On 30th Nov 2022, The National Fisheries Solidarity Organization (NAFSO) team facilitated a dialogue on ensuring sustainable livelihoods among vulnerable fishing communities with 43 CSO representatives from 12 different Organizations representing 10 Districts in Sri Lanka, among which there were: FOSDOO, NAHRO, newAROW, Save a Life, UPSAC SRILANKA, CJC, FRC, HEO, HOPE, JSAC, MSEDO, MWDT, NSDF.
This dialogue is part of the efforts the members of the Regional Advisory Group in Asia and Pacific (RAG A&P) are doing at their national and regional levels to strengthen the understanding of the SSF communities on the SSF Voluntary Guidelines. Indeed, the Working Group on Fisheries of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) has been developing the SSF People Centred Methodology to assess the challenges SSF communities face nowadays. The meeting responded to the willingness of the IPC to connect and network with other organisations to join the efforts for SSF rights and dignity.
The training session had two main goals:
- to understand the blue economy, the blue growth model of fisheries development and their adverse contribution to the social, economic, environmental and political aspects of fishers’ lives
- give visibility to the national, regional and global efforts of fishing communities to achieve food security, poverty eradication, environmental resilience and, in the end, food and ocean sovereignty.
For the occasion, Nimal Perera, NAFSO’s member and Secretariat of the Regional Advisory Group Asia & Pacific, made a presentation on the SSF Guidelines, explaining the story behind this international instrument, the contribution of SSF movements and Indigenous Peoples, the rational and its core elements, which are human right-based principles in the context of Food security and Poverty eradication.
Nimal Perera also highlighted how the SSF Guidelines offers a blueprint for addressing and solving the challenges of SSF communities, namely by recognising and valuing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to food security; ensuring conservation of fisheries resources; by guiding environmentally and human-friendly development, policies, strategies and legal frameworks; and by valuing ancestral and traditional knowledge and techniques that are being overshadowed by Blue Economy approaches and activities.