Creating Cambodia's First Marine Fisheries Managed Area
Fauna & Flora International
2013 - 2016
Cambodia's waters support a rich and abundant marine life including coral reefs, seagrass meadows, extensive mangrove forests and key species such as the critically endangered hawksbill turtle. Tragically, due to years of political turmoil and decades of economic instability, there is a lack of financial and human resources in research and support in government institutions to implement effective conservation measures.
In the face of major threats including overfishing and large-scale, but poorly planned, coastal development, the need to protect Cambodia’s waters and the local communities who rely on them has never been so important. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has made a commitment under the Convention for Biological Diversity to protect 10% of marine and coastal eco-regions by 2020. Furthermore, in 2012, the FFI started a new and exciting project to support Cambodia's Fisheries Administration (FiA) to establish and manage the country's first Marine Fisheries Management Area (MFMA) in the Koh Rong Archipelago.
FFI will ensure that FiA has the relevant information, tools and training required to effectively design, manage and monitor the MFMA, which will underpin sustainable coastal livelihoods and serve as a model for subsequent marine spatial planning in the country.
The main objectives of the project are to: i) improve FiA and CFi capacities to manage marine fisheries resources, ii) create policy instruments and plans for protecting coastal habitats for the benefit of fisheries and tourism, iii) identify and develop sustainable funding streams to support effective local management iv) empower small-scale fishers and engage the private sector in MFMA design and management.