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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

Coastal and Marine Protected Areas in Mexico

 This study on marine protected areas (MPAs) in Mexico relies on a variety of data sources as well as the authors’ longstanding field experience, particularly in the Yucatan Peninsula, to…

Marine Conservation and Coastal Communities: Who Carries the Costs? – A Study of Marine Protected Areas and Their Impact on Traditional Small-scale Fishing Communities in South Africa

This study analyzes five marine protected areas (MPAs) in South Africa, which span three of the country’s four coastal provinces, namely, the Langebaan Lagoon MPA, the Maputaland MPA, the St…

The Right to Survive: Turtle Conservation and Fisheries Livelihood

By taking an intense look at the concerns revolving around turtle conservation and the protection of the livelihoods of traditional fishing communities, this film offers some insights into the dilemmas…

International Legal Instruments Relevant to Fisheries and Fishing Communities: A Handbook on Environment and sustainable development

This theme provides information on four binding instruments, four non-binding conference declarations and three plans of action. The instruments make specific reference to conservation and sustainable use of inland, marine…

Sea Turtle Conservation and Fisheries in Orissa, India

This study analyzes the existing sea turtle conservation measures in Orissa and the implications of conservation approaches for the livelihoods of fisherfolk, particularly for traditional fishing communities and the women…

The Impact of TRIPS and CBD on coastal communities

This paper reviews marine biodiversity, coastal communities’ traditional ecological knowledge systems (TEKS) and the biodiversity they have conserved, and the industrial exploitation of marine genetic resources; it then analyzes TRIPS…

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park and Sanctuary: A Case Study

This study focuses on the carrying and assimilation capacity of the Gulf of Kutch in keeping with its intertidal peculiarities. The unchecked industrialization is fast depleting the corals of Gulf…

Social Dimensions of Sea Turtle Protection in Orissa, India: A Case Study of the Gahirmatha (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary band the Nesting Beaches of Rushikulya and Debi

This study focuses on the legal framework for sea turtle protection in the Indian State of Orissa. It documents the social consequences of turtle protection measures on fishing communities, and…

Fishing Community Issues in the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR)1

The study focuses on fishing community issues in the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR). It provides an overview of the legal framework, and design and implementation of fishing regulations, and documents…

An Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) – BOBMLE – ICSF Brochure in six languages (English, Bangla, Thai, Tamil, Burmese, and Bahasa)

A pictorial training material on ecosystem approach to fisheries management as part of the ICSF-BOBLME initiated training activity in six languages (English, Bangla, Thai, Tamil, Burmese, and Bahasa) English https://www.icsf.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/930.ICSF210.pdf…

The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture

SoW-BFA addresses the sustainable use, development and conservation of BFA includingthe diversity of animals, plants and micro-organisms at genetic, species and ecosystem levels that sustain structures, functions and processes IN…

The global assessment report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – Summary for Policymakers

https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/inline/files/ipbes_global_assessment_report_summary_for_policymakers.pdf

National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs)

These NBSAPs reflect varying degrees of compliance with the Nagoya outcomes. They are accessible below (their date of receipt by the Secretariat or the date on which the NBSAP was officially launched…

Decisions on marine and coastal biological diversity

https://www.cbd.int/marine/decisions.shtml

International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability Strengthening the science-policy nexus, Rome, 18–21 November 2019

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For each thematic session of the Symposium, the document includes: i. the contents of the session, ii. a ‘what you need to know’ section, iii. the themes and composition of…

Sustainable development: Oceans and the law of the sea: oceans and the law of the sea

2020 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. https://undocs.org/a/73/l.82

Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The overall scope of the assessment is to assess the status and trends with regard to biodiversity and ecosystem services, the impact of biodiversity and ecosystem services on human well-being…

UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’, 2019

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns…

Our Oceans’ Last Chance: Protect the High Seas

Only about half of 1 percent of the high seas are fully protected from fishing, mining, and other human activity. Delegates from more than 100 countries met at the United…