The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) held a virtual inception workshop with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for a new marine spatial planning project funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
The Zoom meeting brought together representatives of the fisheries ministries in the six FCWC Member States, representatives from IUCN, Centre for Blue Governance at the University of Portsmouth, and other partner initiatives and stakeholders in the fisheries sector, to ensure a better understanding of the roles that the various groups of stakeholders in the region will play in the project.
The project will put in place the basis for valuation of fishery services and allow for the setup of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) at the national level for Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo at this stage. The main project objective is to implement a nature-based solution Regional Mechanism for habitat restoration and maintenance using PES in the Gulf of Guinea.
Marine Spatial Planning is a stakeholder driven process which typically involves assessing the socioeconomic and ecological benefits and impacts of the various uses of, and threats to, a given area and then determining how to spatially allocate these activities among various scenarios based on ecological and socioeconomic trade-offs.
A payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme can encourages the safeguarding of economically and ecologically important areas and generates income for coastal communities and conservation measures based on the idea that beneficiaries or users of an ecosystem service make some form of payment to the provider or steward of that service. Nature-based solutions (NBS are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural and modified ecosystems in ways that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, to provide both human well-being and biodiversity benefits.