Final report-Strengthening Community Capacity for Fisheries Co-management (SCCaFCoM) in Rufiji, Mafia and Kilwa districts (Tanzania)
Background: The Eastern African Marine Ecoregion (EAME) is one of WWF’s highest priorities for biodiversity conservation. It stretches for 4,600 km along the east coast of Africa, covering an area of more than 540,000 sq km. The ecoregion features globally outstanding biodiversity, endemism and species abundance. More than 11,000 species are known of which about 1,650 (ca. 15%) are narrowly endemic to the EAME. Thirty-five marine mammal species, including the dugong - a close relative to the manatee and perhaps the rarest mammal in Africa - depend on the region for breeding and feeding. Several hundred coral, mollusc and sponge species and 1,500 species of fish depend on the longest fringing reef in the world. All five sea turtle species of the Indian Ocean breed here and the coelacanth lives in deep canyons along the coastline of the ecoregion.In Rufiji, Mafia and Kilwa areas, also known as the RUMAKI region, livelihood opportunities for the people living along the coastline are changing due to rapidly expanding population, putting ever increasing pressure on the limited fisheries resources. In some parts, traditional employment options such as small scale agricultural are becoming less available as land ownership for this type of activity is decreasing and new farming technologies needing fewer people are increasing. While more people are forced to depend on common pool resources such as fisheries, the productivity of these resources is decreasing due to increased population, resource depletion and habitat destruction to name a few. Ensuring sustainability of the livelihoods of the RUMAKI population, which is predominantly poor, is essential to promote fisheries management for the community to realise the importance of managing their resource base as well as poverty alleviation.Project Goal: The goal of the Project was “Improved socio-economic well-being of coastal Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa communities through sustainable, participatory and equitable utilisation, management and protection of marine and coastal resources”.Methodology:The evaluation was conducted through reviews of key project documents as well as meetings and discussions with key stakeholders at the national, district and village levels respectively in Dar es Salaam, as well as in Rufiji, Mafia and Kilwa Districts. This approach provided opportunities for in-depth discussions of all aspects of the project and to get consensus on issues raised. As a final evaluation, the focus of the evaluation was on achievements and impacts at the purpose and goal levels.Key findings: Awareness created among communities on sustainable fisheries co-management : The project has created considerable awareness and developed tools and guidelines for co-management and conservation of marine resources in the target communities which has resulted in building trust between the government and local communities, evidenced by the close collaboration in implementing co-management activities and promoted community level resources management. Local and community level institutions for fisheries co-management established & strengthened: The project trained and built capacities of 25 District change agents, which enabled the establishment of 23 new Beach Management Units (BMUs) and 6 Collaborative Fisheries management Areas (CFMAs). As a result 4,282 community members out of 11,571 BMU members from 20 villages have increased their knowledge about fisheries laws and regulations and understood the principals of sustainable use of their marine resources. Over 30% are capable of applying the knowledge for village level fisheries management. Capacities of District staff strengthened to engage in fisheries co-management activities: Capacities of 9 Fisheries Officers from all RUMAKI districts were strengthened through workshops, seminars and various meetings at local and national levels. Fisheries staff in all districts claimed to be capable of applying fisheries co-management knowledge as a result of the training received from the project. Capacity of community fisheries co-management groups strengthened, to collaborate in data collection: Capacity building efforts have contributed to the establishment of databases in each district and 3 District fisheries officers have been trained in basic computer and data entry. Currently, at least 3 District fisheries staff (one from each district) are capable of entering fisheries data into the databases. At the community level, BMU members have been trained and BMU and sub-committees have been established to collect fish catch data. The evaluation team observed that data collections by all 23 BMUs at the village level are going well and BMU members are enthusiastic in data collection. These data will then be used to monitor fish stock and understand if the regulations that are being applied are effective. Livelihood activities supported to strengthen community groups in co-management: Four pilot Village Community Banks (VICOBA) groups were established and strengthened. It was reported that over 120 members (55 F and 65 M) have been enrolled and provided with a capital loan of Tshs 4m. The groups had saved up to Tshs 7.6m by 31 May 2010 and increased to 10.5m by December 2010. Loans issued through the VICOBAs have shown a repayment and performance rate of 100% with an increase of 90% profit.As a pilot of fisheries co-management and involvement of local communities, the evaluation team concludes that project achievements have shown good potential for achieving the desired goals of improved socio-economic well-being of coastal Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa communities. Key local institutions, processes and tools are in place to promote sustainable fisheries co-management. Overall, the project has achieved over 80% implementation of the planned results and its purpose.Comments from the organisation, if any:WWF-Norway will not support an additional phase of this project however it will concentrate its effort in supporting the Coastal East Africa Initiative (CEA I) which will support fisheries co-management in the region. WWF-Norway recommends that available data, information and experiences gained from implementation of this co-management approach to fisheries and coastal resource management be shared and utilized by WWF-Tanzania as well as the CEA I and other projects to improve co-management and influence policy at national and regional level.