Harmonizing South Sudan's Fisheries Policies: Bridging the Gap with Continental Strategies and Global Instruments

Thu, 26-10-2023 15:00:00

To bolster South Sudan's fisheries sector, a collaborative initiative between AU-IBAR (African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources) and the Republic of South Sudan unfolded in Juba from October 19th to 20th, 2023. The central aim of this workshop was to synchronize South Sudan's National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy with the Continental Policy Framework and Reform Strategy (PFRS) for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, while also recognizing and embracing pertinent Global Instruments.

Funded by the European Union under the FishGov2 Project, the workshop aimed at strengthening the institutional capacity of regional institutions and African Union Member States. These efforts were geared toward aligning national policies with continental and global frameworks for fisheries and aquaculture development, including climate change and environmental management.

The workshop had specific objectives, including identifying and prioritizing Continental and Global Instruments for adoption, domestication, and ratification to benefit South Sudan's fisheries sector. Participants, totaling twenty-six, represented key ministries and institutions involved in the fisheries sector. This diverse group ensured a comprehensive and collaborative approach to policy development.

Methodology and Technical Sessions
The workshop employed a participatory methodology, encouraging active engagement and discussion. Technical sessions, led by experts like Prof. Johnson Jiribi from the University of Juba and Mr. Nadiope Eric of AU-IBAR, covered crucial topics related to the alignment process. These sessions included presentations on South Sudan's fisheries sector overview, FAO studies, and assessments of relevant policies.

Issues Raised and Recommendations
Several critical issues were highlighted during the workshop, emphasizing the need for continuous capacity development, establishment of a Technical Working Group, and support from AU-IBAR and other partners. Recommendations included the domestication and ratification of essential Global Instruments such as MARPOL, UNFCCC, UNCLOS, CITES, and others related to environmental conservation and sustainable development.

Conclusion and Next Steps
The workshop concluded with the adoption of a comprehensive communiqué, outlining the recommendations and agreements made during the event. Participants expressed their gratitude to AU-IBAR for this initiative, urging its seamless transition into the implementation phase. The establishment of a National Technical Working Group and finalization of the draft report were identified as immediate next steps.

The achievements of this workshop underscore the power of collective endeavors in molding the trajectory of South Sudan's fisheries sector. As South Sudan takes progressive steps to harmonize its policies with international frameworks, the results of the workshop hold the potential to pave the way for a thriving future in the country's fisheries and aquaculture industry, making substantial contributions to its socio-economic growth.