The Nature Conservancy has been working in Komodo National Park since 1995 to establish a marine reserve that 1) ensures long-term protection of the natural community structure, habitat and species and protects a portion of the exploited reef fish stock to enhance fisheries in the traditional use zones inside the Park and in the waters surrounding the Park. This case study illustrates mariculture activities that could contribute to conservation purposes and more sustainable use of natural resources.

This case study describes the present status and trends, and provides recommendations for the improvement of aquatic resources management within Hon Mun Marine Protected Area (MPA), Nha Trang Bay, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. The case study also evaluates options for improving the livelihoods of local villagers through the development of ecologically sustainable aquaculture and fisheries, which include diversification following careful selection and trial of appropriate culture species, and application of “best practice” culture methods.

This study characterised the coral reef fisheries in Tubigon, Bohol, Philippines, and sought to derive lessons from the management interventions to eliminate unsustainable fishing practices and improve coastal livelihoods employed by various groups in Tubigon. The study investigated whether recent advances in aquaculture of grouper and reef fisheries had helped improve coastal community livelihoods and prevent unsustainable and destructive practices, and whether there was a role for the private sector in eliminating unsustainable fishing practices and improving coastal livelihoods.

The visit was to plan the proposed case studies, the State-level Workshops and the consensus-building process of the DFID NRSP Research Project R8100 entitled “Investigating Improved Policy on Aquaculture Service Provision to Poor People”. Meetings were held with GVT staff, jankars and farmers from communities in villages in Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal, and officials of Departments of Fisheries in Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand. Meetings were also held with GVT, ICAR and the Fisheries Commission.

To organise, to form a union, to become an alliance, is a fundamental of human social behaviour. Farming is one of the earliest examples of sustained collective livelihood. This missive relates some early exciting experiences of associations of farmers that are emerging from amongst tribal communities, which constitute some of the most disadvantaged in India, and the work that these organisations and other partners have made towards poverty alleviation through support for aquaculture.

The three State-level Workshops were held in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa in October 2002. The aim and objectives of the workshops were to contribute to “giving people a voice” in policy-making processes that have an impact on their livelihoods, to understand a process for transacting institutional and policy change, to provide feedback on case studies and to review emerging “indicators of change” and provide input into the subsequent Stakeholders Workshop.

This paper is about a process and practice which is bringing representatives of tribal communities in three Indian states together with district, state and national government officials, around the issue of aquaculture services provision. The project comprises a series of visits, fieldwork, workshops, case studies, a consensus-building process, literature research and documentation. Among its aims are building shared understandings of government services provision among recipients, implementers and policy-makers, and facilitating an equitable dialogue towards policy change.

The workshop objectives were to understand a process for transacting institutional and policy change, provide feedback to “finalise” six case studies which document experiences of rural aquaculture services provision from the perspectives of representative recipient and provider groups, to review emerging “indicators of progress” to feed into a consensus-building process and to provide input into a subsequent Policy Review Workshop. It contributed to giving people a voice in policy-making processes that have an impact on their livelihoods.

There are many “stakeholders” involved in the development of schemes to support tribal people to undertake aquaculture. These should include tribal people, researchers, policy-makers and others. Stakeholders often face a situation in which different people have conflicting views. Such differences can be over the appropriate goals of a scheme, the types of outcomes, who should be helped and in what way, or the merit and worth of particular activities.

The six case studies published here grew in concept and content throughout the Project period. To follow the progress of the Case Studies, excerpts have been taken from previous Project documents, and adapted for the purpose of showing how they changed from an initial idea to the form in which they appear here and were presented finally at the Policy Review Workshop in Noida, Delhi, in April 2003. Each of the studies is different in focus and format.