The goal of this project is to increase the resilience of the marine fisheries and mariculture sectors in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem and reduce their vulnerability to climate change through the implementation of adaptation techniques in order to ensure food and livelihood security. The project is implemented by the Benguela Current Commission with funding from the Global Environment Facility, the Governments of Namibia, South Africa and Angola, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Gulls and Masifundise.
The project’s core objectives are to:
i) ensure that climate change and variability are recognised as drivers of change in fishery social-ecological systems and that their effects are included in strategic and tactical governance and management;
ii) raise the profile of fisheries and mariculture in development and climate change policies and programmes at the local, national and regional policies levels, so that the sector can make its contribution and receive the necessary attention and resources it needs to maintain and improve it;
iii) identify the most vulnerable small-scale fisheries, communities and national fisheries through a structured vulnerability assessment and improve the climate resilience of selected cases of these;
iv) strengthen national and regional services for early warnings of extreme weather events and other climate-induced risks to fisheries; and
v) strengthen capacity across the region and amongst all stakeholder groups to assess the risks that climate change poses to their livelihoods and security, and to be able to ensure adaptation to address those risks.
The project has been structured into three interlinked technical components:
aims to ensure that national and regional policies and plans give due consideration to the likely implications of climate change and variability, including well-defined actions;
Aims to put adaptation actions into practice in selected highly vulnerable fisheries and communities in order to achieve measurable improvements in the pilots and learn lessons for application on a wider scale.
aims to increase awareness and capacity to enable and promote a proactive, forward-looking approach to climate change.
These three components are supported by a cross-cutting monitoring and evaluation and adaptation learning, as part of the fourth component. This component ensures that systematic monitoring and evaluation of progress towards the objectives is achieved. It also serves to promote the wider dissemination of results for replication in other large marine ecosystems.
The project is executed through the regional body, the Benguela Current Convention. At a national level, respective fisheries and mariculture government departments and environmental ministries are key project partners and shares the responsibilities for the execution of national activities with the Benguela Current Commission. The FAO is the GEF Agency responsible for overseeing the project’s implementation and providing technical guidance.
- Integrating fisheries climate change considerations into fisheries policies and planning, and into broader inter-sectoral development and climate change policies and programmes.
- Piloting of improved climate-resilient fisheries practices.
- Capacity building and the promotion of improved climate-resilient fisheries practices.
The strategy of this project is to facilitate a shift in planning and practice in two areas that are complementary. The first step is to make the impacts of climate change and variability an integral part of the routine and strategic decision-making and action in fisheries governance and development in the Benguela Current region, rather than an afterthought.
The second step is to increase awareness of the importance of multi-sectoral approaches to adaptation and resilience to climate impacts at local, national and regional levels, with fisheries and aquaculture playing an integral role. The net result of these two shifts should be more effective and robust approaches to fisheries governance and to coastal development in the face of climate change in the region as a whole.