Aquatic resources management underway in Siphandone area
A project second phase to manage and sustainably use fisheries and aquatic natural resources in Siphandone area is underway to benefit some 20 villages of Khong and Mounlapamok districts, Champassak province.
Department of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Laos) have agreed to work towards promoting sustainable aquatic development in the Siphandone area, aka ‘4,000 islands’, of Champassak province.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony to officially launch the project second phase took place on Wednesday in Pakxe district, Champassak province between Deputy Director General of Department of Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Bounthong Sapackdy and Country Director of WWF-Laos, Mr. Somphone Bouasavanh.
The new 2017-2019 project costing more than 4 billion kip (US$ 506,809), funded by WWF Germany and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, will receive technical support from the WWF Greater Mekong Programme Office.
Under the MoU the project second phase will work towards increasing and improving the stock of aquatic resources through supporting effective patrolling of the Mekong River, setting up Fish Conservation Zones (FCZ) and Fisheries Management Committees (FMC), raising awareness of Lao fisheries legislation, and developing alternative sources of livelihoods, including aquaculture.
The project will be implemented in 20 target villages of Khong and Mounlapamok districts, Champassak province. In addition, the project will seek to raise awareness among communities to better understand the benefits of fish conservation and fisheries management.
The first phase of the project, which began in 2012, supported the creation or improvement of more than 37 FCZs and 30 FMCs in 30 villages, as well as the diversification and improvement of livelihoods for more than 800 households.
To further demonstrate the benefits of fish conservation zones, the Department of Livestock and Fisheries and WWF will use systematic monitoring and evaluation processes that will provide scientific grounds for the replication of the community fisheries model in other parts of Laos as well as the Greater Mekong region. Setting up fish conservation zones will help ensure the livelihoods of those people living along the Mekong River are secured and institutionally anchored through the sustainable management of the natural resources. Local people will obtain long-term benefits provided by the ecosystem servicing the lower reaches of the Mekong, in the border area of Laos and Cambodia.
By Vientiane Times Newspaper