The Second Edition of the Pacific Handbook for gender equity and social inclusion in coastal fisheries and aquaculture was launched this week with the aim to bridge the gender gaps and overcome existing exclusions of marginalised groups that lie within the region’s fisheries sector.
In March 2019, the Pacific Community launched the first edition of the handbook with the goal to provide practical guidance to fisheries managers, national fisheries officers and broader fisheries practitioners in the region to integrate gender and social inclusion (GSI) into planning, programming and implementation.
Natalie Makhoul, Gender and Human Rights Specialist at the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme, explained that the second edition of the handbook is complimenting and building on the existing handbook through the inclusion of three additional modules.
“The need to make the handbook more practical by presenting more hands-on tools in each module was stressed during gender and fisheries trainings for regional implementing agencies. In doing so, the authors were encouraged to draw from existing tools while bringing in a GSI focus. Therefore, the three additional modules explore fisheries and aquaculture themes from a more hands-on and practical angle such as field work-related interventions at the community level,” Makhoul explained.
Eren Zink, Senior Programme Manager at the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, remarked that “Because fisheries and marine resources are so central to peoples’ livelihoods, it is essential that these resources are sustainably managed in ways that are inclusive, gender equal and human rights-based. The handbook is an important tool for addressing these overarching concerns in a manner that is both relevant to, and respectful of, the contexts of specific communities and resource users in the Pacific.”
The new modules explore a human rights-based approach with the aim to strengthen actions of improving gender and social inclusion gaps within the region’s coastal fisheries space.
Miles Young, Director of SPC’s Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) division, while speaking at the launch, emphasized that “The launch of this Handbook is one way that SPC is acknowledging International Women’s Day and the Handbook itself is a contribution to gender parity in the region, particularly in the coastal fisheries and aquaculture space. The Handbook poses some challenging questions and requires an examination of the way in which we look at relationships between men and women. I also like the fact it also proposes practical solutions and actions to improving gender equity and social inclusion in the context of coastal fisheries and aquaculture.”
The handbook will serve as a key document to strengthen GSI mainstreaming in the coastal fisheries and aquaculture sector through practical guidance and tools and also serve as an awareness and learning guide to stimulate more understanding and grow knowledge on key GSI issues. Moreover, it is planned to serve as a basis to develop courses on gender and fisheries by the University of the South Pacific under PEUMP’s Key Result Area 6 focussed on capacity building.
The first and second edition of this handbook were developed through writing workshops funded by the Australian Government and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Subregional Office (Apia) and the European Union and the Government of Sweden through the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme.
Sonal Aujla, Communications Officer, SPC Corporate Communications/PEUMP Programme | E: [email protected]