EJF inducts CMA Leadership in Grand Bassa
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), an International Environmental NGO), has inducted into office newly elected officials of what is known as Collaborative Management Association (CMA) for Grand Bassa. The program was recently held in the Port City of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Collaborative management or co-management, is a partnership arrangement in which the community of local resource users (fishers), government, other stakeholders (boat owners, fish traders, boat builders, business people, etc.) and external agents (non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions) share the responsibility and authority for the sustainable management of fisheries.
National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) Deputy Director General for Technical Services, Hon. William Y. Boeh, served as induction officer.
Speaking, Mr. Boeh said that NaFAA will work with the CMA to modernize fishing practices to drive sustainability and economic returns.
“For managing the fisheries, we’re keen to working with you. We’re committed to increasing our level of support in developing and sharing fisheries management responsibilities with coastal communities,” he stated.
The NaFAA deputy director general told the gathering that the fisheries management body of the country has committed to building the capacity of fishermen across coastal communities by providing the basic necessities to enhance their work.
“As you know, the government has committed to the distribution of Yamaha Outboard Engines, sustainable fishing gears (threat net) and life jackets to increase fishers’ capacities and to provide safety at sea.”
The European Union, which is providing funding for the Communities for Fisheries Project, was represented at the ceremony by its program officer for ‘Green Section’, Mrs. Maria Winnubst. Mrs. Winnubst said the EU was interested in a robust fisheries sector that is committed to regulating illegal fisheries.
“A well-managed fisheries sector that monitors, traces, reports and regulates illegal fisheries is all in our interest”.
She continued: “It’s needed to secure the continued positive economic and social developments in the fisheries sector.
She expressed excitement that women were represented on the leadership, which according to her will make their voices heard.
“I see that there are quite some women who have been elected into important functions in your CMA. Women play an important role in the fishery sector. I’m glad you now have a possibility to make your voice heard.’’
Also gracing the program was Augustine M. Manoballah, Deputy Director General for Administration at NaFAA. Hon. Manoballah reassured fishermen of President Weah’s commitment in improving the fisheries sector.
Making remarks, EJF chief representative, Mr. Cephas Asare said the best way to manage fisheries in a more sustainable way is to involve those affected by the sector to form part of major decision-making. He extolled commitment by NaFAA to collaborating with his institution in the structuring of co-management in fisheries.
Those inducted are Emmanuel Gbah, Chairperson; Lisa Siah Tamba, Co-chairperson; Sylvester B. Wilson, Financial Secretary; Olpa D. Duahdyu, Treasurer; Barbra M. Bassor, Secretary General, and Jamesetta Reeves, Auditor.
Speaking on behalf of the newly inducted leadership, Chairman Emmanuel Gbah extolled NaFAA for recognizing artisanal fishers. He holds the view that the involvement of local fishers will help in managing the fisheries sector.
Wth funding support from the European Union (EU), the EJF runs “Communities for Fisheries” in four of Liberia’s coastal counties including Cape Mount, Margib ,Grand Bassa and Grand Kru . The project, which primarily supports sustainable fisheries, also intends on establishing CMA, an approach which gives local fishers a sense of belonginess to the fisheries sector. The CMA approach gives community dwellers the opportunity to form part of decision-making at the level of fisheries resource and Territorial Users rights management.