PROFISH: Promoting marine conservation and sustainable fishing in Lampi Marine National Park, Myanmar
Illegal fishing, unplanned tourism development and impacts of climate change: a destructive combination for Lampi Marine National Park’s marine resources. A project to protect local biodiversity, with local communities as protagonists.
Lampi National Marine Park contains globally recognized naturalistic richness and cultural diversity. More than 2.500 people now live within the park’s boundaries. These include the Moken population, the ‘sea gypsies’, who cut through the Andaman Sea for centuries before settling here.
The survival of local communities mainly depends on the resources that the sea has to offer, over 63% of the population is engaged in fishing but in many cases these activities are illegal and uncontrolled. This establishes a vicious circle that threatens valuable ecosystems and endangers the communities.
In order to face this problem, we decided to work on several fronts, by collaborating with all those who are involved in the management of the Park, who study its richness, and who live in this area.
Local authorities, universities, fisherman and tourists are involved in scientific analysis and marine ecosystems data collection. With one objective: to expand the boundaries of the park and identify marine areas where no activity is allowed, as well as identify areas pledged to local artisanal fisherman for sustainable fishing activities.
We believe that every action for environmental protection is based on awareness. For this reason, we promote awareness campaigns in five of the Park’s villages and in the schools, on issues related to marine conservation and sustainable fishing.
Groups of local artisanal fishermen, called Village Fisheries Societies (VFS), will develop management plans for sustainable fishing areas and monitor protected areas to prevent infringements and abuses. We also want to continue our commitment to promote responsible tourism, and offer an economic alternative to the local communities, which are actively involved in the tourism services’ management. We also give special attention to women, in order to strengthen their role in the society and allow them equal access to economic opportunities.
Here is our strategy to facilitate social and economic justice, with respect for cultures and the environment.
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