December 23, 2021 (GAMBELA, Ethiopia): As part of the Ecofish Programme, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) organized a workshop entitled" Establishment of Fisheries Co-Management Units and Building Capacities of Baro-Akobo Fishing Communities to manage the shared fish resources”. The workshop brought together fisheries sector stakeholders from different fishing communities, local administration, fishing cooperatives, experts at various levels on Baro-Akobo river basin of Gambella Regional State, Ethiopia.
Dr. Eshete Dejen Program Manager for Environment and Coordinator for Blue Economy made an opening remark On behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Workneh Gebayehu. He highlighted that the ECOFISH project core intervention is at the fishing community level that promotes fisheries co-management through bottom-up and participatory approach. The fisheries co-management concept is inclusive that engage fully the fishing community as well as the government institutions. Dr. Eshete stressed that this capacity building at the fishing community level is the testimony of IGAD Executive Secretary ambition to bring IGAD to the people.
Mr. Hussein Abegaz, Director of Fisheries at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia in his opening remark mentioned that the best way to sustainable management of the fisheries resource is by fully engaging the fishing communities in all the processes. He briefed that fisheries management experience is limited in Ethiopia, it exists for few lakes and for riverine fisheries this is the first experience that will serve as a lesson to scale-up to other areas.
The IGAD Secretariat has developed and validated an integrated fisheries management plan (IFMP), or simply called fisheries co-management plan for Baro-Akobo-Sobat River Basin (BAS RB). In the fisheries co-management plan, one of the most important milestone stated is to establish fisheries co-management units. During the last decades, there has been a shift in the governance of fisheries to a broader approach that recognizes fishers’ participation, local stewardship, and shared decision-making in the management of fisheries. Thus, the BAS RB Fisheries Co-Management Plan is prepared based on the assumption that the resource users (fishing communities) will be involved in all the processes of the fisheries management system of the basin. The principles of fisheries co-management and the fisheries co-management document for the BAS RB is prepared with the above assumption, i.e., involving the fishing communities. Some model fisheries co-management units in the Gambella Town Fish Cooperatives of the Gambella Regional State located in the BAS RB will be established in the Ethiopian side. A similar workshop will be established in South Sudan side to establish fisheries co-management units in the same basin.
To establish pilot fisheries co-management unitsTo Introduce the principles of fisheries co-management for local fishersTo build capacity of local fishing communities to involve in fisheries management
The pilot fisheries co-management units established in the BAS RB of the Ethiopian side
Awareness of local communities on fisheries co-management raised
Capacities of local communities in managing fish resources improved
Some guiding rules and community-based bylaws developed
20 December 2021 (GAMBELA, Ethiopia): As part of the Ecofish Programme, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development organised a workshop entitled " Bilateral Fisheries Coordination Platform Consultative Meeting (Capacity Building) between Ethiopia and South Sudan on Baro-Akobo-Sobat River Basin Fisheries Management
The workshop brought together stakeholders representing various ministries of the Governments of Ethiopia and of South Sudan. Some of the key stakeholders are representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fisheries Research and University, and regional experts from the Baro-Akobo-Sobat river basins of the two countries.
The IGAD Secretariat developed and validated an integrated fisheries management plan (IFMP), for Baro-Akobo-Sobat River Basin (BAS RB). In the fisheries co-management plan, one of the most important milestone stated is to establish BAS RB Fisheries Bilateral Coordination Platform (FBCP). This platform is instrumental to operationalise fisheries co-management activities in BAS RB of Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Dr. Eshete Dejen Programme Manager for Environment and Coordinator for Blue Economy at IGADS made opening remarks on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary. He stressed that the promotion of sustainable small scale fisheries is constrained by a number of factors, such as: lack of attention by policy makers, lack of appropriate and efficient fishing equipment, high post-harvest loss, difficult access to markets and lack of promotion of fish as an excellent source of animal proteins.
Mr. Okech Maluoth, Head of Livestock and Fisheries Bureau, Gambela Region, Ethiopia in his opening remarks mentioned that Gambela is endowed with huge fish resources and has also the highest fish diversity from all river basins. He appreciated IGAD initiative to support the fisheries sector and he appealed to other development partners to assist in the development of the fisheries sector in the region.
The E€OFISH Programme is a Cross-Regional Initiative funded by the 11th EDF to leverage regional cooperation for enhancing sustainable inland and marine fisheries in Eastern African, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region. The overall objective of the programme is “to enhance equitable economic growth by promoting sustainable fisheries in the EA-SA-IO region”. The specific objective is “to support sustainable management and development of fisheries in order to contribute to poverty alleviation, food and nutrition security while addressing climate change resilience and enhancing marine biodiversity”.
Across the IGAD Region, the stresses of climate change are already being felt. Whereas the commonly spoken-about impacts of climate change are changing weather patterns, heavier rainfalls, prolonged droughts, higher temperatures, increased crop failure, livestock loss and increasing food insecurity, the little spoken-about truth is that the impact of climate change also exacerbates the risk of violence against women.
November 24, 2021 (JUBA, South Sudan) The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today inaugurated the National Validation Workshop on the Baseline Assessment Report of the Contribution of Blue Economy to the Sustainable Economic Development of South Sudan.