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Home > Basin > Niger > Improving resilience in small-scale fisheries (PN72)

Full Project Title: Participatory diagnosis and adaptive management of small-scale fisheries in the Niger River Basin (PN72)

Introduction

Small-scale inland fisheries are notoriously difficult to assess and to manage, due to the complex (multi-species, multi-gear) and diffuse (informal, seasonal, unrecorded) nature of their operations. In addition, small-scale inland fisheries are increasingly affected by external factors which mainly lie outside the area of influence of the fishers themselves or of the agencies in charge of the resource management such as impacts of upstream dams, pollution, irrigation schemes, or even, increasingly, change in hydro-climatic factors.

The central hypothesis of this research is that the concept of resilience, revisited from a socio-ecological and adaptive management perspective, can be applied to reduce the vulnerability of these fishing communities to external shocks, and lead to improved resource management.

The objective is to develop a framework to operationalizing the concept of resilience and making its implementation on the ground practical and meaningful test it in the specific context of small-scale fisheries in the Niger River Basin.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • For those who have adopted a diversified livelihood and are also engaged in farming (fisher-farmers), a close analysis reveals that the high seasonality characterizing their various activities and in particular the specific period of these activities during the season does not allow much flexibility.
  • For the other major groups of fishers –those who have adopted a more specialized strategy and migrate-, the situation is not necessarily better as the high density of the population in the delta reduces drastically the possibility to find any new migration routes.
  • Although migration and diversification are often presented as strategies adopted by households or individuals to reduce their vulnerability, this analysis demonstrates that in the case of fish-dependent population in the Central Delta of Niger, these strategies alone will not be sufficient to help the communities to face the increasing constraints associated with the coming changes in hydro-climate conditions.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • Although still early to assess the impact of the interventions, the Participatory Diagnosis- Adaptive Management (PDAM) framework developed and implemented has shown relevance in engaging with local communities about their sources of vulnerability, and to lead these communities to identify, in a participatory and gender-sensitive manner, potential solutions to reduce these sources of vulnerability. There are encouraging signs of changes and mechanisms have been put in place to ensure the self-sustainability of the interventions.
  • Among the village communities, positive impacts include improved approach to health care, continued access to credit, and inclusion of migrant households in collective activities.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN72 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

Peer-reviewed papers

  1. Mills D., Béné C, Ovie O., Tafida A., Sinaba F., Kodio A., Russell A., Andrew N., Morand P. Lemoalle J., 2009 Vulnerability in African small-scale fishing communities. Journal of International Development 26: 1-6.
  2. Morand P., Kodio A., Sinaba F., Andrew N., Lemoalle J. and Béné C. Will African floodplain fishermen be able to adapt to hydro-climatic change? A forward vulnerability analysis from the Niger Inner Delta case study. Submitted.

Research papers

  1. Andrew, N.L. and Evans, L. 2009. Approaches and Frameworks for Management and Research in Small-scale Fisheries in the Developing World. The WorldFish Center Working Paper 1914. The WorldFish Center, Penang, Malaysia.
  2. Evans, L. and Andrew, N.L. 2009. Diagnosis and the Management Constituency of Small-scale Fisheries. The WorldFish Center Working Paper 1941. The WorldFish Center, Penang, Malaysia.

Conference proceedings

  1. Béné C., N. Andrew, A. Russell, F. Sinaba, S. Ovie, P. Morand, and J. Lemoalle. 2008. Managing Resilience in West African small-scale fisheries. Paper presented at the Second International Forum on Water and Food (Addis Ababa 10-14 Nov 2008).
  2. Béné C, Mills, D., Ovie S. and Sinaba F. Assessing Vulnerability in Small-Scale Fishing Communities. Submitted for presentation at the IIFET 2010 Conference, Montpellier, France.
  3. Morand P., Kodio A., Sinaba F., Andrew N., Lemoalle J. and Béné C. Fishers adaptation to hydro-climatic change in the Central Delta of Niger. Submitted for presentation at the IIFET 2010 Conference, Montpellier, France.

Policy briefs

  1. Béné C. et al. 2010 Managing Resilience in West African small-scale fisheries, Policy Brief WorldFish Center Penang Malaysia, 5 p.
  2. Lemoalle J. et al. 2010. Adaptation of floodplain fishing communities to hydro-climatic changes in the Niger River basin, Policy Brief WorldFish Center Penang Malaysia, 5 p.
  3. Mills D. et al. 2010 Assessing vulnerability in African small-scale fishing communities, Policy Brief WorldFish Center Penang Malaysia, 5 p.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners

IRD, NIFFR, IER

Project Lead

Project lead

WFC

For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.

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