IUCN and Thai Union Group launch collaboration to strengthen natural resources governance with coastal communities in Thailand

Location: Bangkok, Thailand. 25th May 2016

Engaging local communities in coastal and marine resources management is key to sustainable development in coastal areas. IUCN and Thai Union Group have launched a collaboration to enhance community capacity and develop a long-term plan for community-based coastal resources management in Pathiu Bay, Chumphon Province in Thailand. The project aims to strengthen the resilience of communities and the ecosystems they depend on.

Local livelihoods along Thailand’s coastline are heavily dependent on the integrity of the marine and coastal environment. In Pathiu Bay, fishing is the main livelihood of the coastal communities. A preliminary assessment conducted by IUCN in 2015 concluded that, while the community has important natural resources and other assets to build on, there is a need to create more sustainable fisheries, in particular through the minimization of by-catch and protection of juvenile fish.

In 2015, Thailand adopted a new Marine and Coastal Resources Management Act and a new Fisheries Act, which provide the basis for a greater degree of community engagement in coastal and marine resources management.

In order to strengthen the resilience of the community, this project will work with established community groups and other key partners to 1) develop the knowledge base and capacity for integrated coastal resources management in Pathiu Bay; 2) develop a long-term plan for integrated coastal resources management; and 3) implement pilot activities to support the implementation of the long-term plan. The pilot interventions supported by the project may include:

  • Setting up a process for community-based monitoring of commercially important fish species;
  • Working towards establishing community fishery regulations and/or a community-based marine protected area;
  • Supporting sustainable aquaculture projects.

The project also aims to establish a link with Thai Union’s supply chain for certified fishery products of the community that ensure sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices.

This partnership falls under IUCN's Business and Biodiversity Programme and the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiative and is part of Thai Union’s commitment to sustainability. As part of its Sea Change Sustainability Strategy, Thai Union has started a consultation programme with key stakeholders aimed at shaping its future sustainability action plans.

In line with its Business Engagement Strategy, IUCN conducted a Risk and Opportunity Assessment prior to this engagement. Details are available upon request.

Bang Son community, Chumphon

Bang Son community, Chumphon © Saisunee Chaksuin

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