Cotonou, Benin – May 25, 2023
In a concerted effort to address the lack of transparency in the fisheries sector, a significant initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Oceans5, known as the Vibrant Oceans Initiative (VOI), is making remarkable strides in Benin. This groundbreaking project, titled “Enhancing Transparency in the Fisheries Sector of Benin,” has entered its third phase, and on Wednesday, May 25, 2023, a Project Dissemination Workshop was held at Hotel La Casa in Cotonou, Benin. The event brought together key stakeholders, government representatives, NGOs, academia, and industry players to discuss the findings and future directions of the project.
The project was initiated in response to the pressing challenges faced by fisherfolk in Benin and other coastal countries, including revenue generation constraints, unsustainable fishing practices, environmental degradation, and security issues. CEMLAWS Africa, in collaboration with Eco-Benin, has overseen the completion of the first two project phases. These phases involved in-depth research, engagement with fisheries sector stakeholders, data analysis, validation, and documentation of findings to enhance transparency and accountability, functional information-sharing mechanisms, and governance frameworks in the fisheries sector.
The Project Dissemination Workshop, which is part of the third phase, aimed to achieve several key objectives. It provided a platform for stakeholders and project partners to share best practices, discussed the findings of the first two project phases, and sought input and feedback from those present. This dissemination phase is expected to encourage ongoing collaboration, coordination, and the adoption of measures that promote transparency and accountability in Benin’s fisheries sector.
The workshop was attended by a diverse group of participants, including CEMLAWS Africa, project partners, academia, industry players, government representatives, civil society organizations, and community actors. A total of 30 individuals took part in the workshop, which featured presentations and remarks from the funding agencies, project collaborators, and select stakeholders. These presentations highlighted the activities and outcomes of Phases I and II, leading to discussions about the future implementation of project recommendations to enhance the transparency and accountability in Benin’s fisheries sector.
The Project Dissemination Workshop not only marks a significant milestone in the quest for a more transparent and sustainable fisheries sector in Benin but also fosters collaboration and partnerships among key stakeholders to ensure the long-term success of this vital initiative. The outcomes of this project promise to transform the fisheries sector, creating positive impacts for fisherfolk, the marine environment, and coastal communities.