July 6, 2021 (Lobonok, South Sudan): Following the implementation of the Ecosfish project financed by the 11th EDF Cross-Regional Initiative, IGAD held a new workshop in South Sudan on 6 and 7 July 2021 at Lobonok Resort, South Sudan.
The workshop was attended by several high level officials from the country, IGAD representatives, led by the Head of Mission in South Sudan and the Ecosfish Programm Manager as well as stakeholders from the fisheries sector.
In his opening remark, Dr Aleu Garang, IGAD Head of Mission in South Sudan, said “The fisheries sector in IGAD member countries has been recognized as one of the important growth sectors in the region. The fishery sector can contribute to accelerated economic growth and development, income generation, nutrition, employment and export earnings and overall food security. The focus should be on increased production and value addition since fish has high domestic market demand, can contribute to improved domestic nutrition, offer good trade opportunities at the global, regional and intra-regional levels; and have potential to foster backward and forward linkages to support efficient value addition”. The second opening remark was made by Honorable Dr, Makwei Malual Kaang (Undersecretary Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, South Sudan). He clearly mentioned the importance of fish for the local communities food and nutrition security. He appreciated IGAD for developing a project to support the BAS Basin fishing communities.
This workshop lasted two days, the first day of which was devoted to presentations of the project to stakeholders, the baseline study report of the Baro Akobo Sobat (BAS) Basin and presentation of the draft Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP). Following each presentation there were interesting discussions. On the second day there was a presentation on the establishment of Bilateral Technical Advisory Forum formation for the basin and there were group discussions on mapping stakeholders and identifying priority interventions. During the discussion on the IGAD/ECOFISH Project results and activities explanations for the comments and questions were given by Dr. Wassie Anteneh (Regional Fisheries Management Expert at IGAD) and Dr. Eshete Dejen (the Project Coordinator at IGAD). There was also an interesting field visit to a very big fish shopping center and the river, White Nile. There were very constructive discussions on the IFMP for the transboundary BAS Basin, shared between Ethiopia and South Sudan.
In addition to the Adoption of the draft Baro-Akobo-Sobat Basin (Ethiopia-South Sudan) Fisheries Integrated Management Plan (IFMP) and Consultative Meeting on Establishment of Bilateral Technical Fisheries Advisory Forum was presented and the different views of the participants regarding the formation of this Bilateral (Ethiopia and South Sudan) Technical Fisheries Advisory Committee were forwarded and discussed. The forum formation was strongly recommended by all participants.
The overall objective of the project is to develop gender-responsive and climate-smart sustainable utilization of fisheries resources, and foster use of fisheries for building of resilience and bolstering of food and nutrition security and local economies especially for the fishing and “Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs)” communities in the two basins (BAS and Omo-Turkana Basins). This will include provision of support to the fishing communities and fisheries managers in each of two basins to facilitate their active participation and engagement in fisheries management.
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 fish biodiversity conservation. This project will last for 3 years and activities that will allow the implementation of this project are planned.