Coalitions for change in sustainable national CBFM programs in the Pacific

a fisherman sitting on the sea shore
Project code
AUD 7,454,546
Research program manager
Prof Ann Fleming
Project leader
Dr Dirk Steenbergen, University of Wollongong
SEP 2021
JUN 2025
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project aims to scale up examples of inclusive community-based fisheries management (CBFM) in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to self-sustaining national CBFM programs that support resilient coastal communities and drive the further spread of CBFM in the Pacific region.

Securing the sustainable supply of coastal fish is a development priority for Pacific countries and their regional organisations. Coastal fisheries resources are important for food and nutrition security and economic development. Appropriate coastal fisheries management regimes, implemented by multiple actors across scales (including communities, (sub)national fisheries agencies and non-government actors) will be critical to meeting the needs of coastal communities and the policy priorities of Pacific countries.

CBFM is a proven vehicle by which to deliver improved fisheries in rural communities. CBFM is a set of principles and concepts that increase the likelihood of sustainable coastal fishery systems providing human benefits and ecosystem services over the long term.

The project has been co-designed with regional and national networks and agencies in support of their policy objectives. The emphasis placed on activities and outcomes in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu differs depending on their priorities and stage in development of coastal fisheries and CBFM.

Project outcomes

The ambition to drive the evolution of CBFM to establish self-sustaining national CBFM programs as part of a regional network of investments, is articulated in end of project outcomes that collectively lead to the project’s overarching development goal to strengthen CBFM structures and processes that support food and nutrition security objectives for resilient coastal communities. To do so, the project will:

  • Enhance awareness and improve accessibility to information on CBFM in all coastal communities in KIR, SLB and VUT.
  • Enable a meaningful proportion of communities in the three countries to be sustainably and inclusively managing their coastal fisheries, contributing to food and nutrition security outcomes.
  • Strengthen and enable national agencies and non-government stakeholders to cooperate in supporting and implementing effective CBFM.
  • Energise existing momentum of institutional change in the coastal fisheries sectors of KIR, SLB and VUT, and contribute to regional initiatives coordinated by SPC.
  • Inform and influence CBFM scaling regionally and contribute to a body of scholarship and practice that will influence global research and development in coastal fisheries, particularly in small-island developing states.
Map of the Pacific showing Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
Key partners
The Pacific Community (SPC)
Vanuatu Fisheries Department
Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (Solomon Islands)
Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development (Kiribati)