ECOFISH, under the technical assistance of Incatema, advocates for strengthening Blue Economy programs and fighting climate change effects

13 July, 2023

Leaders from various countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean call for strengthening Blue Economy development programs to ensure sustainable fishing and address the effects of climate change during the Blue Economy Knowledge and Experience Sharing Fair, organized by ECOFISH in collaboration with the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), held in Mombasa, Kenya.

The purpose of this Fair is to exchange experiences, best practices, and innovations in the field of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, sustainable development, and the protection of marine biodiversity. Representatives from the invited countries gathered to discuss proposals for harnessing the potential of blue economy for economic growth and improving local populations’ livelihoods by creating employment opportunities.

Leaders gathered in Mombasa have noted that fisheries and aquaculture in these African regions significantly contribute to food security, trade, and thus, their gross domestic product (GDP). In this regard, Salim Mvurya, Secretary of the Cabinet for Maritime Affairs of the Kenyan government, as representative of the host country, urged the review of policies and programs to harness Blue Economy through efficient management of small-scale fishing and conservation of marine biodiversity to “improve access to affordable food and also address the adverse effects of climate change”.

Through these initiatives, ECOFISH Program implements the fundamental principles of sustainable development in the fisheries sector amid the unprecedented challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequalities. “These encounters empower institutional stakeholders at various governance levels to unleash the potential of sustainable fishing as a resilient growth engine for shared prosperity in local and national economies”, claims Soobaschand Sweenarain, team leader of technical assistance to ECOFISH program. He also points out that “documenting and sharing knowledge, lessons learned, experiential learning, and best practices are crucial to promote continuous improvement in policy formulation and management decisions to drive sustainable development programs and projects”.