Dr. Adeosun Festus, Dr. Olanrewaju Badmus, Deaconess Foluke Areola, Dr. Charity Oche Mrs. Fumilola Shelika, Mr. Menyoli Emmanuel Molua, Dr. Toundji Olivier Amoussou, Dr. Shadrack Amponsah, Mr. Olayinka Abdulquadri.
The purpose of this guide is to organise and facilitate the work of the scientific committee and all other ad hoc committees created for the purpose of the upcoming May 2021 conference on aquaculture development in West Africa. The objectives of the May conference were discussed and adopted in our last meeting, thus today’s meeting is a follow-up of our last meeting. In our last meeting, we all agreed that the overall objective of the May 2021 conference will be to discuss the problems affecting the efficient allocation of resources in the West African region which has affected sustainable growth in the aquaculture industry. In summary, the 2021 conference is a pacesetter to bridge the huge policy gap which exists today in the region. By dint of the fact that West African countries have different needs, are setup differently, have different financial capacities, face different problems and have different approaches to solve problems, it is therefore important that member states in the region cooperate by sharing their experiences in order to develop standardised and harmonised practices for the region. Cooperation will facilitate the “enhancement” of management practises as recommended in Article 17.87 of the 1992 Agenda 21, and Article 9 of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (See 17.87 of Agenda 21, and Article 9 of the Code) and other global and regional instruments and guidelines.
A standard approach for the region has several benefits such as; it will contribute significantly to increase the value of farmed species in the local, regional and global markets. It will also help to strengthen management policies amongst other benefits. The scientific committee is therefore responsible to document these challenges and propose concrete solutions in the form of a policy document in order that smaller nations can learn from the others. Such a policy document will also help us (West African nations) to measure progress and strengthen their approach in the long-term. However, we are aware that, the committee’s report will not assist to reduce management lapses if the member states themselves are not willing to adopt new strategies to make their current management practices more consistent and productive. Thus, the work of the scientific committee must continue after the publication of the final report to galvanise political will. This implies in greater details that, the committee must ensure that, managers, stakeholders and members of the civil society and NGOs in the various West African states understand the content of the report and are willing to tailor the requirements in the report to solve their particular needs.
1b) Structure of the Scientific Committee.
It is recommended that the committee should not be more than six members appointed by the Committee Chairperson. The committee Chair should in good faith appoint the members of the committee including the committee’s secretary. The functions of each member of the committee shall be discussed and adopted in a plenary session or in a ZOOM meeting. Task accorded to members of the scientific committee must be discharged effectively and in a timely fashion.
The functions of the Committee are described in fig. 1 below and are as follows; I. Draft a guideline to assist consultants in the various member states in writing their country’s report and aquaculture status. II. Select or appoint consultants in the various member states who will be responsible for writing the countries report for the May 2021 aquaculture conference. III. Review and approve all presentations by representatives of the member states before the presentation in the online conference in May. IV. Work in close collaboration with the consultants or representatives of the various member states, the Public Relations officer of the WAS, West African Region and the organising committee of the conference. V. Write a report and propose solutions in a concise and scientific manner at the end of the conference which will serve as a “blueprint” and will enable a standardised aquaculture practice in the region. VI. Publish the said report in a way that is accessible by all members in the region and beyond. VII. Follow-up the activities of the member states (through country representatives) to ensure that member states understand and are committed to adopting the provisions of the final report in the short-term and long term basis.
Figure 1 Diagram showing the various committees and organs.
1d) Functions of the Organising Committee.
The organizing committee shall perform the following functions;
I. They will take charge of the conference logistics, which includes advertising and producing flyers and other communication materials for the conference. II. Ensure the establishment of a strong technical team to support the number of viewing hits from different devices ZOOM during the conference (This team should have data capacity to tackle over a 1000 hits from across the World). IV. Mobilization of all member states on the West African Region to reflect strong stakeholders’ participation along with the value chain nodes (Through Country to Country Professional, farmer, input supplier, student, multidisciplinary associations etc.). V. Ensure the establishment of a strong technical team to support the number of viewing hits from different devices during the ZOOM meeting (This team should have data capacity to tackle over a 1000 hits from across the World). VI. Cooperate with the scientific committee to decide on the amount of time needed by each presenter on the day of the conference. VII. They may also perform other functions if needed.
1e) Functions of the PRO.
The PRO will perform the natural functions of his office which involves;
I. Assisting in ensuring the efficient flow of information between the various committees and to the public in general public. II. More functions can be accorded to the PRO if needed.
1f) Function of the representatives of the member states of West Africa.
