In The Hands Of The Fishers (IHOF) Workshop #8
There are a great number of Community Based Coastal Resource management workshops which allow government officials, NGO’s and the professional international community to come together to share experiences as practitioners of natural resource management. The number of opportunities for first hand natural resource users to do the same, in an international forum are rare. The In the Hands of the Fishers Workshops provide a venue where small scale (artisenal) fisherfolk can get together with their counterparts from other countries in the same region to share their experiences and build new skills and knowledge in the realm of community fisheries and community based coastal resource management (CBCRM).
The first IHOF workshop was held in Trang, Southern Thailand in August 1999, with participants from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia attending. A follow up workshop for these same participants was held in Sri Lanka in December, 1999. Four years later the “round-robin” cycle will be completed, as this eighth IHOF workshop brings participants back together to share their experiences over the intervening years, and build on the action plans laid out in the previous workshops.
Four (4) main objectives for IHOF #8 include:
- Allow fisherfolk to meet, discuss and learn from each other, providing access to new ideas
which will strengthen them in their roles as natural community leaders.
- Promote the concept and precepts of co-management or community based management.
- Provide the opportunity for participants to witness successful projects/models which can be
applied back home in their local communities.
- Develop networks amongst local people and CBCRM NGO’s so that in future we have friends
across country boundaries where we can go to ex-change information, and solve problems as
we know that natural resources and issues do not follow national boundaries.
Mangrove Action Project sees IHOF workshops as an integral link in the local-global-local paradigm for problem solving which we promote. Initially, fisherfolk are involved in local investigations and identification of community level problems.
Next, fisherfolk search globally (internationally) for information to help clarify the community issues, IHOF provides a forum where this second step can take place. Finally, fisherfolk go home and act locally.