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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

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Mainstreaming biodiversity in fisheries

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Biodiversity mainstreaming, the consideration of biodiversity across fisheries and the range of actions taken by both fisheries and conservation governance streams is the subject of this paper. Evidence is presented…

Delivering sustainable fisheries through adoption of a risk-based framework as part of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management

Accordingly, several important management and science challenges have been identified. The paper considers how the knowledge gained from research on these challenges can be applied to a risk-based management framework…

Mainstreaming marine biodiversity into the SDGs: The role of other effective area-based conservation measures (SDG 14.5)

This article explores the concept of “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs) in the context of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 on marine protected…

MSP Around the Globe

Various countries have started to use marine spatial planning (MSP) to achieve sustainable use, including the goal of developing a “Blue Economy”, and biodiversity conservation in ocean and coastal areas…

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