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OUR WORK

Biodiversity

Water covers 70 percent of the Earth. Marine and freshwater environments sustain an abundance of life in its spectacular diversity. Through our history, small-scale fishing communities have interacted and depended on these living resources. A threat to aquatic environments is a danger to artisanal fishers.

Their protection and stewardship are essential to the communities and cultures they sustain. This relationship is a framework to manage conflicts and improve the quality of life and livelihood of small-scale fishers. It was recognized in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Governments increasingly designate marine protected areas (MPAs) for conservation and management. This legal instrument does help but its implementation has raised serious concerns. Target-driven expansion of MPAs is fixated on quantitative goals. This has hit the rights, livelihoods and sustainable use practices of small-scale fishing communities. MPAs—created often in a non-consultative and non-participatory manner—have focused on regulating/restricting their fisheries, failing to recognize their sustainable livelihoods, culture and survival.

It is imperative that protection efforts are grounded in principles of sustainable use. That their processes are inclusive and recognizebuilding upon them. Artisanal fishers must be the frontline of marine biodiversity conservation. There is an urgent need for systematic improvements on all such matters.

A range of ICSF’s initiatives highlight the social and political dimensions of conservation. The importance of livelihoods of poor and vulnerable communities, of their participation and consultation. The co-management of resources by fishing communities, based on a human rights approach to conservation.

Current Programmes

Participation at CBD meetings, and collaboration with fish workers organizations, local community and indigenous groups is useful in contesting target driven and top-down approaches to conservation, and the associated violations of human rights linked to these approaches. It is also useful in influencing the text of the decisions adopted to take on board indigenous and local community concerns.

Resources

Handbook on Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for small-scale fishing communities

This Handbook, developed by ICSF and Crocevia, describes the components of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and provides an overview of its programmes, targets and commitments on aquatic, marine…

Why is biodiversity important for small-scale fisheries: Video on a new Handbook by ICSF and Crocevia

Small-scale fisheries (SSF) operate in both marine and inland waters, accounting for over half of the total fish catch in developing countries. The bulk of this catch is destined for…

Marine Protected Areas and Small-scale Fisheries in South Africa: Promoting Governance, Participation, Equity and Benefit Sharing by Jackie Sunde

This research reflects on the progress achieved by conservation partners in South Africa on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Programme Element. It explores the strategies and…

MPA Workshop proceedings: Fishery-Dependent Livelihood, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity : The Case of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas in India, 1-2 March 2012 , India International Centre, New Delhi, India

The workshop reviewed existing legal and institutional mechanisms for creating, implementing and reporting MCPAs in India, and discussed their impact from the perspective of environmental justice and human rights and…

Getting it right: Incorporating social aspects into MPA planning and implementation By ICSF, 2010

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This document summarizes a series of case studies done in nine countries—Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania and Thailand—on the role of communities in the planning and…

Marine protected areas in Thailand: Time for a sea change: A study of the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation measures and marine protected areas along southern Thailand’s Andaman sea coastline

This study examines how Thailand’s biodiversity conservation measures affect fishing communities, especially in the marine protected areas (MPAs) on the Andaman Sea coastline. It documents the various efforts of the…

Workshop on “Small Indigenous Freshwater Fish Species: Their Role in Poverty Alleviation, Food Security and Conservation of Biodiversity”: SIFFS Workshop Report

This is the report on the workshop on “Small Indigenous Freshwater Fish Species: Their Role in Poverty Alleviation, Food Security and Conservation of Biodiversity”, organized by the ICSF in collaboration…

Diverse Areas: Marine Protected Areas and Small-scale Fishing Communities : A collection of articles from SAMUDRA Report

In preparation for COP10 of CBD, ICSF compiled all articles from Samudra Report on MPAs and highlight the problems with top-down planning and implementation of MPAs, while drawing attention to…

The India MPA Workshop Proceedings – Social Dimensions of Marine Protected Areas Implementation in India: Do Fishing Communities Benefit?, 21-22 January 2009

The workshop was meant to discuss five case studies on marine and coastal protected areas in India undertaken from a fishing community perspective. The deliberations at the workshop centered around…

Marine Protected Areas in India

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This study on marine protected areas (MPAs) in India analyzes the legal and institutional framework for their establishment, and uses two case studies–the Gulf of Mannar National Park and Biosphere…

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FAO and the marine biological diversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) process: Information package for BBNJ delegates by FAO

The purpose of this document is to provide information on the activities of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that are relevant to the biological diversity…

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022: Towards blue transformation by FAO

The 2022 edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture coincides with the launch of the Decade of Action to deliver the Global Goals, the United Nations Decade of…

Local fishing community voices in global and national conservation of fisheries and coastal/ wetland resources: How far have we progressed?

This note discusses the extent to which international legal instruments and processes have recognized the rights of the small-scale and artisanal fishing communities, as well as some of the lacunae…

Global Biodiversity Outlook 5

Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO), a flagship publication of the CBD is a periodic report that summarizes the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions relevant…

Economic value of ecosystem services from the deep seas and the areas beyond national jurisdiction

This study compiled an estimate of the total economic value (TEV) of the deep seas. Comprehensively, the TEV assessed for the deep-sea ecosystem as a whole is estimated at USD…

Human right to a healthy environment for a thriving Earth: Handbook for weaving human rights, SDGs, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

This handbook discusses strategies on how to weave the human right to a clean and healthy environment together with the SDGs and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework with a focus…

Out of the Blue: The Value of Seagrasses to the Environment and to People

Seagrasses are marine flowering plants found in shallow coastal waters contributing to well-beingthrough food security (fish), improved quality of water through filtration by seagrasses, protection of coasts from erosion, storms…

Local Biodiversity Outlooks 2: The contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and to renewing nature and cultures

Local Biodiversity Outlooks presents perspectives and experiences of indigenous peoples and local communitieson the current social-ecological crisis, contributions to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and to…

Valuing Ecosystem Services of Sundarbans Mangrove Forest: Approach of Choice Experiment

Examining the marginal willingness-to-pay and compensating surplus in response to policy change of ecosystem services of Sundarbans based on focus group discussion and survey, influential factors to choice the relevant…

Assessing Progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 6 on Sustainable Marine Fisheries

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This report discusses key elements and approaches for realistic and coherent reporting on the elements of Target 6, including through the use of various indicators and internationally agreed reference points.…

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