Community-Led Coastal Management in the Gulf of Mottama

Project completed

In the rapid transition to a market economy and more democratic systems, control over Myanmar’s land, forest and fisheries is contested by citizens, government and the commercial private sector. In the productive and globally significant Gulf of Mottama, this program supports the development of local institutions for sustainable resource management with an emphasis on equitable access to fisheries and improved livelihoods of the rural poor.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Myanmar
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural services & market
Agricultural development
15.02.2015 - 30.06.2018
CHF 4'600'000
Background

The Gulf of Mottama is a highly productive but severely over-fished, resulting in a reduction of catch by at least 60% over the last decade. Because of its global biodiversity value, the gulf is being designated under the “Ramsar” international convention for the sustainable use of wetlands. Local coastal populations are small and medium scale fishers, who are increasingly reliant on mixed livelihoods strategies that include farming, casual labor and migration; and are vulnerable to loss of resources, including periodic shoreline erosion. Women and landless are particularly vulnerable, and about 30% of households are female-headed.

Objectives

The overall goal of the project is that the unique biodiversity of the Gulf of Mottama is conserved and sustainably developed to benefit human communities that depend on it.

The specific project objective is that vulnerable women and men in targeted coastal areas of the Gulf of Mottama have improved livelihood security through effective fisheries value chain development, livelihoods diversification and equitable and sustainable management of resources.

Target groups

In the current establishment phase (Phase 1), the project targets 100,000 coastal inhabitants, with an emphasis on fishers, but including farmers and landless, of which 30% are women, living in three townships of Mon State and two townships of Bago Region around the Gulf of Mottama in the southeast of Myanmar.

By the end of the project in 2023, this target will be doubled (at least) through increased geographic outreach within Mon State and Bago Region, as well as potentially Yangon Region.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Benefits of sustainable fisheries management in the Gulf of Mottama are shared through effective value chains and equitable market access

Outcome 2: Vulnerable coastal communities have increased income and resilience through livelihood diversification and improved access to non-fisheries resources

Outcome 3: The special biodiversity values of the GoM are sustainably and equitably managed on the basis of scientific evidence through integrated local, regional and national institutions and/or management bodies

Results

Expected results:  

  • Improved governance mechanisms for local fisheries, including co-management aspects, and improved regulation and enforcement at inter-state, township and community levels
  • Improved value chain of fisheries products through better business and investment capacities of all stakeholders
  • Improved and diversified agricultural productivity and access to livelihood assets
  • Public availability of reliable scientific analysis of fish populations, as well as other biodiversity values and ecosystem dynamics
  • Better awareness and protection of the special biodiversity values of the Gulf of Mottama
  • Creation of a multi-stakeholder inter-state management body for gulf, including fisheries governance, through community-led processes


Results from previous phases:  

Key results of the inception phase included selection of 50 project villages and a baseline study, mapping fishery value chains, identification of non-fisheries livelihoods potential, a rapid coastal and marine survey, and stakeholder and conflict analysis; as well staff recruitment, field office establishment, and partnership outreach.

Key insights include:

  • Fisheries are declining due to unsustainable practices and weak regulatory framework
  • Small-scale fishers in the target area are being exploited by commercial interests
  • High levels of migration impact livelihoods
  • High levels of debt and poor access to affordable credit constrains investment
  • Ramsar designation is slow due to challenge of working across a large region; management institutions might well be integrated with those for fisheries management


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign Non-Governmental Organization
  • Other international or foreign NGO North


Other partners

HAFL will support Yezin Agricultural University; Mawlamyine University; Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development; Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry

Coordination with other projects and actors

NAG implements fisheries projects in the Ayerwaddy Division and Rakhine State. Denmark, Norway, France and the World Bank are supporting fisheries and/or waterway management.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   4'600'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   3'829'128
Project phases Phase 2 15.04.2018 - 31.12.2021   (Current phase)

Phase 1 15.02.2015 - 30.06.2018   (Completed)