At a UN Ocean Conference (UNOC) event in Lisbon today, delegates will hear how GOAL’s ‘Resilience of the Blue Economy’ programme supports the critical role of coastal communities in generating food and economic security across 1,500km of coastline in five countries in the LAC (Latin America Caribbean) Region (including Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Colombia, and El Salvador) To date, these GOAL programmes which scale up ‘ocean action’ have supported more than 5,000 fishermen and women and their families directly and the programmes have also resulted in improved governance of these already over exploited coastal and marine resources.
For a decade, using a ‘Local Systems Approach’ (LSA) GOAL has worked with these indigenous and Afro-descendent communities, whose livelihoods are heavily dependent on fishing, in the LAC region. The LSA focuses on building linkages and partnerships among local stakeholders in the fishing industry including community leaders, community-based organisations, regulatory bodies, authorities, and academic institutions among others, which has strengthened the resilience of Blue Economy in the region.
Speaking at the UNOC Event, Bernard McCaul, LAC Regional Director & Deputy Director, Programme Design and Innovation, GOAL said “By 2025, an estimated 75% of the world’s population will live in coastal zones, deepening the challenge of promoting sustained economic growth, improvement and diversification of livelihoods, conservation of biodiversity, fighting against climate change and protecting functional habitats for ancestral peoples.”
“Approximately 90% of fishers globally are small-scale or ‘artisan’ and are responsible for 50% of all catches. However, the inefficiencies of the market system and public policies have failed to make the industry an economically viable ventures, resulting in overexploitation of resources as communities fight off deepening poverty. GOAL’s Blue Economy programme using the LSA approach is a demonstration that coastal and marine resources can be utilized in a sustainable manner. All evidence is showing that this is resulting in improved livelihoods and increased incomes, food security, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, inclusion, good governance, climate adaptation and mitigation” continued Bernard McCaul.
GOAL’s Blue Economy programmes in the LAC Region include
- Resilience of Blue Economy and Coastal Ecosystem of Northern Honduras which seeks to improve incomes of coastal communities of the Atlantic zone of Honduras through access valuable markets and the conservation of biodiversity.
- Citizen Participation for Access to Resources and local Policies for the Development of Indigenous and Afro-descendants’ peoples of the Honduran Moskitia, which seeks to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction based on citizen participation and access to productive resources
- Integrated Strengthening of Artisanal Fishing of the Department of La Guajira, Colombia which is aimed at generating business opportunities and economic inclusion for Wayuu indigenous artisanal fishers.
- Resilience of the Blue Economy in Haiti which aims to make fishery markets more inclusive and resilient, increase access to job opportunities and self-employment.
- Regional Coastal Biodiversity Project in Central America, which has been in existence for the last six years and has promoted the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems in border zones with high biodiversity to benefit local communities in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
GOAL believes that promoting the Blue Economy and sustainable fisheries are key to the future of global food security, climate change adaptation and poverty reduction. By building sustainable linkages and strengthening local relationships using innovative models like the LSA, the fishing industry can move from being destructive to being a force in building community resilience.
Please see GOAL’s June 2022 Blue Economy Discussion Paper: https://www.goalglobal.org/our-position-papers/