The objective of the project was to test the applicability of the adaptive learning approach that had been developed in southern Lao PDR in other resource systems. The testing would provide an opportunity for developing sustainable resource management systems rice-fish systems through community based management. The project was implemented by Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore and the Departments of Fisheries and Agriculture of the State Government of West Bengal in collaboration with World Fish Centre, Penang, Malaysia and MRAG Ltd, London.
The project was based on the adaptive learning approach and provided an interdisciplinary and integrative action research programme for community-based resource systems in India. The project provided an opportunity to (i) evaluate the management approach of community based fish culture in seasonally flooded rice fields in selected sites of West Bengal, India (ii) to determine if improvements in management leading to more socially equitable and economically viable systems of community based fish culture in seasonally flooded rice fields can be achieved through participatory and adaptive learning processes and (iii) to quantify the extent of these benefits accrued by the stakeholders of the ecosystems, notably the poorest sectors who are dependent upon the resources. This report will describe the experiments undertaken as part of the process of implementing the adaptive learning approach in West Bengal. The aim of the experiments was to provide a better understanding of the resource systems and to generate new information about fish and rice systems that would be relevant to the needs of the stakeholder groups involved in the process, and in the management of these waterbodies.
Marine Resources Assessment Group Ltd, London, UK, 99 pp.