By: Kebba AF Touray
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, hosted a two day National Marine Ecosystem Consultancy meeting (CCLME), between the 14th and 15th of April 2022, the overall objective of which was to identify activities and to put in some synergy within the framework of setting up a consortium.
The discussion focused on re-examining the governance frameworks and partnership models for cross-sectorial collaboration and or coordination, in the effective implementation of the CCLME SAP at the national and regional levels.
The consultancy as indicated by the FAO in a presser brought together stakeholders from national institutions that are active in the fields of fisheries, environment, marine habitat protection and water quality.
According to the Organization, it is a combined effort to reverse the degradation of the CCLME caused by over-fishing, habitat modification and changes in water quality, by the adoption of an ecosystem-based management approach.
“The unique element of the CCLME project is its strategic combination of fisheries and ecosystem governance frameworks. It envisions that through governance reforms, investments and management programs, participating countries will be able to address priority trans- boundary concerns on declining fisheries, associated biodiversity and water quality,” said FAO.
FAO explained that the consultancy meeting was part of the activities being implemented by CCLME as part of its 2022 plan of activities, and that in November 2021, CCLME launched its medium size project.
“The medium size project aims to work towards the sustainable management of CCLME, and the initial support towards the implementation of the Strategic Action Program (SAP),” FAO said in their press release; that SAP also include part of its 2022 annual activity plan which includes the elaboration of the recommendations on the consortium and partnership agreement to support the implementation of the SAP. The FAO stated that the initiative will help clarify the responsibilities of partners and the agreements on the corresponding terms of reference. The Organization highlighted that the specific objectives are to propose reasoned and realistic recommendations in areas including the establishment of the multi-sectorial consortium, and the identification of its members as well as the development of a partnership agreement among all CCLME stakeholders.
“The collaboration and coordination among all stakeholders and actors will allow for the establishment of a permanent consultative and cooperative mechanism, to monitor activities at the CCLME country level that is central to the implementation of SAP, in association with existing regional organizations such as regional fisheries and/or environmental bodies in accordance with their mandate,” the FAO remarked. The Organization further indicated that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) together with co-financing from participating countries and other partners, fund the project, and is operational in seven participating countries including Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal and the Gambia.
The CCLME is a project executed by the FAO and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).