The BENEFIT Programme
The Benguela Environment Fisheries Interaction and Training Programme (BENEFIT) was a regional marine sicnece and training programme focused on fisheries and the marine resources of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem and involving three southern African countries: Angola, Namibia and South Africa. BENEFIT was conceived in 1995, adopted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as a project in June 1996, and formally inaugurated in April 1997.
The overall goal of BENEFIT was to to promote the optimal and sustainable utilisation of the Benguela LME's living resources by:
- Increasing knowledge of fluctuations in important living marine resources of the Benguela Current and improving understanding of the way in which environmental factors influence these fluctuations.
- Developing human capacity and infrastructure for marine science and technology in Angola and Namibia.
- Providing system-wide data and information for the management of both national and shared resources.
BENEFIT was a 10-year programme which began in 1999 and was implemented in three phases. It was funded by a number of local, regional and international research and development sources.
Stakeholders in the programme included the governments of Angola, Namibia and South Africa (and their respective national marine research institutes), the fishing communities and peoples of the region, higher education institutions, scientists, conservation bodies, coastal developers and funding agencies.