Rural coastal communities are highly dependent on near-shore marine and coastal environments for their livelihoods, food and nutrition security, and well-being. At the same time, these environments are vulnerable to human pressures and ecological and climate change. In the Coral Triangle Region, efforts to conserve the region’s unique biodiversity and secure livelihoods are driven by a neoliberal conservation narrative which purports to achieve food security through an ecosystem approach to fisheries management and marine protected area networks. However, recent reviews question the effectiveness of this approach, with food and nutrition security remaining prevalent in rural coastal communities across the region.
Fish, and small-scale fisheries, are proposed to contribute directly and indirectly to food and nutrition security through three pathways: consumption, income and distribution. However, socio-cultural dimensions mediating these pathways, such as gender, are not well understood, and while there is increasing recognition of women’s roles in small-scale fisheries and of correlations between women’s empowerment and nutrition outcomes, these linkages are yet to be investigated in a small-scale fisheries context.
This research will use an in-depth case study approach to investigate men’s and women’s experiences of food and nutrition security in a rural coastal community in eastern Indonesia, their roles in small-scale fisheries and how these contribute to food and nutrition security, and linkages between women’s empowerment and food and nutrition outcomes. Finally the research will explore the drivers of food and nutrition security in a rural coastal community, with a view to informing improved policies and programmes in this area