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Governance Challenges of the Implementation of Fisheries Co-Management : Experiences from Malawi

Author:

Friday Njaya

Fisheries Department, Malawi; University of Western Cape, South Africa
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Abstract

This paper reviews some major challenges experienced in the implementation of fisheries co-management initiatives in response to governance reforms being advocated in various countries. Lessons are drawn from Malawi's experiences on the implementation of co-management arrangements. Appropriate policy and legal frameworks that govern management of the fisheries resources in decentralised structures should be formulated as attributes to community empowerment. Defining clear objectives and incentives for fisheries co-management becomes a challenge where appropriation of the commons is for survival especially in areas where poverty is persistent. There are limited resilient co-management institutions due to unclear definition of roles for various stakeholders and limited participation of civil society groups in the management of the commons as part of the governance system. Traditional institutions play a role either in support of or against sustainable resource management is response to inducements of various forms especially from migrants which challenges exclusion of non-members from appropriating the commons. The principles of good governance that include participation and accountability of the representative committees are limited in some areas. The initiation process as to whether the co-management was introduced by government or by the user community affects resilience of the co-management institutions. However, adoption of broad-based co-management regimes with various empowered stakeholders including the civil society, non-governmental organisations and government agencies are a positive step towards achievement of a sustainable fish resource management.
How to Cite: Njaya, F., (2007). Governance Challenges of the Implementation of Fisheries Co-Management : Experiences from Malawi. International Journal of the Commons. 1(1), pp.137–153. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.21
Published on 17 Oct 2007.
Peer Reviewed

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