Developing focal area communications
Effective communications, i.e. responding to information needs by making information available in a timely and accessible manner is crucial to process based on access to, and use of, information. Communications between stakeholders involved in, or dependent upon, wetlands management is vital to ensure that issues affecting the wetlands are understood and that all stakeholders can contribute in an informed way to the important decisions that need to be made about the wise use of wetlands and aquatic resources. In addition, effective communications will enable the lessons learned – both the successes and failures to be shared more widely and for issues identified within local management processes to be considered and addressed within higher level management and policy making arenas. This is not only important to the WAP but also other organizations that have a communications remit. As a result, links will be established with the Information Technology Transfer Division of IFReDI and the staff of the Fisheries Domain and Extension of the Department of Fisheries to share with them information on the needs and requirements of various stakeholder groups associated with aquatic resources research, management and use in support of the development of their own communications strategies
Creating effective communications between a range of different stakeholders all with different perspectives and information requirements requires an understanding of the needs of the different groups and of the way in which they already access and make use of information. As a starting point therefore the WAP will seek to identify all the stakeholders relevant to wetlands resource management in the focal area, from the local fishers through Commune and Provincial actors to national and regional agencies with research, management and capacity building remits and assess how they communicate and what their information and media preferences are. This understanding will form the basis for developing a range of carefully targeted media products that can provide information in the format most accessible and useful to the stakeholder. Thus increasing the likelihood that it will be used. The information to be communicated includes, but is not limited to, i) the new fishery law ii) new and existing information relating to wetlands (from within the focal area – e.g. from the Salaphoum research, within WAP and from other sources), iii baseline biodiversity and socio-economic information. This activity group will also consider how the sharing of and subsequent use of information can be monitored and evaluated and provide systems to track this.
The development of focal area communications also provides information about how to communicate with different stakeholder groups and specific important and influential stakeholders that will be of use to i) other WAP partners, either directly or as part of communications activities coordinated through the regional work plan and ii) for other agencies that may wish to communicate with these stakeholders. By providing this information the focal area activities will be able to contribute to the joint programming that is central to the WAP philosophy.
Activities in Cambodia
- Coastal resources mapping
- Adopting existing or designing commune plans to improve livelihood
- Trainers’ training and capacity building for staff of the Provincial Training Center of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training
- Establish collaborative mechanisms between local governments of Kep/Kampot in Cambodia and Phu Quoc, Kien Giang Province in Vietnam in implementing habitat management for livelihood improvement involving trans-boundary issues
- Developing community common laws
- Strengthening the capacity of fishery sector agencies and local planning institutions on aquatic resource management
- Developing local capacity to conserve riparian and forest vegetation
- Developing capacity of local change agents to respond to changing environments
- Developing Provincial department of agriculture and rural development NGOs capacity for livelihood improvement
- Developing focal area communications