Representatives of the various nations may perform the various functions;
I. Prepare a report following the guidelines provided by the Scientific Committee. II. Present the status of aquaculture in their various countries using a Power presentation on the day of the conference. III. Submit both the country report and PowerPoint Presentations at least one week before the start of the conference for approval and also to enable the secretary of the scientific committee to translate all presentations to other languages. IV. In light of paragraph 1c above, country representatives must continue to work after the publication of the report of the scientific committee to help their respective countries to implement the recommendations described in the scientific committee’s report. V. They must work with the relevant stakeholders (both public and private) to produce communication materials designed to explain and interpret the provisions of the scientific committee’s report to facilitate the smooth implementation of the provisions. VI. More functions can be added to the country representatives subsequently.
1g) About the final report.
I. The scientific committee should decide the name of the report, structure which shall be clearly stated in this guideline. II. The names of all country representatives must be written on the committee’s final report.
2a) Guide to assist country representatives to develop their country’s report.
This guideline is consistent with global treaty requirements and the FAO guidelines. It is designed to assist country representatives to write reports about their various countries and include the following;
I. In general, consult all stakeholders and everyone or institution which derive some form of benefits from the aquaculture industry including both primary and secondary stakeholders in the aquaculture business. Consultation of stakeholders is important because they are the ones who know the real problems in the aquaculture industry. We advise all consultants to use the FAO guidelines to identify the various stakeholders which is available here. II. Provide a brief history of the aquaculture industry of their country. III. Country profile (location, population, land surface area) and administrative setup including statements about the level of democracy in the country (for example how are decisions made, is it through a top-down or bottom-up approach). IV. The contribution of the aquaculture industry to the GDP of the country. V. The names of farmed aquaculture species including their biological names. VI. The type of farming culture and practices (including pictures and diagrams). VII. Harvesting method. VIII. Feed compositions. IX. Average size of farmed aquaculture species. X. Processing mechanism. XI. Consumption of farmed aquaculture species (Are they consumer’s unions in the country). XII. Distribution and storage methods. XIII. Sanitation (Are warehouses and waiting houses clean? Is good sanitation observed during distribution and sale?). XIV. Water management techniques and pollution control. XV. Gender distribution of farmers in the aquaculture industry in general. XVI. Age distribution of farmers (e.g. what is the percentage of farmers aged below 25?).
XVII. Land tenure policies and other relevant legislation (E.g. is there aquaculture legislation? Do aquaculture legislations regulate all aspects of aquaculture development? If yes are these legislations easy to interpret by the local farmers and stakeholders? Where the stakeholders consulted before the aquaculture regulations where structured? Etc.) XVIII. Law enforcement (E.g. does the government conduct regular checks to ensure that environment is not damaged by aquaculture activities such as smell pollution etc.? In general, does the government conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment? How are laws enforced? Does the government use prescriptive or incentive measures or both in law enforcement?). XIX. Price of farmed aquaculture species in the market. XX. How often is the management strategy reviewed? XXI. Assess to loans for aquaculture farmers and companies providing aquaculture services. XXII. Transportation network and accessibility to the market of farmed aquaculture products. XXIII. Public and private institutions (including NGOs) responsible for aquaculture development in their various countries and their management approach in general (Is the management approach ecosystem-based, co-management, integrated ocean management etc.). XXIV. Social, economic, political and biological and environmental hindrances affecting the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry (e.g. impact of COVID 19, war disease control etc.). XXV. Interactions between the government and the various stakeholders. How often do government officials meet with private companies and enterprises? XXVI. Conflict management techniques. XXVII. In general, reports submitted must be able to clearly identify hazards and defects throughout the entire value-chain in aquaculture development. The FAO guide to identifying risk (hazards and defects) in value chain assessment is available here. XXVIII. Consultants should also endeavour to provide references to all relevant information and data provided in their report. Referencing style should be decided by the consultants themselves but should be consistent.
Chamber of Aquaculture, Ghana.
The host shall perform the following functions; I. Ensure that all technical issues regarding the hosting of the conference are put in place. These include but not limited to; telecommunication network strong and available in all devices. Also, ZOOM capacity must be the first-grade level to be able to cope with the number of hits that would come from participants across West Africa and the other parts of the world. IV. Cluster viewing for professionals in a different part of West Africa should be encouraged (50 and above participants to a plasma TV, projector, laptops etc. to facilitate and accommodate several participants). Clips of cluster viewing in different organizations and countries should be relayed intermittently to reveal the strength of viewership at the conference. V. The host should liaise with clusters of viewers and vice versa for clarity of viewing and narration of viewing locations.
VI. Chamber of Aquaculture, Ghana, Aller Aqua, World Aquaculture Society.
Chairperson, Dr. Adeosun, F.I., email@example.com.
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Agenda 21, Chapter 17. A/CONF.151/26 (Vol. II), 13 August 1992.