Strengthening the Blue Economic system technique and funding plan for Southern Africa

2 July 2024, Kariba – The inland fisheries sector in Southern Africa has an important function to play in offering meals safety and vitamin, notably for poorer segments of the inhabitants to maintain livelihoods whereas driving financial improvement. Nevertheless, this has not been translated into widespread recognition of the significance of inland fisheries and the necessity to sustainably handle them.

Stakeholders within the fisheries and aquaculture sector below the PROFISHBLUE programme gathered in Kariba this week to develop a regional Blue Economic system technique and funding plan for Lake Kariba shared waterbody. The general goal of the programme is to advertise sustainable administration of fisheries assets throughout the Blue Economic system context to enhance meals safety and vitamin, create employment by means of worth chain actions, facilitate intra-regional commerce, and construct adaptive capability.

The assembly was additionally anchored on methods to help Zambia and Zimbabwe to additional develop their capacities for sustainable administration and use of aquatic assets within the two riparian international locations guided by the under-arching approaches of the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (FAO) Blue Transformation technique.

“The collaboration between the 2 international locations for extra sustainable methods is progressing annually and I’m assured that this new undertaking will succeed. This programme will set the tone for extra Blue Economic system sectors’ sustainable financial development within the SADC area,” mentioned Patrice Talla, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa.

In 2023, FAO and the SADC Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Settlement to implement two elements of the PROFISHBLUE programme, that’s, a Joint fisheries evaluation in Lake Tanganyika, and the Blue Economic system technique and funding plan for Lake Kariba. The programme is funded by the African Growth Financial institution to the tune of near USD 1 million for the 2 elements applied by FAO and near USD 9 million for the entire programme applied within the 16 SADC international locations.

“This programme aligns very effectively with the SADC Fisheries Protocol which got here into pressure in 2001. Let me encourage stakeholders to view this programme as a possibility past the confinement of their international locations however for regional integration throughout the Blue Economic system Context in keeping with the SADC imaginative and prescient,” mentioned Alexander Kefi, PROFISHBLUE Venture Coordinator below the Directorate of Meals Agriculture and Pure Sources within the SADC Secretariat.

Through the assembly, stakeholders had the chance to mirror on the undertaking workplan with the target to arrange a desk assessment, session, and compilation of data for the Blue Economic system technique plan and funding plans. On the finish of the preparatory part, the Blue Economic system stakeholders will outline the widespread precedence choices and customary imaginative and prescient for the strategic plan and a participatory course of will probably be developed additional to validate a Blue Economic system strategic and funding plan.

“Zambia just lately launched its Nationwide Blue Economic system Technique that gives a framework to speed up and unlock its blue financial development, contribute to job creation, improve incomes and assist to preserve the aquatic surroundings. Due to this fact, collaborative efforts between the 2 international locations couldn’t have come at a greater time in view of the quite a few challenges affecting the Lake, albeit the necessity for socio-economic development and improvement,” mentioned Evans Mutanuka, Director within the Division of Fisheries, below the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock in Zambia.

Through the assembly, the PROFISHBLUE programme stakeholders agreed and developed a workplan which is co-owned and will probably be co-implemented by the 2 riparian international locations. The workplan will probably be applied till mid 2025 and one of many suggestions from the inception assembly is to outline the mechanism to be applied to make sure the technique implementation on the finish of the undertaking.

The contributors emphasised the necessity to collaborate additional between the international locations and the lead establishments contained in the international locations and promote synergies to make sure that the Blue Economic system targets are achieved. Additional collaboration between the inland waterbodies at SADC regional degree can be inspired.

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