherfolk’s high vulnerability may be attributed to natural calamities or a change in local government leadership would both result in income loss.
Solution and Impact
Theory of Change
The ICM program on fisheries and aquatic resources development and environmental development used to be separately executed. But the designated employees collaborated with the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, (MDRRMO) along with the MFARMC as the lead in planning, implementation and even monitoring. Through the proper coordination of these offices, an effective project was executed. There was also a shift in the identification of fisherfolk as beneficiaries. This synergy enabled the implementers to envision the correct perspective in mobilizing the fisherfolk associations by empowering them to decide on the direction of their grassroots organization.
- Conduct capability building activities through an information campaign, coordination and collaboration in the project, planning and identification,, target setting, fund sourcing and funding allocation
- Strengthen the fisherfolk and other associations
- Institutionalize the search for the best implementer and rewards and recognition
- Conduct of regular meetings
- Provide support to fisherfolk associations and MFARMC
- Pursue goals and objectives
- Conduct hazard assessment and update the data markings
- Strengthen fisherfolk, the associations and the MFARMC
- Educate, communicate, inform cooperatives
- Institutionalize the search for outstanding fisherfolk and associations
- Improve the method of fish catch reporting
- Rehabilitated coral reefs
- Revitalized watershed canopy
- Decreased illegal activities
- Decreased coastal erosion and flooding
- Improved living condition in coastal areas
- Improved habitats and biodiversity
- Enhanced law enforcers’ responsiveness
- Increased the number of active fisherfolk associations and facilitated the implementation and monitoring of the ICM program
- Sustained environment conservation through regular clean-up and tree planting activities
- Increased and improved the participation of fisherfolk in local government activities such as fish catch reporting
- Registered 85% of listed fishing boats
- Registred 80% of fisherfolk in the masterlist
- Included registered fisherfolk into cooperative, thus providing better access to credit facilities
- Provided more access to projects and activities
- Improved capability of Fisheries Law Enforcement Team
- Cleaner bodies of water
- More access to the protection of protected areas
- Boat Registration
- Fisherfolk Registration
- Regional Awardee Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan
- National Awardee Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan 2nd Runner-up
- Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG)
- Educate, communicate, inform cooperatives
- Institutionalize search for outstanding fisherfolk and association
- Improve fish catch reporting