The Mozambique Minister of the Sea, Inland Water and Fisheries, launched the second phase of a new project for enhancing the resilience of coastal ecosystems and livelihoods in the Western Indian Ocean for regional knowledge exchange and policy dialogue on fisheries and environment-related matters, which is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Environment Program, with financial support by Sweden. The project was signed in December 2022, with 5 years duration, ending in 2027.
The project will be implemented within the framework of the partnership between the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) and the Nairobi Convention. At the national level activities under the partnership in local sites in Mozambique and the United Republic of Tanzania will be expanded, and new activities introduced in Kenya. It will also include continued support to regional capacity building, knowledge exchange, and policy dialogue involving other member countries of the SWIOFC and the Nairobi Convention.
During the launch ceremony, the Mozambique Minister of the Sea, Inland Water and Fisheries, HE. Lídia Cardoso mentioned that the fact that Mozambique is a party to the Nairobi Convention and an active member of the SWIOFC, hosting its secretariat is unequivocal proof of the country’s commitment to regional efforts to ensure the sustainability of the resources.
“We welcome the Partnership Project between SWIOFC and the Nairobi Convention which focuses on improving collaboration and coordination between the fisheries and environment sectors, with a view to conserving coastal and marine biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities”.
–HE. Lídia Cardoso
In the long run, the project is expected to improve the resilience of coastal ecosystems, food security and livelihoods, protect biodiversity and reinforce participation in the management of natural resources, for youth, women and men in coastal fishing communities. It will also contribute to strengthening the implementation of the ecosystem approach in national and local management of coastal environment and fisheries, on which measures for sustainable use, protection and restoration of coastal and marine habitats and resources, combined with livelihood interventions that will be developed together with local communities.
The FAO Representative a.i, Dário Cipolla, mentioned at the event that
“FAO Mozambique, which is part of the implementers of the project, is pleased to have representatives from other countries in the region, as well as the secretariat of SWIOFC and the Nairobi Convention, who together will be able to draw the necessary lessons from the experiences with the interventions in progress and design strategic actions to guarantee the conservation of biodiversity and improvement of the living conditions of the communities, which are the main focus of the project”.
The SWIOFC through the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Nairobi Convention through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for enhanced collaboration to support member countries of the SWIOFC and Nairobi Convention in their commitment towards the sustainable management of their coastal and marine environment and fishery resources.
Since 2019, a first project under the partnership funded by Sweden has been supporting collaboration between fisheries and environment management authorities, research institutions and local communities for sustainable fisheries and coastal environment management and livelihoods activities in Mozambique, Madagascar and Tanzania, as well as regional capacity building, knowledge exchange and policy dialogue for other member countries to address key issue of common concern for fisheries and environment.