The SEAFDEC-Sweden Project convened the End of the Project Meeting: Fisheries and Habitat Management, Climate Change and Social Well-being in Southeast Asia (2013-2019) on 30-31 October 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. The aims of the Meeting were to sum up the Project results and outputs and highlight the major achievementsas well as share the experiences, best practices, and lessons learned from the Project implementation, among countries, and relevant stakeholders. The Meeting began with the Welcome Remarks by the SEAFDEC Secretary-General, Ms. Malinee Smithrithee, and the speech given by the Head of Development Cooperation Regional Asia and the Pacific, Embassy of Sweden, Ms. Åsa Hedén,. The two-day Meeting gathered 80 participants from the ASEAN Member States (AMSs), representatives from donors and regional partners namely: Government of Sweden, USAID, FAO/RAP, JTF, UNEP/GEF/Fisheries Refugia Project, IUCN, Sustainable Development Foundation, Learning Institute, CORIN-Asia Cambodia. Moreover, experts and resource persons, officials from SEAFDEC and members of the Regional Fisheries Policy Network were also in attendance.
The highlights of the Meeting include the overall achievements and deliverable results that led to the achievement of the Project’s objectives which focused on strengthening capacity among the AMSs on the management of fisheries and habitats, management of fishing capacity, and combating IUU fishing through regional and sub-regional cooperation and on-site cooperation with regional and national partners with special focus in the Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, and the Mekong River Basin sub-regions. In addition, the Meeting also emphasized the successful support of the Project to SEAFDEC and its Member Countries in strengthening their capacity to address several cross-cutting issues including social well-being, human rights, livelihood, and integration of gender in small-scale fisheries.
The five Sessions that took place during the Meeting, were 1) Sustainable Utilization of Transboundary Fisheries Resources; 2) Regional and Sub-regional Cooperation for Management of Fishing Capacity Combating IUU Fishing; 3) Building Awareness and Capability on Livelihoods Diversification options and Adaptation to Climate Change for Poverty Alleviation; 4) Why and what have been undertaken in gender integration?; and 5) Looking Back-Looking Forward: the major advantages and the usefulness of a sub-regional platform. During the discussions, the panelists and participants shared their views and current country actions based on the Project results, as well as challenges and recommendations for future implementation of related projects. Moreover, the Meeting also provided opportunity to regional partners to share their views and ways forward in sustaining the initiatives made by the Project together with the countries and partners.