Promoting community-based natural resource conservation in the union council Kalmat, District Gwadar, Balochistan

 
SAM 8212

Distribution of "Insulated Fish Catch Storage Boxes, Chandi village © SHADOW/MFF

Objectives

Community-based practices and capacities for sustainable management of mangroves ecosystem enhanced in three coastal villages of Kalmat union council, District Gwadar

Background

Kalmat Hor is one of the most important areas of Mangroves ecosystem along the Balochistan coast. It is located at a distance of 315 km from Karachi & 225 Kms from Gwadar town. The total area of Kalmat Hor is 10,216 ha. The mangrove cover at Kalmat Hor is about 526 ha, wherein dense mangrove cover is about 12 ha (2.3%), medium mangrove cover is about 149ha (28.3%), sparse mangrove cover is about 365 ha (69.4%). (WWF-Pakistan, GIS Lab, Lahore).

It not only supports the mangroves and the associated biodiversity along the coast, but also accommodates the human communities living in and around it. Due to lack of alternate livelihood opportunities, these communities are dependent upon mangrove forests of Kalmat lagoon for a number of products ranging from fodder and fuel wood to the preparation of agricultural implements. Besides an indirect role of these mangrove forests also pops up in serving as breeding areas for prawns and a number of other fish species, which are harvested and marketed by the local community members.

Two main sources of livelihood in the area are fishing and livestock rearing. However, despite devotion and day- night struggle these communities cannot get due share out of their hard work. This all is because of unawareness regarding importance of mangrove forests, lack of livelihood resources and use of modern technology for fishing and storage of harvested fishes which emerges into high post-harvest losses of produces and ultimately the socio-economic status of the fishermen is declining day by day.

On the other hand this socio-economic status increase the pressure on mangrove forests, as communities uses mangroves as a firewood and fodder for their livestock, particularly for camels. Since the only one source of fodder is mangrove forest locate close to the community thus camel-fisher utilizes mangroves for grazing. Since there is no proper grazing mechanism in place presently thus many small and week plants are endanger. Community is unaware of the significant of the mangrove to ecosystem as well as their support to good shrimp produce thus they are unable to develop and adopt mangroves. This increasing pressure created serious threats to the mangroves and resultantly the production of shrimps in the lagoon.     

The major thrust of project is to create awareness among local communities regarding role of mangrove forests in sustenance of their livelihood and shall improve their livelihood. It aimed at reducing pressure on mangroves ecosystem through introduction of rotational grazing system, provision of latest fishing tools to reduce post-harvest losses in order to increase the income of communities in Kalmat Hor.

The project was designed to improve the livelihood of the resident communities on one hand and to link it with conservation of mangrove forests on the other.

Target beneficiaries

The target beneficiary for this project will be the fishermen community of the Kalmat hor which is residing in five major fishermen settlements i.e. Chandi, Guresunt, Makola, Kawari and Sirki.

 

 

Outputs

  • 500 acres mangrove plantation planted by Balochistan Forest Department in Kalmat Hor and protected by community.
  • Rotational grazing management plan prepared and adopted by the local community/ camel herders.
  • 50 fishermen trained in improved fish catch & fish handling practices.
  • Community awareness enhanced on sustainable management of fisheries resources.

Accomplishments and challenges

    • Project has resulted in good cooperative working between community and the Balochistan Forest Department. Now community is extending support to Balochistan Forest Department in protection of mangroves planted over 200 ha.
    • The community with mutual consent has also formed a local committee namely “Thmer Pahreez Gall” (Mangroves Protection Committee). Led by the head of the village it will coordinate with local fishermen and camel herders of the adjacent villages for mangrove conservation and extend support to the Balochistan Forest Department for future conservation interventions.
    • A community based rotational grazing management plan has been prepared in consultation with local communities and adopted by them.The developed grazing plan has provided a mechanism to the community making them able to avoid their livestock freely roam in mangrove forests, graze and damage the plants. To enhance understanding of local community regarding the stall feeding a pictorial poster was developed and distributed among the community.
    • The community is now well cognizant of the importance of mangroves as they have received various sessions of awareness on the importance of mangrove plants for the sustainable livelihood through natural resources. The community with mutual consent has also formed a local committee namely “Thmer Pahreez Gall” (Mangroves Protection Committee). The said committee is comprised of 5 members of village Chandi and is led by the head of the village to coordinate with local fishermen and camel herders of the adjacent villages i.e. Makola, Kawari, Gur-e-Sunt, Aspeeth Jaak etc. The roles and responsibilities endorsed by the committee include protection of mangrove forest in Kalmat lagoon, coordination with communities, disseminate information and IEC materials, and extend support to the Balochistan Forest Department for future conservation interventions.
    • Capacity of 50 poor fisherfolks built in post harvest fish catch quality management. The beneficiaries are using insulated fish catch storage boxes to preserve their fish catch resulting in 20% additional income due to adoption of modern fishing tools.
    • Due to project, community received one room primary school building donated by an Arab Shaikh mobilized by the DFO Gwadar. The school has been able enroll 40 boys and girls from Chandi village and the adjacent settlements for primary education.
    • PKR 45,000 contributed by the beneficiary fishermen as their share in fishing tools were utilised by the “Themer Pahreez Committee” to repair the damaged shed within the village which is the only place for community gatherings and meetings.
    • A pictorial manual on improved fish catch handling practices in Balochi language developed and disseminated among local fisher folks.
    • Two articles on the importance of mangrove forest were developed in local Balochi language which has been published for creating awareness among general people of the area.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Major perturbation (climatic change/sea level rise/surface temperature variability) and change to the ecological balance of established communities due to ecological ineptitude would destabilize species diversity, which would reduce its efficiency in the flow of energy within the mangrove ecosystem.

The project would result in sensitizing coastal communities both genders, and decision makers to integrate the mangrove into the planning process. 

The project would address poverty as the cross-cutting issue and will contribute to additional income for the target beneficiaries through the use of improved fish catch handling tools.

Information materials will be developed and disseminated in local language.

Lessons Learned

  • The reluctant attitude of the community was one of the major challenges to the project team. However, their fears were removed through initial meetings by the SHADOW chairperson, Mrs. Tahira Khurshid who assured them that their land right will not be disturbed. Belonging to the same culture and communicating with them in local language resulted in convincing the community that an organization led by a lady would do something good for them. Meetings were also held with village head and frequent community mobilizations meetings helped in satisfying community concerns.

  • Government department should readily extend their support to the projects designed by CSOs.   

  • Since the majority of CSOs are not financially sound, thus deduction of 10% from MFF contribution as retention amount creates financial burden on grantee CSO to arrange the deducted amount to meet the expense.

Country

Location

District Gwadar, Baluchistan, Pakistan.

Topic

Duration

1st Oct 2014 to 30th Jun 2015

MFF Grant Amount

PKR 2,313,000

Co-financing Partner

Balochistan Wildlife & Forest Department (BFWD)

Implementing Partner

Mr. Gulzar Ahmed Gichki

Executive Director

Girls School Ward, Opposite Old Radio Pakistan Building, Gwadar, Baluchistan

Tel.: 0321-5987417, 0332-3166234

E-mail : shadowbalochistan@gmail.com

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