IGAD ENCOURAGES CO-MANAGEMENT OF SHARED FISHERIES RESOURCES

(BISHOFTU, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning inaugurated a workshop to validate a Baseline Report on three river basins shared between Ethiopia and South Sudan (Baro-Akobo), Ethiopia and Kenya (Omo-Turkana), and Ethiopia and Somalia (Shebella-Genale) respectively.

This Baseline Report is meant to provide a framework for harnessing the fisheries potential and to foster sustainable utilisation and exploitation of the fisheries for improved livelihoods, food security and nutrition, and incomes of members of the communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) that these three rivers traverse.

This two-day validation workshop is the opportunity for concerned Member States to review and validate the findings of the Baseline Report so as to integrate it in their respective fisheries development plans.

Participants are the IGAD Focal persons from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, representatives from Ministries and agencies in charge of fisheries resources, local governments officials and communities fisheries offices. Some are from the Baro-Akobo Basin and the Omo-Turkana Basin representatives.

The main objectives are to:

review the draft baseline and management reports;

validate the baseline and management reports; in order

to create a common understanding on the implementation modalities of a co-management plan.

The Director of IGAD Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Mr. Kenea Kuma, highlighted the necessity for ‘scientific studies, initiatives and recommendations’ to be made ‘on the basis of the request and consent of Member States sharing river basin resources’.

The Programme Manager of Biodiversity Management Programme at IGAD, Dr. Debalkew Berhe, noted that considering ‘the huge potential of fisheries along the cross border areas, knowledge based utilization and management including sustaining of food safety standards of the products is of paramount importance’.

Participants are expected to have validated the Baseline Report following a thorough two-day review process, as well the management plans.

It is with the financial support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) that the regional study titled ‘Assessment of the Fisheries Resource Base and its Contribution to Food Security and Development of Management Plans for Three River Basins in IGAD Region’ was conducted by the Eccelenzia Consorzio Research and management (ECRAM), a private consultancy firm.

The assignment required the production of a Baseline Report, a Value Chain Analysis Report, and a Fisheries Management Plan of the fisheries for each of the three river basins of Baro-Akobo, Omo-Turkana, and Shebelle-Genale.

Source: Inter Governmental Authority on Development