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Adaptive management of pirarucu (Arapaima gigas)

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani 9th February 2012 16:47

Risks and vulnerabilities

Flood pulse management cycle that will shift with climate change and fishing efforts.

Adaptation challenge

Creation of fishing agreements in managed lakes and capacity building of local groups for adaptive management.

Adaptation outcomes

Field research to map the ecology of pirarucu and dynamics of flood pulse, organizational development of local groups to design management schemes and alignment of project with state legislation of payment for environment services.

Learning outcomes

(i) Creating formal adaptation strategies requires not just new policies, but new institutions, new roles and learning new ways for stakeholders to relate to each other; (ii) Start with a core group of committed individuals with a clear idea of their overall objective, rather than seeking to convince an entire community to participate. If successful, others will join the initiative later; (iii) Emphasize concise actions that generate visible returns and build confidence in the group's capacity to work together to accomplish common objectives. These returns do not need to be economic, but do need to show that objectives are being achieved, such as a high level of participation and increases in the populations of managed species.

Key messages

(i) Communities want more government participation, not less, but they want government support for their rules and adaptation measures, which are not necessarily those of government fisheries policy; (ii) The central problems of community adaptation are organizational rather than technical and have to do with creating the conditions under which individuals can work together to achieve common objectives.

Participating organisations

Acre state government, Manoel Urbano and Feijó Municipal government, Manoel Urbano and Feijó Fishers Union.

Contact information

Antonio Oviedo, WWF-Brazil Amazon Program - antonio@wwf.org.br