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Making Space and Access in Fisheries Resource Management for Local Communities in Stung Treng Province, Cambodia

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Thuon, Try
Conference: Politics of the Commons: Articulating Development and Strengthening Local Practices
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Conf. Date: July 11-14, 2003
Date: 2003
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1004
Sector: Fisheries
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
fisheries--case studies
property rights
village organization
common pool resources
Mekong River region
Abstract: "Over the last decades, Cambodia has moved from command and control economy to market economy. Meanwhile, access to common property resource such as fisheries sector has spawned conflict inside the sectors between the different actors seeking access to these resources. Moreover, there are serious pressures and externalities from other economic sectors that impinge on the resource base or its flow of products. The use of illegal fishing gears and other stock damaging practices, the struggle over assignment rights and resource entitlements, and the absence of efficient law enforcement and the consequences use of privatized enforcement and violence characterize the internal tensions of fisheries. "However, beside this limitation, there are other external factors that shaped the Cambodia's fisheries management system, such as mega projects of other states in the Mekong Region and growth-oriented development as prescribed by international development agencies. This economic oriented developmental philosophy has considered natural resources such as water, fisheries, forests, mineral and biodiversity as factors of productions in many large-scale development strategies, putting pressure on these resources for profit maximization by transforming natural resource into money, especially for the country in uncertain transition from a socialist state to market economy. As a result, the quantity of fishery resource has declined from year to year, which produce negative impacts on livelihood of local people who are powerless and marginalized in the society. "In this article, the author wants to reveal the complex ecology of the upper Mekong in Cambodia as a case study, especially in Stung Treng province where it is considered as the conservation zone in term of fish and biodiversity resource management. That is, the paper aims to investigate the following objectives: (1) to examine the local fishermen's livelihood strategies and their cultural practices and how they adapt themselves to the changing property regimes in the province, (2) to contextualize the policy and fisheries management by the state and to show how such a policy gives right to the changing property relations, (3) to reveal different strategies developed by different actors (including NGOs program related to fishery management in the province) in gaining access to fisheries management."

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