Applicability of expected results in practice
The range of possible results were discussed in the Preparatory funding workshops in Austria and Burkina Faso in October 2010 and January 2011, and during and before these meetings the project’s research topics were identified and validated as addressing crucial needs by Southern partners, e.g. the GDFR and Dr. Raymond OUEDRAOGO during his PhD studies. Although many topics were targeted at the beginning of the project formulation, they were narrowed to increase the practical chances of the project’s successful completion and the applicability of the results. The applicability of the expected results is very high since the expected results are based on the needs of the southern partners, who are highly committed to deliver these results.
WP1: Coordination and dissemination
WP2: Basic tools, environment and biodiversity
The ecological approach that will be developed to monitor fish and waters will be directly use for future assessments of aquatic ecosystems that will be incorporated in the national database and serve as the basis for recommendations for changes to policy and practice to achieve the national biodiversity strategy. List of fish species: The introduction of fish species in Burkina Faso is restricted by law (Assemblée des Députés du Peuple, 1997). But no reliable list of species exists. The official and reliable species list that we will make will be the reference for the implementation of at law.
WP3: Quality of waters – risk assessment
The fish based index (FBI) of biotic integrity for the assessment of waters will become a core part of the university curricula in Burkina Faso for teaching statistical modelling and for training in applied field monitoring methods. Such methods and concepts will form part of the core competence of the GDFR, which must contribute to the monitoring of waters as required by the national government. The FBI will be used to rank the aquatic ecosystems like reservoirs in terms of the degree to which they are impacted, and these findings will inform policy decisions about prioritizing remedial measures.
WP4: Management of fisheries
The results of the study of how the building of dams and the development of reservoirs impact the ecology and dynamics of fish will be an important input to the implementation of the fisheries and water legislation and strategies. Fishing is usually forbidden in large size reservoirs for 2 years after the building of the dam. One of the reasons is to allow the development of fish before fishing starts. However, this development is never studied. Therefore, the results of the studies of the ecology and dynamic of fish after reservoirs creation will guide the GDFR in this undertaking, not only for large size reservoir fisheries but also for the smaller ones.
WP5: Societies and fisheries
The results of the social science research will clarify the relative importance of republican and traditional contributions to the governance of fisheries and be used to harmonize them in the formulation and the implementation of water and fish policies. These and other project insights from social science are important for many government agents that study or oversee fisheries but lack any training in social science, especially the staff of GDRF. The community-based and participatory approaches to fisheries management as set by law and considered by the fisheries strategy requires knowledge and skills that rely on social studies, so these project insights will also inform academic training programs for fisheries scientists and natural resource managers. The results will also help direct the implementation of the fisheries concessions for small size fisheries (exclusive right of access to fish) and the participatory management for the large size ones.
WP6 : Fisheries, health and food security
Project research results will provide a scientific and technical basis to develop methods to assess health risk for riverside communities by using the ecological status of waters and fish. Food and diet practices for children and pregnant women that associate or can associate with fisheries will be identified. Health risks associated to fishery activities will be identified and described. These results will be incorporated in academic training curricula and will inform health policy formulation and implementation.
WP7: Education and research
Project outputs, such as the data, assessment methods, and findings about the ecology and governance of fisheries, can be incorporated in academic curricula and used directly in future research in natural and social science of fisheries. A number of southern team members can use these products in educational organizations in Burkina Faso, and two team members have high administrative positions that allow them to set educational goals and otherwise influence the academic curricula of Burkina universities. Some staff of the GDFR can also use these results in their lectures in the two national agricultural schools (the national school of foresters at Denderesso and the national school of agriculture of Martourkou, both located next to Bobo-Dioulasso). The schools can also use them to better design the fisheries course; for this reason, they will be involved in the assessment of the technical abilities of field fisheries staff who they train.
All partners are involved in education. Some staffs of the GDFR teach in the two governmental agricultural schools that train field fisheries staff. The others are lecturers and high positioned in the two most important universities of Burkina. For instance Prof. KABRE is the current vice chancellor in charge of the academic affairs at the University of Ouagadougou and Prof. TOE the head of Department of rural sociology and economy of the University of Bobo-Dioulasso. Therefore, this is an important asset to use the expected results in education.
In addition, the teams of Prof. KABRE and Prof; TOE have planned to involve master and PhD students in the research. Actually, every year, students seek for field supervision of their research at the GDFR. Unfortunately almost all time they are rejected because of lack of financial means. Therefore they turn to other fields of research such as forestry, wildlife and agriculture sensu stricto. But, as they attend some courses related to fisheries, they are often recruited by the government as experts in fisheries: this is the case of 7 workers of the GDFR. The involvement of students in the project is a direct input of the project in their education.
WP 8: Adaptive science to integrate natural and social factors
The outputs of Workpackage 8’s research as well as its process of participatory scenario development will have immediate impact on the policy of managing aquatic ecosystems in Burkina Faso. Over the longer term they can be used both in education and in future policy formulation and implementation. Methods of systems analysis and the research findings from its application to identify leverage points for policy interventions to make fisheries more sustainable can all be incorporated in academic curricula at the university level. Future policy processes in Burkina Faso can employ the methods of scenario development to determine challenges and opportunities in establishing sustainable fisheries management. This is made possible by the fact that these methods will be learned by the team members and staff of Southern Partners who apply them during the course of the project in collaboration with Northern partners.
Staff from the UNI VIENNA (03) will cooperate with the departments of linguistics and sociology at the University of Ouagadougou, to organize a workshop on research methods in Ouagadougou. Researchers of all partner institutions will be involved to develop an appropriate methodological approach to address the plurality of languages within the SUSFISH research project. Two challenges must be addressed: 1. to enhance scientific language to facilitate communication within the multinational team of researchers and practitioners, 2. to reflect on the input of local experts on fish stock, natural diversity and fishing. The workshop participants will develop a joint strategy not only to communicate the results of the scientific cooperation to the local people but rather to involve them as experts in the setting. Their knowledge, which is linked to language, will influence (enrich) the findings of the natural sciences research. Through the involvement of local experts a deeper understanding of complex underlying processes/correlations in socioeconomic and “socioecologic” systems will be achieved. The expected results range from (a) plurilingual material (biographic narratives), which can be used for further terminology work on fisheries and ecologic management in Burkina Faso and might be useful for the analysis of the historic dimension in ecologic development processes (see WP 7: glossary) (b) input for innovative approaches in the dissemination strategy (c) the involvement of various groups of the local society (even those who could not reached before) in the research process (d) a fostered dialogue between researchers, practitioners and local community on sustainable fisheries policy.