To provide affordable animal protein (quality fish and fishery products) for the population and contribute significantly to the GDP.

The ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has its mission to plan, develop, rationally mange and conserve all living aquatic resources of the country for the benefit of the country.

The Fisheries Sector Policy is to promote responsible and sustainable fishing practices through good governance while contributing to poverty reduction and wealth creation in Sierra Leone.

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By Max A Konneh, Press Officer, MFMR

Participants

A One-day consultative forum,aimed at strengthening coordination, collaboration and consultation between and among key stakeholders on coastal and marine environment issues in Sierra Leone has ended at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment in Freetown with the reconstitution of the Coastal and Marine Environment Working Group. 

 


 Jointly organised by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, ,Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment and the National Protected Area A

uthority with funds from the Regional Partnership for Conservation of  the Coastal and Marine  Zones West Africa , PRCM,  the programme attracted key stakeholders in the Marine and coastal sector including the Sierra Leone Navy, Police, Meteorological Agency, National Tourists Board, Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Health, National Protected Areas Authority and the Freetown City Council. Giving

 the Keynote Address, the Acting Deputy Director of Fisheries, Josephus Mamie expressed concern over the rate at which the country ‘s coastal and marine environment is undergoing modifications due to man’s activities and natural forces.

These deleterious effects, he said undermines the integrity of the coastal and marine environment and its resilience and ability to with stand the pressures exerted on it, leading to the depreciation of its quality and weakening of its potential to perform its traditional functions. He said, even though coastal and marine environmental policies have been developed sectorally, there are inadequate synergies to effectively implement them.  He was confident  that with proper collaboration and participation, the enormous challenges facing the country’s coastal and marine environment will be surmounted. Mr. Mamie intimated that with support from the Regional Partnership for Conservation of the Coastal and Marine Zone in Africa, PRCM, his  ministry in collaboration with other local  partners is implementing the project entitled, ‘’Strengthening Coordination, Collaboration and Consultations between and among key stakeholders on coastal and marine environment issues in Sierra Leone’’, adding that the key objectives of the project is to create a broader working group of stakeholders in coastal zone and marine management and untilisation of coastal and marine resources. Underscoring the negative effects of climate change on the environment and important roles of stakeholders, Mr. Mamie entreated them  to work together and ensure that the coastal and marine environment is sustainably managed irrespective of their various mandates. The Partnership and Operations Coordinator of PRCM, Jean August Barthelemy Batieno, on behalf of his organisation sympathized with government and people of Sierra Leone for the loss of lives and properties  as a result of the recent Mudslide. He described the programme as ‘‘a very good initiative and an opportunity for member states including Sierra Leone to sustainably manage their marine and coastal resources’’. He cited the problem of lack of coordination among stakeholders at national level, noting that it is as a result of this that they are implementing the project which among others, is aimed at creating a broader group of stakeholders, capacitated in coastal and marine management issues. He also took the opportunity to invite participants to the forthcoming forum in Conakry with the theme, ‘’Let’s invest in coastal resilience for a prosperous future in West Africa’’!

The General Manager, National Tourists Board,Yasim Kargbo described tourism as an institution with multi- purpose  mandate which can be achieved through concerted efforts of  other stakeholders . He spoke of the adverse effects of environmental degradation on the tourism industy and urged all stakeholders, including Civil Society Organisations to collaborate with others to  promote issues on sustainable development and management of coastal and marine environment. The Acting Director of Environment, Ministry of Lands and Country Planning, Edward Bendu who chaired the programme described the programme as a long –drawn  platform on the conservation of marine and coastal environment.  While underscoring the importance of the programme and challenges faced by the sector, Mr. Bendu said the impressive turnout of representatives from various institutions is a manifestation of how passionate  they are about issues affecting the environment.  Making a Power point presentation, a consultant, Dr. Salieu Sankoh, stressed the need to build synagies and urged all stakeholders to be part of the working group, charged with the responsisbilty of promoting issues on coastal and marine environment.