GENERAL REPRESENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF FLANDERS

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Coastal Communities and Marine Environments project launched
Flanders Representative - South Africa 631

Coastal Communities and Marine Environments project launched

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The World Wide Fund for Nature, in partnership with ABALOBI and the Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR), today launched the Coastal Communities and Marine Environments project in Hamburg, Eastern Cape. The project, which is funded by the Government of Flanders, aims to build and strengthen climate resilience of coastal communities, marine ecosystems and small-scale fishers. This will be achieved through the implementation of community and ecosystem-based adaptation activities designed to safeguard the livelihoods of fishers by promoting sustainable fishing practices, enabling fair access to markets for small-scale fishers and diversifying livelihoods in the coastal communities within the Kogelberg region (in the Western Cape) and the rural town of Hamburg (in the Eastern Cape).

General Representative of Flanders, Dr. Geraldine Reymenants, delivered opening remarks at the hybrid launch, addressing representatives of the Hamburg municipality, national and provincial government departments, stakeholders, partners and community members. Dr. Reymenants stressed the importance of understanding local contexts, identifying the conditions, challenges and opportunities within the community and, crucially, engaging with the fishers and their communities. She encouraged the community to take ownership of the project, pointing out that "As a coastal community of small-scale fishers, your relationship to the ocean is a very personal, localised one. This provides the ideal framework for a tailored intervention on the ground, which will enable your community to thrive economically, but also sustainably through a bottom-up, community-based path."

To find out more about this project and the work to save our oceans from the impacts of climate change, pollution and unsustainable fishing practices, please see www.wwf.org.za and www.abalobi.info
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