Can Local Institutions Help Sustain Livelihoods in an Era of Fish Declines and Persistent Environmental Change? A Cambodian Case Study
2. Cambodia’s Policy Framework for Encouraging Village-Level Involvement
3. Approach, Data Collection and Analysis
|Level||Description of methods||Timeframe|
|Local institutions in Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia||Key informant interviews (n = 15)||2011–2012 (May, September, February)|
|Focus group discussions (n = 10; 8 people/focus group)||2011 (May, September)|
|Participant observation||1998–2012, annual visits to area|
|Government actors||Key informant interviews (n = 5)||2012 (February)|
|Secondary sources||Literature review||2011–2013|
4.1. Perceptions of Environmental Change
|Irregularity of tides||Tides are harder to predict, and the duration of tides has shifted (from two to four or five hours).||Crab fishers can no longer lay their traps during low tide, when crabs are attracted to bait, and be ensured the traps will soon be submerged.||Some fishers monitor traps more consistently. Measuring peak floods since 2004, it is believed that there has been a rise of 0.1 meter since then.|
|Shift in weather patterns||A perceived rise in temperature and change in seasons; heavier rains and increasing storms and floods.||Storms affect access to fishing grounds; intense heat affects sea grass; beaches are eroding and mangrove stands are being damaged.||Keep notes of houses destroyed by floods; considering a change in house design.|
|Species decline||Some aquatic species have become rare in the past few years, as pressure on aquatic resources have intensified.||People need to fish; “harder” to survive.||Tried many activities: patrolling, protesting against sand mining and trawls; but general declines continue.|
Since starting to fish, in 1992, I have had to continuously increase the number of nets that I use while decreasing my mesh size. There are some seasons that are better than other seasons, but in general, we all have to work harder than we did in the past. Now that it is hotter than before does not help. The future of a fisher is not good. Some fishers may be forced to do something like moving out of the village to an area where they can pursue agriculture and animal raising.
4.2. Local Institutions Responding to Environmental Change
|Village||Donor funds a||Key activities, 2000–2012||Brief explanation of leadership within committee|
|A||Yes||Mangrove re-planting; waste management; patrolling; fish sanctuary; skill development (hair dressing, engine and radio repair); lead committee in fishery federation, women’s savings group.||Strong leadership b; long-term support from outside projects (since 1997); high-level provincial connections.|
|B||Yes||Committee elected in 2011; rules and regulations are new.||Committee chief appears committed, but not active yet.|
|C||Yes||Environmental education; integrated farming systems; skill development (hair dressing, engine and radio repair); some mangrove replanting; artificial reefs.||Weak leadership (committee head not respected by villagers); fishing challenges are extra complicated due to geography.|
|D||Yes||Patrolling; integrated farming system; skill development (hair dressing, engine and radio repair); eco-tourism, including fishing platforms for tourists.||Active, well-organized leader; support of provincial departments, linked to proximity (a quick boat ride from town).|
|E||Yes||Eco-tourism (since the mid-2000s); fish and sea grass sanctuary; integrated farming system; skill development (hair dressing, engine and radio repair); installment of drinking water system; some patrolling; some mangrove replanting.||Active, respected politically-connected leader; long-term support from outside projects (since 1997); the commune chief is also the committee chief.|
5. Discussion and Conclusions
|Lack of environmental change data||Monitor coastal perceptions of environmental change on a consistent basis. Combine this information with on-going scientific analysis to form the basis of any adaptation strategy.|
|Strengthen fishery issues within national plans||National planning documents need to move beyond vague discussions of fishery issues. Key areas to consider include: anticipating what species may move into cooler waters and how this will impact Cambodian fishers; the role of aquaculture and what species make sense to fish or farm.|
|Over-fishing||Over-fishing is a known issue throughout the region. Enforcing existing policies is an important step, particularly in the short to medium term. More money needs to be dedicated to policing by national or provincial officials.|
|Livelihood challenges||Fishing livelihoods remain precarious. Environmental change planning has to be linked to potential future livelihood strategies (fishing and non-fishing).|
|Communication with local institutions||Communication between scientists, planners and local fishery institutions is critical for developing response scenarios to climate change impacts and environmental change more generally on marine social-ecological ecosystems.|
Conflicts of Interest
References and Notes
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© 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Marschke, M.; Lykhim, O.; Kim, N. Can Local Institutions Help Sustain Livelihoods in an Era of Fish Declines and Persistent Environmental Change? A Cambodian Case Study. Sustainability 2014, 6, 2490-2505. https://doi.org/10.3390/su6052490
Marschke M, Lykhim O, Kim N. Can Local Institutions Help Sustain Livelihoods in an Era of Fish Declines and Persistent Environmental Change? A Cambodian Case Study. Sustainability. 2014; 6(5):2490-2505. https://doi.org/10.3390/su6052490Chicago/Turabian Style
Marschke, Melissa, Ouk Lykhim, and Nong Kim. 2014. "Can Local Institutions Help Sustain Livelihoods in an Era of Fish Declines and Persistent Environmental Change? A Cambodian Case Study" Sustainability 6, no. 5: 2490-2505. https://doi.org/10.3390/su6052490