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The SAP Implementation Project

The four-year BCLME Strategic Action Programme Implementation project (the SAP-Imp project) made an important contribution to building and strengthening the structure and efficiencies of the Benguela Current Commission (BCC).

Formally titled "Implementation of the BCLME Strategic Action Programme for restoring depleted fisheries and reducing coastal resources degradation", the project was funded by the Global Environment Facility which, together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has supported inter-governmental cooperation in the Benguela region since the early 1990s.

The SAP-Imp project was initiated in 2010 and much of the project's efforts were directed towards the negotiation of the Benguela Current Convention; after February 2012, the project provided valuable assistance with building the BCC as an institution. For example, the SAP Imp project initiated and funded the development of a Strategic Plan, Business Plan and a Resource Mobilisation Strategy for the BCC.

The project also supported several training and institutional strengthening initiatives, encouraged the adoption of appropriate financial mechanisms and partnership agreements by the BCC, and improved stakeholder participation across all sectors. The project was also at the forefront of initiatives to establish oversight committees such as the Finance and Administration Committee and two technical evaluation committees.

Other key objectives of the SAP Imp project were to assist the three countries to review and harmonize national policies, legislation and operational practices to ensure a regional transboundary management approach to the LME. To this end, a process of reviewing and updating the key documents that inform the work of the BCC, was undertaken. A team of consultants from Nordenfjeldske Development Services (NFDS) and NFDS Africa were contracted to revise the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA), Strategic Action Programme (SAP) and the Science Programme. All three documents were drafted in the early 2000s and needed to be aligned with the objectives and principles of the Benguela Current Convention. Moreover, since the documents were compiled, the scope of the BCC has changed from a largely fisheries-focused institution to a multi-sectoral inter-governmental body.

An updated TDA, SAP and Science Plan (now replaced by an Implementation Plan, IP) were circulated at a validation workshop in Cape Town in August 2013 and are under final review.