The Regional Capacity Building Network (RECAB) was initiated by SEAFDEC as a directive of the SEAFDEC Council during its 53rd Meeting in 2021. In 2022, the first RECAB activity was organized to commemorate the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) 2022. The SEAFDEC Secretariat and Training Department (TD) co-organized the Regional Training Course on Gender Mainstreaming in Small-scale Fisheries and Aquaculture for Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia as the first RECAB activity. The Training was conducted in Thailand in Rayong Province and at SEAFDEC/TD in Samut Prakan Province on 20–29 September 2022. There was a total of 19 participants including trainees who are fisheries officers from the ASEAN Member States (AMSs), namely: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam as well as representatives from AQD, MFRDMD, and IFRDMD. The Training was also attended by gender teams from the SEAFDEC Secretariat and TD. The resource persons from FAO, Mahidol University, Prince of Songkla University, and Department of Fisheries of Thailand shared their knowledge and experiences on social science and gender aspects during the Training.
The Training covered both theoretical and practical sessions. The trainees gained knowledge of gender concepts, roles, mainstreaming tools, and analysis framework. Moreover, the trainees visited fishing communities in Rayong Province to conduct the field survey for data collection and gender analysis. They also learned to identify actions to integrate gender into small-scale fisheries and aquaculture development projects. At the end of the Training, the trainees developed the action plans to be implemented in their works with the engagement of their top management and colleagues towards gender mainstreaming in their respective offices plans’. The ultimate goal of these action plans is the well-being of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in the Southeast Asian region.
The RECAB is the conduct of technical training courses to enhance the capacity of relevant fisheries officers from the AMSs to be trained at SEAFDEC Departments as well as strengthen regional cooperation and network among the AMSs on various subjects. The RECAB is a part of the project “Assistance for Capacity Development in the Region to Address International Fisheries-related Issues” funded by the government of Japan through the Japanese Trust Fund.