Far Ban Bo

Background: Far Ban Bo is an European Union funded 4 year fisheries governance project. Far Ban Bo which means protecting fisheries livelihoods in Fante is being implemented by a consortium consisting of Care International, Friends of the Nation and Oxfam, in colloboration with other stakeholders like smallholder Fishery Associations, Fisheries Commission and Fisheries Alliance.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to sustainable fisheries resources management to improve food security and nutrition and livelihoods of smallholder fishers and other users of fishery resources. The project is designed to address the challenges of overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices including Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, low compliance and weak capacity for enforcement within the fisheries sector.

The FBB project is working with 30 districts in the Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western regions working closely with marine and inland fisheries stakeholders, to ensure that approximately 2 million smallholder fishermen and women will benefit from access to information on rights, improved government services and ecosystem recovery as a result of equitable co-management, safeguards and reduced illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries. Hence the Specific objective of the project is to ensure that small-holder fishers and processers benefit from equitable and sustainable rights-based fisheries resources management. To achieve the overall objectives of the project, three results are expected. These expected results (ERs) include:

The expected results (ER) unfold three interrelated aspects of sustainable fisheries governance:

ER1: Empowered smallholder fishery associations take active part in fisheries governance

Activities under this result area target smallholder fishery groups and associations with education on laws and policies and with organisational capacity development. Associations will be supported to engage with the Fisheries Commission and key stakeholders, participate in the implementation of fisheries policies and laws, including participation in co-management discussions and piloting, as well as multi-stakeholder sector meetings to review and provide feedback on enforcement activities and general fisheries governance. The national multi-stakeholder forum and regional forums level will initially be organized and hosted by the consortium, but will gradually be handed over to the Fisheries Commission and the Fisheries Alliance. Activities targeting the members of the Fisheries Alliance will include legal awareness training and joint advocacy campaigns. Joint civil society monitoring will include annual citizen report cards. Mass media will be used for awareness raising, while drama will be used to create awareness about fisheries policies and VGGT in communities.

ER2: Effective IUU monitoring and grievance mechanisms piloted

Activities under this result area include formation of core monitoring groups among smallholder fishers and support to document and report grievances regarding tenurial access and infringements on inshore exclusion zones (IEZ). A local register on grievances will be maintained. ICT systems for monitoring IUU will be piloted (using mobile phones/SMS/apps linked to an open online platform). The Action will involve private fishing companies in self-monitoring and compliance initiatives through the National Fisheries Association of Ghana. Evidence will be discussed and reviewed between the smallholder fishers, the Fisheries Alliance, private fishing companies and the fisheries enforcement unit in the multi-stakeholder forums at the two enforcement commands in Takoradi and Tema.

ER3: Social and economic safeguards contribute to improving livelihoods and nutritional status of smallholder fishers and other users of fishery resources

Activities will include analysis of the adverse impacts of different strategies for implementing capacity reductions (e.g. closed season and reduction in fleets) on the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable fishing communities, particularly women. This will result in recommendations to the Fisheries Commission for safeguards that minimize adverse impacts. The Action will implement two complementary strategies to ensure diversified and alternative livelihoods for fishing communities affected by the capacity reductions. 1) Roll out community-managed savings and credit schemes using the CARE Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) approach; combine financial training with business develop training (e.g. poultry rearing); identify options for value addition (e.g. processing) along the fisheries value chain using the Oxfam Gendered Market Enterprise Approach. 2) Support fishing groups to engage in Community Action Planning to secure district budgets for fishery services (e.g. technical support and inputs). Improve government services to communities, including access to government social protection schemes, using CARE’s scorecard methodology. Ensure access to information on nutrition and hygiene in collaboration with the Ghana Health Services and the Women in Agricultural Development Directorate.

Key stakeholder groups and their attitudes

Civil society stakeholders (i.e. the Fisheries Alliance members, the Women National Fish Processors and Traders Association (NAFPTA), chief fishermen, National Canoe Owners’ Council, Ghana Inland Fisheries Association, canoe owners and fishermen’s associations) are positive towards the Action and will benefit from having a stronger voice in fisheries resource management. Government duty-bearers (Parliamentary Select Committee, Ministry of Fisheries & Aquaculture, Fisheries Commission, Fisheries Enforcement Unit, Environmental Protection Agency, Attorney General’s Department, Ghana Navy and Marine Police) are generally open to the engagement with civil society and will benefit from capacity building under this initiative. The Action will draw on established trustful relationships with key stakeholders and take a constructive approach to helping state actors implement their own plans and strategies in the sector.

Timeframe: The Action will be implemented over a period of four years to allow sufficient time for capacity building, developing and handing over of systems and processes (including ICT monitoring, co-management committees and multi-stakeholder forums) and to consolidate the results of the Action