FAO and partners discuss pathway to conserve canary current large marine ecosystem

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 14 April 2022, Banjul – 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 Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) National Consultancy Meeting on 14 and 15 April 2022. The consultancy brought together stakeholders from national institutions active in the fields of fisheries, environment, marine habitat protection and water quality.

The Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) is a project executed by FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It is a combined effort to reverse the degradation of the Canary Current large marine ecosystem caused by over-fishing, habitat modification and changes in water quality by the adoption of an ecosystem-based management approach.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) together with co-financing from participating countries and other partners funds the project. It is operational in seven participating countries that include Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal and The Gambia. 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 transboundary concerns on declining fisheries, associated biodiversity and water quality.

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The consultancy meeting was part of the activities being implemented by CCLME as part of its 2022 plan of activities. In November 2021, CCLME launched its Medium Size Project (MSP) “Towards the Sustainable Management of the Large Marine Ecosystem of the Canary Current (CCLME) – initial support to the implementation of the Strategic Action Program (SAP)”. Part of its 2022 Annual Activity Plan includes the elaboration of the Recommendations on the Consortium and Partnership Agreement to support the implementation of the SAP. The initiative will help clarify the responsibilities of the partners and the agreements on the corresponding terms of reference.

The overall objective of the national consultation was to identify activities to put in synergy within the framework of setting up a consortium. The discussion also focuses on reexamining the governance frameworks and partnership models for cross-sectoral collaboration and or coordination in the effective implementation of the CCLME SAP at the national and regional levels. The specific objectives are to propose reasoned and realistic recommendations in areas including the establishment of the multi-sectoral consortium and the identification of its members and the development of a partnership agreement among all CCLME stakeholders.

The collaboration and coordination among all the stakeholders and actors will allow for the establishment of a permanent consultative and cooperative mechanism for monitoring activities at the CCLME country level that is central to the implementation of the SAP, in association with existing regional organizations (such as regional fisheries and/or environmental bodies), in accordance with their mandate.