Due to the world’s rapidly growing population, which is expected to peak somewhere around 9.5 billion, food production will need to be massively increased over the next few decades. This increase must be achieved without further degrading the environment. The unit environmental footprint of food production must be significantly reduced from where it is today. This concept, termed sustainable intensification, applies as much to aquaculture as it does to other agricultural sectors.
The 26th meeting of the NACA Governing Council was hosted by the Government of Indonesia in Bali, from 5-7 May in the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel. Sixteen member governments attended, as well as representatives from four NACA Regional Lead Centres, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. A welcome address and opening remarks were given by Dr Slamet Soebjakto, Director General of Aquaculture, on behalf of the Indonesian Ministry for Marine Affairs and Fisheries. A keynote address on the foundation of NACA and its achievements over the past 25 years and looking forward was given by H.E. Dr Plodprasop Suraswadi, the founder of NACA and Chair of the NACA Task Force.
This book is the proceedings of the Regional Consultation on Culture-Based Fisheries Development in Asia, held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, 21-23rd of October 2014, under the auspices of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA). The consultation was jointly organised by NACA and the Fisheries Administration of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Food and nutritional security remains problematic in many developing countries. There are many initiatives underway which are designed to increase food supply, employment and income opportunities, most of which require considerable capital inputs (for instance cropping, livestock production and aquaculture). Often overlooked, are the opportunities to produce more food from the natural productive ecology of lakes and forests. Culture-based fisheries are one example of a relatively simple and low cost technology which can deliver nutritional and economic benefits to communities which often have few livelihood options.
FAO and NACA organised the Regional Workshop on the Status of Aquatic Genetic Resources in Asia-Pacific at Hotel Centara Grand Ladprao, Bangkok from 23-26 March 2015. This was the first workshop in the series of four to be conducted globally by FAO. The workshop was intended to enhance the capacity of national focal Points on Aquatic Genetic Resources within Asia-Pacific Region regarding the preparation of national reports on the current status of aquatic genetic resources for food and agriculture (use, conservation and management). These will be used as the major source of information for the first State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture report, under the umbrella of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA).
The national focal points from fifteen countries in Asia; Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Japan, South Korea and the Pacific participated in the workshop, along with Fiji and global experts. FAO staff including Dr Devin Bartley, Dr Halwart Matthias and NACA staff Dr Kuldeep K. Lal facilitated the process of workshop with expert input from Dr Graham Mair (Australia), Dr Tim Pickering (SPC), Dr Clemens Fieseler (Germany) and Dr Ruth Garcia Gomez (FAO consultant).
FAO and NACA convened a stakeholder consultation in Bangkok 25-27 March 2015 to discuss development of an environmental monitoring system for the lower Mekong Basin. The objective of the system is to strengthen the resilience of fisheries and aquaculture and to improve early warning for fishers and farmers.
The workshop was preceded by baseline assessments of existing environmental monitoring and early warning systems relevant to fisheries and aquaculture in the target area, which covers Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. The assessments also reached out to relevant agencies in the target countries to gather feedback on what environmental issues they considered important and what parameters should be monitored to meet these ends. While the main goal of the system is to serve the daily needs of farmers and fishers – providing information and warnings important to their livelihoods - a secondary objective is to facilitate long-term monitoring of the impacts of climate change over the long term.