Rare, an organization that has been championing efforts and pushing for innovative solutions to empower communities and develop influencers in various countries, organized an event at the Hive Hotel and Convention Place, Quezon City on June 20, 2017 for sharing of knowledge, experiences, success stories, and best practices in coastal resources and fisheries management among coastal communities of the Philippines. With the theme “Fish Forever: A Celebration of Community-Managed Fisheries,” the event attracted Rare’s partners from various local government units (LGUs) as well as other national government agencies, development network, academe, and communities to participate in the dialogue on managing near-shore fisheries and addressing issues in fishing communities.
Recognizing the importance of marine protected areas (MPAs) and sanctuaries, Rare launched Fish Forever in the Philippines in 2014 and focused its efforts and initiatives on protection and conservation of municipal fisheries and municipal waters.
A plenary session was held to highlight Fish Forever’s national and global impact through behavior change and community support, which lead to an effective management plan, as well as financial resilience and social protection among fisher folks. Currently, Rare boasts 37 Philippine municipalities which are Fish Forever sites.
Parallel sessions were also conducted to have a more intimate and detailed discussion on topics relative to sustainable management of coastal resources and fisheries. The participants were allowed to choose among the following sessions to take part in: 1) Rights, Responsibilities and Rewards: Implementing Managed Access Areas and Sanctuaries (MAA+S), to learn about the specifics of establishing MAA+S as a strategy for sustainable municipal fisheries; 2) Behavior Change through Pride Campaign, to understand the critical role of behavior change in sustainable fisheries and how the use of social marketing enable it; 3) Improving Incomes through Market Links and Savings Clubs, to learn about establishing savings clubs and how they contribute to the building of financial assets for both productive and social protection of fisher communities; and 4) Climate Resilience in Fishing Communities, to understand the experiences of two municipalities in building the resilience of their sites to the risks of climate change.
Rare was grateful for the participation of the speakers, guests and attendees of the event, who contributed to the success of the Fish Forever seminar. It was also upbeat that their efforts would remain a success through continued collaboration with their partners and empowerment of the coastal and fishing communities in the Philippines and around the globe. (FASPS/ Ma. Andrea D. Palma)