(8/10/2019 12:00:00 AM)

Ø The Importance of Developing a Good Plan for Successful EAM/SP

In order to utilize an effective ecosystem and spatial-based approach for managing your fisheries, one must develop a sound plan, which includes specifics that are incorporated into a detailed strategy implemented to conserve, restore, and enhance your aquatic resources.

A good EAM/SP (Ecosystem Approach to Management/Spatial Plan) plan has these elements:

·        Vision

·        Goals

·        Objectives, indicators and benchmarks

·        Management actions

·        The connections between these are illustrated in the flow chart below:



In addition to these fundamental parts, good EAM/SPs might also include descriptions of a) Background information about the resources and your management area (MA); b) Major threats to your resource, and issues associated with its management; c) Regulatory compliance among resource users; d) Resource data and information needs (including sources of data, missing information that’s needed, etc.); e) Financing options for plan implementation; f) Communication regarding planning efforts, as well as plan revisions, implementation, and monitoring (with links to your communication strategy); and g) Reviews/revision of the plan (with a description of the frequency of reviews).


Ø Vision, Goals, and Objectives


Vision Statement

For an effective EAM/SP document, it is very important to create a strong vision that’s based on your management area (MA).

Building A Vision:  A vision statement is the preferred future of the MA i.e., what do you want the MA to look like as a result of your management program? Both managers and stakeholders who are involved in developing your EAM/SP document should agree on a Management Area (MA) vision; the typical time frame associated with these is ten (10) years.  A good question to ask yourself is, “What should the MA look like in 10 years (i.e., your desired outcomes of management)?”  This description might include:

·        Increased benefits to stakeholders

·        Sustainable use of the resources

·        Increased ecosystem services

In developing your MA vision, these additional questions might be helpful to also consider:

·        What does the perfect world look like for the MA in 10-20 years?

·        What would you like the condition of the aquatic resources to be?

·        What would you like the economic condition to be?

·        What would you like the social and cultural condition to be?

·        What would you like to leave for future generations?

Here are some examples -- from North America -- to illustrate concepts about visions for your EAM/SP:

·        Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have an effective, well-known, enforced, funded and respected management programs and, as a result, they have been successfully protected for the next generations

·        Coastal communities are economically stable due to multiple, environmentally sustainable, and harmonized economic activities

·        The national and local governments have successfully worked with coastal communities, private sector, non—governmental organizations (NGOs), and scientific institutions to harmonize coastal activities and significantly reduce non-point sources of marine pollution

To better refine your EAM/SP vision, you might answer the following key questions:

·        What do we want to achieve by managing your fisheries resource(s)?

·        What are current resource conditions, patterns of resource use, and resource use problems, and how are they changing over time?

·        What problems or obstacles for fisheries and coastal management have occurred or could arise in the future?

·        What are the “patterns of power” (among different users), as they relate to resource use and exploitation? Are there also gender-based differences among your resource users?



To create goals for your EAM/SP:  these can be general descriptions which summarize the ultimate desired state of the MA.  Well-developed goals are typically:

·        Visionary – a positive statement, outlining the desired state of the MA

·        Brief – short and succinct, so that it can be remembered by stakeholders

·        Constant over time

·        Broad -- a broad and general statement that captures the vision of the MA, or is directed at priority management targets

It’s usually best to limit your goals to a “small” set – i.e. between 3 to 5 -- for any EAM/SP plan; examples include the following:

·        Fisheries and other living marine resources have been restored and managed sustainably

·        Degraded, vulnerable and critical marine habitats are restored, conserved and maintained

·        Food security for the coastal communities is increased and sustained

·        Communities dependent on the fisheries resources improve their livelihoods

Other categories often associated with EAM/SP goals are:

·        Reduce water pollution (and other types of contaminants) that impair aquatic environments

·        Coordinate resource use and/or management activities

·        Empower communities to manage their local resources

·        Educate stakeholders regarding the role and importance of managing aquatic resources



For the EAM/SP process, an objective is defined as “What you want to achieve” for your fisheries resources of interest.  More specifically, we often use the concept of an “operational objective”, or an objective at the level that can be achieved by management, to ensure that these can be attained through your implementation efforts.

Developing EAM/SP objectives can involve identifying/specifying the threats and issues for your fisheries resources – which are then used to create your Operational Management Objectives.  To aid in this, you might ask, “What specifically for this issue do you want the managers to achieve?” Here are some examples of well versus poorly developed operational objectives:

·        Operational objective = To reduce the % of juvenile fish OR To increase the # of public access paths to water OR reduce number of days that pollution levels are above government standards (specific and defined = well developed)

·        Operational objective = Improve the health of the ecosystem (too broad and undefined = not well developed)



An indicator is an index that measures the current condition/status of a selected component which has been identified in your EAM/SP objective. When compared with an acceptable “benchmark” value, the indicator(s) provides a measure of how well you are meeting the objective(s).  For your EAM/SP, it is helpful to derive ones which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed (or SMART, as depicted and described in the diagram below):


A fisheries resource example which illustrates how a goal, objective, and indicator are linked:


Management Actions

For an EAM/SP, a management action is one that will help to meet the objective which you’ve defined.  For fisheries resources, these might include the following ones (which are listed according to different categories):

·        Management Action Category:  Technical measures

·        Catch and effort controls (e.g. gear, limited entry)

·        Spatial & temporal controls (e.g. MPAs, seasonal closures)

·        Management Action Category:  Ecosystem manipulation

·        Habitat restorations (e.g. re-planting mangrove trees)

·        Management Action Category:  Community-based         

·        Income diversification (e.g. develop alternative livelihood skills)

·        Management Action Category:  Human capacity

·        Improve fishery management skills

·        Strengthen management institutions

·        Increase coordination (e.g. fisheries inter-agency groups convened to address common issues)

·        Work with other stakeholders to achieve objectives outside your mandate.


Linking Vision, Goal, Objectives, Indicators, and Management Actions

The diagram below provides an illustration of how your EAM/SP objectives, indicators, and management actions are connected:



*Note: Many EAM/SPs also include a “Mission Statement”, which usually describes an agency’s/organization’s particular work activity(ies).

Here’s a simple example – which is based on an actual approach utilized in North America to address the issue of plastic pollution of coastal and inland waterways – that depicts the links between an objective, indicator, and management action:

·        Operational objective:  Reduce rubbish that reaches Essential Bay

·        Indicator: Number of plastic bags in Bay

·        Desired future benchmark:  By 2020, plastic bags in Essential Bay reduced to 50% of 2010 volume

·        Management action: Impose a small fee plastic bags at supermarkets and stores


VIFEP (USAID workshop)


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