Sustainable Use of Mangroves for Small-Scale Entrepreneurs

 
FACE

Sustainable Use of Mangroves for Small-Scale Entrepreneurs

Objectives

To prevent the destruction of mangrove forests by small-scale commercial users surrounding the Port Qasim and Korangi Fish Harbour creeks.

Background

Located near the Indus Delta, Rehri Goth is a coastal village home to nearly fifty thousand people, mostly occupied in fishing or fishing-related activities. Due to internal migration from Sindh and other parts of the country and the subsequent population growth, coupled with a rise in commercial fishing trawlers in the area, local small-scale fishermen can no longer rely solely on this activity as a means of livelihood. The rise in poverty and neglect on the part of the government has led to ex-fishermen now harvesting mangroves in order to earn income. A preliminary field visit conducted by FACE showed that on average, 240 kilos of mangrove leaves and 600 kilos of wood are being cut per day.

In order to preserve these mangrove forests and the eco-system of which they are a part, the project aims to provide an alternative source of livelihood for these mangrove cutters by providing training sessions where they can learn other skills, and then granting them capital equipment and business management supplies in order to start afresh. These beneficiaries will be monitored, and public awareness will also be raised regarding how alternative livelihood sources can not only help mangrove conservation, but can also improve the socio-economic conditions of the locals in Rehri Goth. Through these interventions, it is anticipated that beneficiaries will continue to engage in the alternative business they have been trained in; consulting the rest of the community while selecting these beneficiaries will also ensure that the beneficiaries continue to receive the moral support of their neighbours long after the completion of the project.

Target beneficiaries

Specifically, seven small-scale commercial mangrove users and their households, and indirectly, the entire community in Rehri Goth.

Outputs

  1. A base-line assessment of the socio-economic status of small-scale commercial mangrove users.
  2. A livelihood survey to identify the other options available to these mangrove users.
  3. Distribution of a training manual on alternative livelihood options.
  4. Seven small-scale mangrove users trained on entrepreneurship of alternative livelihoods and provided with start-up capital. 

Accomplishments and challenges

  • Baseline socioeconomic survey of mangrove cutters carried out. 
  • Seven poor mangrove cutters were identified and trained in the entrepreneurship of alternative livelihood options. The chosen beneficiaries were provided with the required start-up capital support for setting up of grocery shops by 2 beneficiaries,  support provided to 1 repair of boat and engine, 3 beneficiaries provided with small new boats, 1 beneficiary provided with a fishing net.
  • Through adoption of alternate livelihood options by project beneficiaries the pressure on mangrove cutting has been reduced resulting in saving of 800,000 kg of mangrove woody biomass, besides relieving mangrove cutters from the physical hardship involved in mangrove wood collection, affecting their health.
  • A small ecotourism operation facility was established to promote mangrove-based recreation.
  • It was a challenge to ensure that the selected seven cutters would not revert back to cutting of mangroves; hence, agreements were signed by FACE with the beneficiaries.
  • FACE team faced internal organizational pressure and resource constraints because this was its first project and the voluntary members expected compensation and incentives for their work. 

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Communications

  • A training manual on alternative livelihood sources will be distributed among the seven mangrove cutters.
  • Public awareness raised through media coverage, event reports and a case study.

Gender Equality

After the selection of the mangrove cutters, their female household members will also take part in decision-making. Women will also be involved in consultation meetings held in the community, including those who work in community organisations and those who are working on women’s rights. Mangrove cutters frequently face health problems and this puts financial burden on household while increasing risk of losing their daily earning. Women play a focal role in management of household and are frequently involved in taking small loans and do extra-labor to support the daily household needs. Women will benefit through better livelihood security through engagement of their males in safe and reliable livelihood options. 

Climate Change

The project will contribute to saving mangroves from cutting for commercial needs and will make the community more aware about the important role they play in protecting them against the climate change related disasters. The objective to save mangrove from cutting, coupled with raising public awareness, will make the community more aware of the important role these plants play in protecting them from climate change related disasters.

 

 

Lessons Learned

  • The project supported in capacity building of FACE in the areas such as, standard report writing; record keeping; financial management, and planning and reporting of project activities.
  • The project enabled FACE in managing local challenges in implementation of project activities and gaining community confidence and support.

Project Facts

Country

Location

Rehri Goth, Sindh Province

Topic

Duration

5th Jul 2013 to 5th Jul 2014

MFF Grant Amount

999,000

Implementing Partner

Fishermen Association for Community Empowerment (FACE)

Muhammad Anwar Khaskheli

Email: face_skg@yahoo.com

'My name is Haji Aloo, I am a resident of Rehri Goth. I was involved in mangrove cutting for years. Although it is a tough task to cut and sale mangrove wood, I have to do it to support my family. I had to wake up early and take the boat to the mangroves. The work had adverse effects on my health. I was overworked and suffered back and kidney pain due to the work strain. Because it’s a daily wage work, I could not take a day off. Under MFF SGF project, I volunteered to abandon mangrove cutting and was trained in entrepreneurship and business planning by FACE and subsequently received capital support to establish a confectionary shop through which I am supporting my family. My son helps me in running the shop. I am also relieved from hardship involved in mangrove cutting with positive impacts on my health'.

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