Huong village, Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area © Nguyen Van Vu, 2016
Develop sustainable management approach for target marine species/ resources in Cu Lao Cham, Hoi An through community communication and management.
In recent years, the increasing number of tourists who visit Cu Lao Cham (by 150% per year) has led to higher demand for local seafood. In 2015, total visitors to Cu Lao Cham were 400,000 people, which was ten times higher than that figure in 2006. To serve tourists, local people have exploited many marine species, especially high-valued species such as lobster, turtle limpet, abalone, comb penshell, giant clam (target species/ resources). Most of these species are not farmed and are caught naturally; therefore their number has been decreased sharply. These species has significantly declined in both their size and abundance. The giant clam faces high possibility of extinction. According to latest survey in April 2015, giant clam was found only at 8 out of 20 sites, especially Tridacna crocea was found only one individual at 1 out of 20 sites; Indo-Pacific Pen Shell was found at 7.4 individual/square meter, the average size of Common Turtle Limpet is now only 103 individual/kg. Moreover, there has been no specific plan with the community participation in conserving the fisheries resources and the target species in particular.
The project has published a communication tool on the targeted species including outdoor posters, notebooks, short movies, message board, posters, radio broadcasting script with slogan “Together we protect environment” suggested by Cu Lao Cham community.
Have organized communication days for different groups such as local community, students, enterprises, commune officers in Cu Lao Cham. The total number of groups that participate in these communication activities are 967 groups and 37% are women. In addition to that, realizing the active participation and excitement from students and the sharing interest from teachers and staff of Quang Trung secondary high school in this activity, project team has coordinated with Cu Lao Cham – Hoi An Biosphere Reserve Management Board to organize more communication days for students of other 9 secondary high schools in Hoi An City.
Project has promoted the participation of community in patrolling tasks and communication activities to protect targeted species. Patrol team was formed with 10 members who make plan to patrol in Bai Huong area. These members organized communication day once a week to remind community and tourists to limit the exploitation, selling and using of targeted species in markets and restaurants in Cu Lao Cham.
The project has achieved its objective of involving community to partake in patrolling and communication activities, and through that learn to build sustainable management of rare and valuable sea species in CLC MPA. The project is the connection from the natural resources co-management model in Bai Huong, in combined with communicatio and patrolling activities.
The communication activities approached a wide range of groups from schools, restaurants, hotels and tourists, especially local people – those whose main livelihoods are fishing.
The sustainability of project depend mainly on the component “Building pilot model of co-management and sustainable use of valuable species in CLC MPA”. Currently with the continuing support from CLC MPA, the model of co-management and sustainable use will be extended to other areas and involve more local volunteers to join.
How to monior the results of awareness raising which is the core component of the project is a challenge. It was reported that the conservation of the target species have been improved, however there was no clear data to demonstrate the impact.
Communication deliverables on targeted species protection are diverse and useful, which help to bring information more effectively. In particular, these communication tools use a consistent slogan “Together we can protect the environment” suggested by Cu Lao Cham community.
With regard that students are the future of their nation, the project has selected students from secondary high schools in Hoi An as prioritized group in awareness raising and educational activities in order to achieve changes in the future. The communication program for students in 10 secondary high schools in Hoi An should be continued through class curriculumn or extra-curriculumn to have positive impacts in future generations.
Using community-based approach, the project has mobilized the participation of local community in conservation works, and this is a suitable way to go for effective implementation of regulations within the MPA and local awareness raising activities. The community’s awareness will be improved when they are also key members to join the patrol and communication team. To maintain the results of project, it is required to have a stable financial mechanism for patrol teams and communication teams to sustain their activities and improve capacity.
The communication and awareness raising for local community needs to be done regularly and consistently. The project will be finished, therefore a pilot model of co-mangement of valuable species within the MPA which emphasized on awareness raising activity that lead to positive change is needed.
Tan Hiep commune (Cu Lao Cham), Hoi An city, Quang Nam province, Viet Nam.
1st Mar 2016 to 1st Mar 2017
Cu Lao Cham MPA Management Board, Hoi An.
Ms Tran Thi Hong Thuy
Director of Cu Lao Cham MPA Management Board, Hoi An.