Strengthening the capacity of a community network for managing Phuket’s coastal resources

 
WideBaan Kuku community protected area c SSereepaowong 2011

Baan Kuku community protected area , Thailand © SSereepaowong , 2011

Objectives

The long-term goal of this small grant project was to support Thailand’s national coastal resources policy. Its specific objective was to build the capacity and awareness of community groups and organizations for playing an effective part in formulating and implementing public policy for the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources.

Background

The Phuket Fisher-Folk Network was established in 2006 by members of a group of small-scale fishing communities. Its aim was to advocate against poorly formulated policies for fisheries and tourism which had led to mangrove encroachment and the degradation of marine resources.

Target beneficiaries

The project targeted fishing communities in four villages along Phuket’s eastern coast. The main beneficiaries were 230 of the 4,878 households in these villages. Most of these households earn their living from small-scale fishing, agriculture, trade and services, and ecotourism. Yearly per capita income at the time of the project was about US$2,334.

Outputs

  • Management of 60 hectares of mangroves as a community forest, with technical support from the Phuket Mangrove Research Station.
  • Planting and maintenance of 1,700 seedlings of different mangrove species.
  • Conservation areas for seagrass and mangroves clearly demarcated, recorded on maps, and identified by 120 signboards posted in one community forest.
  • Compilation of a database of mangrove flora and fauna. This helped communities to identify new food products and prepare plans for sustainable use and conservation of their resources.
  • An increase in capacity evidenced by the communities’ confidence and ability in formulating action plans, particularly a community network action plan and budget for 2011.
  • Establishment of a fund to protect mangroves in one village by mobilising the community’s own resources.

Accomplishments and challenges

In Ban Tha La in Thalang district, project beneficiaries received additional support from several agencies. This helped to build and integrate different groups in the village, including small-scale fishers, a weavers’ group, a food-processing group, and a tourism group. Project and other support also led to the demarcation of a marine protected zone in front of Ban Tha La.
In Ban Kuku in Muang district, 120 hectares of mangrove forest were brought under community management, and another 10 hectares reclaimed successfully by the community through legal procedures.

Challenges

Despite the increased capacity of community leaders, the target villages still face a number of threats and concerns. At Ban Tha La, the issue is local infrastructure development, including a tourist programme and the construction of sea ports and a small private airfield. For Ban Kuku, near Phuket’s provincial capital, the issues are land-use conflicts and related legal questions.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Communications

The project raised its profile through print publications and by promoting its activities widely.

Lessons Learned

The regular work commitments of beneficiaries can affect scheduling of project activities, as some participants are likely to be busy during the day. A number of meetings and workshops may have to be scheduled in the evening. Regular dialogue and coordination with different stakeholders help to facilitate implementation of project activities.

Project Facts

Country

Location

Muang and Thalang, Phuket, Thailand

Topic

Duration

1st Oct 2009 to 31st Oct 2010

MFF Grant Amount

US$11,007

Co-financing Partner

The Andaman Project for Participatory Restoration of Natural Resources contributed US$18,010 in cash. The participating communities made a total in-kind contribution of US$12,367.

Implementing Partner

Mr Pitthaya Yadum
Project Coordinator
Phuket Fisher-Folk Network
24/28 Moo 1, Vichit, Muang,
Phuket, Thailand
Tel:     +66 89 8696189
Email:    peet_ya@hotmail.com

Related Publications

Strengthening Capacity of Community Network for Phuket Coastal Resource Management

Author: MFF Thailand

Posted on: 4th Dec 2013

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