By Afedzi Abdullah, GNA
Anomabo (C/R), April 15, GNA - Twenty-eight implementing European Union (EU) funded project managers and communication specialists from the Southern and Western Africa Region have ended a week Communications training workshop in Ghana.
They visited a specialist project site at Anomabo and interacted with project beneficiaries of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) projects and the IUU monitoring group to understand the local IUU monitoring team and their roles.
The training formed part of the annual meeting with Managers and Communication Officers at EU regional offices.
The European Union (EU) has over the years committed to ensuring greater environmental sustainability and social equity in Ghana's Fishing Sector.
It is currently funding two fisheries projects in Ghana, namely the “Far Dwuma Nkodo” (securing sustainable Fisheries) and “Far Ban Bo” (protecting Fisheries Livelihoods) which are being implemented to contribute to combating illegal fishing, strengthen capacities to contribute to sustainable fisheries.
The “Far Dwuma Nkodo,” three-year project being implemented by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and “Hen Mpoano”, a Local NGOs, while the “Far Ban Bo” is a four-year project.
The projects are being implemented by a consortium of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) including; Care International, Friends of the Nation (FON) and Oxfam in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission, Fishers Association and Fisheries Alliance.
They among others seek to build the capacity of smallholder fishers to improve their livelihoods and to address the challenges of over-fishing and IUU fishing and law compliance.
Ms Sabina Petrecchia, Team Leader and Communications Specialist at the EU office at Brussels explained that the visit was to allow the Communications Officers to familiarise with the activities around fisheries projects.
She expressed delight about the implementation of the two projects and said it required a consolidated partnership to address the issues of IUU and other challenges in the fisheries sector and encouraged project communities to own the projects and ensure that their objectives were achieved.
“We have an obligation to protect the sea for our future generation”.
She described the visit as “a positive experience” and called for collective efforts that will be beneficial to the local fishing communities.
Ms Petrecchia said the EU remained committed towards protecting and restoring marine ecosystems, achieve healthy and productive oceans and sustainable management of ocean resources and sustainable fisheries in Ghana.
Mr Kyei Yamoah of Friends of the Nation (FoN), an implementing partner of the “Far Ban Bo” project said the project was supporting communities to identify diversified livelihood options using “Village Savings and Loans Association” (VSLA) models for community managed and credit, value addition in the fishery value chain and business development training.
He said the VSLA was supervised by staff of the implementing partners to ensure that proper procedures were followed for sustainability savings as it inculcated saving habits among fisherfolks and supported especially women to pilot diversified livelihoods options.
He said the project facilitated the formation of core monitoring groups among small-holder fishers to promote community participation, monitoring and reporting of IUU activities and contributed to improved governance of fisheries resources in Ghana.
At Anomabo, he said the IUU group was trained in five key modules including; vision building, monitoring and evidence gathering, basic fisheries laws and IUU fishing.
Mr Yamoah said a strong foundation was laid for the keys issues that the projects sought to address and that their impact would soon be felt in the beneficiary communities.