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Community development

Engagement of key stakeholders in the Development of Legal documents guiding implementation of Fisheries Law 2017 and Sharing local experiences in Management, Protection, and Development of aquatic resources in Vietnam

21. 06. 2018 Community development

On 21st November 2017, the Vietnam National Assembly passed the new Fisheries Law to replace the Fisheries Law 2003; in which co-management in fisheries protection was regulated; this is the new and important point to share the right and responsibility of fisheries management, protection and exploitation; the State enabled fisheries community to organize, manage aquaculture, protect and exploit fisheries resources…, recognized legally positioning of local community groups in fisheries resources protection and development. 

Accordingly, the legal documents guiding implementation of Fisheries Law 2017 (Decree, Circular) should be made available, submitted to the authorities for the law to be in full effect from 1st January 201. The key contents regarding the aquatic resources protection and development are following:

  • Organizing and managing aquaculture activities, fisheries resources protection and exploitation, tourism combined with fisheries activities in the assigned area to manage;
  • Conducting patrols and inspections of aquaculture activities, fisheries resources protection, exploitation and development in the assigned management areas; Requesting competent state agencies to handle violations;
  • Preventing violation in the assigned management areas according to the provisions of law and the operation regulations of the community organization;
  • Being consulted with projects and activities directly related to ecosystems or fisheries resources in the assigned management areas;
  • Having supports from preferential policies according to the provisions of law;
  • Establishing a community fund.
Representative of Department of Aquatic Resources Conservation and Development – Ms. Nguyen Thuy Duong opened the workshop.

In order to engage key stakeholders and get inputs on the DRAFT under law documents to guide the implementation, Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish), the Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD), the Small Grants Programme of Global Environment Facility, UNDP (UNDP/GEF SGP) and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Dinh Province (Binh Dinh DARD) have jointly organized the stakeholder consultation on the draft legal documents guiding implementation of Fisheries Law 2017 in  Quy Nhon City, Binh Dinh Province, on 23rd and 24th May, 2018.

The main activities includes the consultation workshop on the draft decree  on co-management in fisheries, regulation on a fund for fisheries resources protection and development and the draft guideline on management of fisheries resources areas in the circular guiding fisheries resources protection and development; and the sharing workshop on experiences of local communities  in management, protection and development of coral reefs areas and recommendations for the guidelines of Fisheries Law 2017 implementation, and the field visit and discussion with Nhơn Hải local cooperative in Nhon Hai Commune, Quy Nhon City.

A wide range of 70 key stakeholders including representatives from national government, local authorities, community groups from 14 coastal provinces of Vietnam: Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Thua Thien Hue, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Soc Trang Ca Mau, Dak Lak, civil society groups including the Fisheries Association, MCD, and international agencies UNDP/GEF SGP, IUCN, WWF and fisheries experts attended these events.  

At the workshop, the representative of Directorate of Fisheries presented the draft content of co-management in fisheries resources protection; a fund for fisheries resources protection and development; guideline on management of fisheries resources protected area. Many comments have acknowledged and added to the draft documents. This is the important foundation to engage local fisherman towards sustainable fisheries. Also at the sharing workshop, participants shared opportunities, challenges, local experience in protection, conservation and sustainable usage of coral reef ecosystems combined with tourism development. Recommendations and proposal of regulation guiding implementation of the 10th article in Fisheries Law 2017 with the allocation of rights to manage and protect fisheries resources in coastal areas for local communities have been made.

Left to right: Mr. Le Tran Nguyen Hung – Deputy Director of the Department of Aquatic Resources Conservation and Development and Ms. Nguyen Thu Hue – Director of MCD co-chaired the workshop.

Particularly, participants discussed and provided valuable inputs for the draft legal co-management including the process of setting up the co-management in the protection of aquatic resources, operation and sharing power, responsibilities in the co-management of the aquatic resources. The key questions including how to select the  criteria for identification of local fishing units for the protection, and how is mechanism on co-management rights allocation for the community organisations, how to make it consistent with the different laws. A co-management procedures need to be simplified and applicable given the fact that to facilitate the engagement and empowerment of the community organizations. More importantly, the local capacity and commitment, resources mobilization and planning for the aquatic resources management is very important factors to make it effective.

The local experiences in the co-management practices were shared and learned by many participants including Binh Dinh, Thua Thien Hue, Binh Thuan and other provinces.  A good recent example is allocation of the co- management on the coral reef ecosystem in Hon Kho Nho Island, Nhon Hai Commune, Binh Dinh that has authorized to the community group of cooperatives.  Several cases of Bai Huong Island, Cu Lao Cham MPA, and Hon Cau MPA in Binh Thuan province has been already put into practices and well managed by the local government and community groups. It is expected that allocation of co-management rights needs a more general legal guiding so that it can be applied and implemented in all sites of the country.

The under law documents are being reviewed, revised and will be presented for further inputs of the key government ministries and localities in June 2018. It will be following the process for final completion and to be submitted to National Assembly in August for the endorsement. This process needs further efforts and communications to engage the fishermen and key stakeholders as well as policy makers. It is a great opportunity for Vietnam to get the fisheries reformed and performed better towards a sustainability development on the protection of aquatic resources and increasing the resilience and well-being of people.

Closing workshop.

Additional Infromation: 

Center for Marine Conservation and Community Development Research (MCD):

MCD is a not-for-profit Vietnamese non-profit organization, established in 2003. MCD devotes itself to the protection of marine ecosystems and to improve the lives of coastal communities through villages, and localizing international knowledge and relevant experiences into practical adaptation models in the Vietnamese context.

The project “Enhancing resilience of the small scale fishing communities and marine ecosystems in Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) in the Central Coast of Vietnam” funded by ADM Capital Foundation: The project has implemented the 2nd phase by MCD in the cooperation with Sub-DFISH of Binh Dinh Province and DFISH from January 2017 to December 2019. The project supports applying ecosystems approach fisheries management (EAFM), towards sustaining healthy and protection of the ecosystems also contributing to development of local community livelihoods in the good governance system.

For more information, please contact Ms. Than Thi Hien, Vice Director/Project Manager of MCD via email: tthien@mcdvn.azurewebsites.net.

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