Programme launched to address aquatic ecosystem and fishery biodiversity
Nchelenge, November 9, ZANIS…The Department of Fisheries (DOF) in conjunction with the Network for the Environmental Concerns and Solutions (NECOS) has launched a programme to address the aquatic ecosystem and fishery biodiversity in Nchelenge District of Luapula Province.
The programme dubbed the, “Community Engagement in Intensive Fish Ban Patrols and Campaign – 2014 was launched on Saturday at a meeting attended by heads of government departments, chiefs’ representatives and Civil Society Organisations held at the council chamber.
Others that attended the meeting include representatives of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organisations and Global Environmental Facility (GEF) representatives.
The programme focuses on capacity building initiatives that would enhance the fish ban policy and sustainable aquatic ecosystem anchored on prudent conservation of the Mweru – Luapula Fishery.
Acting Nchelenge District Commissioner (DC) Bennie Mwansa who officiated at the launch said there is urgent need to address the depletion of the fish species in the Mweru – Luapula Fishery and climate change.
He said the launch the programme clearly indicate the urgent desire to address the aquatic ecosystem and the fishery biodiversity problems for the public good, socio- economic growth and poverty reduction.
The acting DC said the poverty levels among the fishing communities of the Mweru – Luapula fishery especially at the Islands of Chisenga and Kilwa are extremely high and unacceptable.
He commended the NECOS for partnering with the government to mitigate the fish depletion in the Mweru – Luapula fishery and the problems of natural resource conservation that have arisen because of the climate change.
He said the move to supplement the government efforts by NECOS will enhance the conservation of the fish species other than just improving the biodiversity and aquatic ecosystem equity service delivery.
Mr. Mwansa urged for sustainable livelihood and empowering of vulnerable groups through various climate adaptive conservation options among the fishing communities.
He noted that the community based climate change adaptation for ecosystem, biodiversity and aquatic service delivery is crucial for both sustainable climate change management and fish ban policies.
He also noted that to achieve this noble goal the fishing communities of the Mweru – Luapula Fishery must engage into meaningful economical issues that reduces vulnerability of its members.
However, Mr. Mwansa said sustainable development can only be guaranteed when community involvement is assured and supported by all the stakeholders.
He applauded the government for being a signatory to several international conventions and agreements that have created an enabling environment for prudent forestry and fishery management.