Solomon Islands community facilitators meet to develop fisheries management plan.
The objectives of the training were to equip the community facilitators; with basic relevant biology of marine resources and habitat/ecosystem connectivity; to understand CBRM, the legal framework and management tools that can be used in resource management; to learn how to develop simple coastal fisheries management plans utilizing gender lens that are targeted towards helping them identify and effectively manage threats within their coastal fisheries as well as land based activities; and to be able to record consultation processes/events leading up to the implementation of their management plan.
Some of the challenges highlighted by the Malaita participants ranged from the reduction in catches of inshore marine species to a decline in catches of the most accessible seafood such as seaweed and shellfish from their reefs over the years.
They also wanted to find out how their WWF counterparts in the Western province (Kolombangara) were implementing their projects.
Alpha Ghelly of the Saeraghi community in the Western province shared his experience as a community facilitator (CF)giving the participants a brief back ground of the history of the Community Based Fisheries Management (CBFM)and Community and Community Based Resource Management (CBRM) work.
He highlighted how the various capacity building trainings had equipped him to confidently carry out his duties as a CF, empowering him to face the challenges that comes with the role while working with his community.
Rhinda Melsen the CF of Nusatuva also presented her engagement with CBFM and CBRM. Her presentation covered some of her lessons learnt over the years of implementation, some approaches for full community participation and her community achievements.
She inspired community representatives to remain driven and passionate about the community work they are doing adding that small steps can lead to a bigger calling.
“ I am very proud, I never thought that I would be would be going to New York to represent my people at the United Nations Oceans conference and talk about the work we do in protecting our marine resources,” Melsen said.
She challenged newly identified CF’s to remain committed and innovative when working together for the betterment of their community.