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Institutional and Policy Framework in the Governance of Capture Fisheries and Its Bearing on Co-Management: Experiences from Zambia

Recent scientific reports highlight the urgent need for transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and long-term sustainability. The purpose of this study was to analyze the influence that institutional and policy frameworks have on co-management partnerships in poor communities like Lake Bangweulu open fisheries in Zambia. This chapter is based on field research that aims to generate information for sustainable fisheries management, through strong partnerships in the form of co-management. The research took a qualitative and quantitative approach to explore the institutional frameworks and the appropriateness of the fisheries policy for co-management. Data were obtained through observation, surveys, and documentation. The findings show that the involvement of fishing communities in the management of the fisheries at all levels, from policymaking to implementation, would lead to greater awareness and management compliance by resource users. However, policy and management strategies should focus on community development rather than just conservation. A policy based on conservation is seen as not designed to improve on local livelihood, but conserves resources for the benefit of facilitating institutions. Strong partnerships that take a holistic approach in the governance and management of fisheries are critical in achieving the SDG 17. The study suggests how institutional and policy frameworks can both facilitate and constrain fisheries co-management. Presented here are the normative criteria from which to evaluate and improve partnerships in co-management.

Table of Contents: Transitioning to Strong Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals