Our Resources, Our Future: African coalition to fight corruption and the illicit exploitation of fisheries, forestry and wildlife resources

By Stop Illegal Fishing:19th Feb, 2019: Approach

Addis Ababa, Friday 8th February 2019 – The African Union Commission, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Stop Illegal Fishing, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and WWF held a High-Level Side Event on the margins of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) with the theme of Corruption and the Illicit Exploitation and Trade of Africa’s Natural Resources: the case of Fisheries, Forestry and Wildlife.

Her Excellency Ambassador Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, noted that 2018 had been marked as African Anti-Corruption Year, “Fighting corruption and illegal exploitation in the natural resources sectors continues to be of vital importance. It requires a collective effort, as no single country, institution or person can do it alone. Africa needs global support and collaboration to end the misappropriation of its natural resources.”

The urgent need to curb corruption, which is a major facilitator of crime and non-compliance in the fisheries, forestry and wildlife sectors has been widely acknowledged. Speaking on behalf of Stop Illegal Fishing, Sandy Davies noted growing unease in the fisheries sector: “The blue economy is currently on Africa’s agenda. However, the significant opportunities of blue growth are matched by significant threats, as national governments are under pressure to deliver revenue and opportunity. Sustainability and compliance must be core pillars of the blue growth agenda.”

Vice President of the Seychelles, Vincent Meriton called for more combined effort nationally and regionally to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. He noted that, “The biodiversity of the Seychelles faces threats from IUU fishing, which still occurs, especially by foreign owned vessels.” This was a view echoed in a speech made on behalf of President Buhari of Nigeria, “Improved maritime security, better information sharing, and greater international attention are needed to stop illegal fishing. The corporations exploiting African resources are mainly foreign; they resist strict enforcement of the regulations that have been established to safeguard Africa’s natural resources, and we lose the profits abroad.”

Elsa Patria, Chair of Stop Illegal Fishing commented, “Illegal trade and over-exploitation of African wildlife, forestry and fisheries, facilitated by corruption, has devastating environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts including local, regional and global consequences. We need to continue to build effective cooperation and increase political pressure for accountability and action against illegal operators.”

An active coalition between stakeholders will seek to progress action and recommendations through the AU and international processes to drive change and secure future resources for all. Sandy Davies welcomed the initiative saying, “We see common challenges and threats across the resource areas. By pooling our experiences, ideas, energy and expertise Stop Illegal Fishing hopes to work with the African Union, FAO, TRAFFIC, UNEP, WWF and other partners to ensure that practical efforts to end environmental crimes are matched at the policy level continentally.”

 

Recent Posts

State promises to boost fishing at Coast, create 2 million jobs

The government will improve the fishing sector at the Coast, Vocational and Technical...

Read More...

U.S: Illicit maritime activities threat to Africa’s food security

The United States (U.S.) yesterday said illicit maritime activities are threats to the...

Read More...

South African Economy Benefits from the Building of Navy Vessels

On Saturday, February 23, 2019, Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) hosted a keel...

Read More...

West African navies to cross borders in pursuit of criminals

The Nigerian Navy said it is working with littoral countries within the West...

Read More...

SIF News Categories

The Issues

One in four fish in Africa is caught illegally, this threatens the sustainability of fish stocks, damages the ecosystem and deprives governments of income and people of livelihoods.

Find Out More...

Our Approach

Creating change by informing policy and practice, our hands on experience and investigative work means we are often the first to spot new trends and find ways to challenge these.

Read More...

Our Initiatives

Illegal fishing is a complex issue that requires multifaceted responses. Stop Illegal Fishing are working with a range of organisations to bring about change.

Find Out More...

Recent Posts

State promises to boost fishing at Coast, create 2 million jobs

The government will improve the fishing sector at the Coast, Vocational and Technical...

Read More...

U.S: Illicit maritime activities threat to Africa’s food security

The United States (U.S.) yesterday said illicit maritime activities are threats to the...

Read More...

South African Economy Benefits from the Building of Navy Vessels

On Saturday, February 23, 2019, Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) hosted a keel...

Read More...