The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) recently conducted an inception workshop on Bipi Island, Manus Province.
The workshop is part of a project being implemented by the agencies on mainstreaming community based fisheries management (CBFM) in West Coast Manus, particularly, Bipi Island. The aim of the project is to;
(1) Provide technical advice and support to mobilize, strengthen and develop knowledge and capacity to engage in CBFM sustainable fisheries; (2) Contribute to strengthened local food systems founded on traditional institutions which are formally recognized and; (3) To prepare relevant communities to trial and implement CBFM as well as to extract lessons learnt and best practices to contribute to the province and nation-wide policies, strategies and plans for mainstreaming and implementing CBFM.
The inception workshop was conducted under the leadership of Mr. Blaise Kuemlangan, Chief, Development Law Service, FAO Head Quarters, Rome-Italy. Mr Kuemlangan provided background information on the project, its aims, objectives and outcomes. In attendance were women, men and youth representatives from the islands of Suwawech, Papi Pus, Paindreh, Papi Sanan, Pai, Patiles, Kaheu, Kopasu, Pehelan, Nyatau, Sapasamu and Pasu.
During the course of the inception workshop, participants were informed on Community Based Fisheries Management, the need for Fisheries Management, Controlled Fishing and the impacts of overfishing and dynamite fishing.
NFA Fisheries Management officers’, Mr. Haeremai Solomon and Mr. Robinson Liu emphasized on Fisheries Management approaches in the three main areas of, Data Collection, Stock Assessment and Management. Mr. Haeremai stressed on effective monitoring and enforcement of fishing management controls, legal framework to be setup and the need for more collaboration from the government as well as non- government organizations including community support and participation.
“Equal participation by both men and women and ownership by the local community in this CBFM pilot project is key to achieving success, as lessons learned will contribute to other foundational work on CBFM in PNG, and further open doors to future support by FAO, NFA, and more importantly, attract support from other relevant International Development Partners and Donors to enhance the support to protect the marine resources of our country”, the FAO Head of Programme, Ms. Mirriam Mondia, emphasized during the Inception Workshop and Launching of the project.
This was also an opportune time for the FAO team to meet with the Manus Local Level Government stakeholders, Lorengau Urban LLG President, Mr. Joseph Kimat and the Lorengau Market Manager Mr. Henry Konduo on potential collaboration on FAO’s COVID-19 Emergency Support Project in Manus Province.
The objective of the project is to reduce the further spread of COVID-19 along the agricultural value chain and to support agricultural livelihoods recovery and income generation activities through restoring food production, improving nutritional status, strengthening the resilience of affected population in the country.
As part of promoting awareness on the COVID 19 “Niupla Pasin”, Ms. Mondia presented a number of COVID PPE items to the provincial stakeholders.