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FAO to Support Angola's Committment to Sustainable Aquaculture Development

03 December 2014

ANGOLA - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is providing technical support to Angola on the project “Spatial Planning of Aquaculture Zones in the Republic of Angola”.

This project aims to facilitate investment and promote an effectively governed aquaculture development sector that is socially inclusive, equitable and environmentally responsible.

The Government of Angola has provided $200,000 to implement the first phase of the project within the ambit of the Country Programming Framework, which is a tool for the FAO country office's strategic prioritisation and overall medium-term programming.

The project is expected to produce an inventory of the existing aquaculture structures and their characteristics. This will include maps indicating potential aquaculture zones. In addition, government technical officers and other key stakeholders will receive training on spatial planning following an ecosystem approach to aquaculture (EAA). The project will also equip the National Directorate of Aquaculture with the necessary data and tools for spatial planning.

This initiative comes at a time of reports of declining fish stocks capture, which has prompted the Government to prioritize aquaculture development to boost domestic fish supply, create employment and reduce malnutrition, food insecurity and poverty.

Aquaculture in Angola has great potential as it can be practised in inland freshwater areas, in ponds and cages and through mariculture (cultivation of organisms for food and other products in marine environments). The Angolan Minister of Fisheries, Ms Victoria de Barros Nieto, opened an FAO-led training workshop held in Luanda (19–21 November 2014). The workshop focused on aquaculture zoning, site selection and design of aquaculture management areas (using an EAA).

Its main objectives were to inform relevant stakeholders about the EAA as well as to provide hands-on training on the processes and steps required for planning of the sector.

The EAA is a planning and management framework for effectively integrating parts of the aquaculture sector into local planning. The framework provides clear mechanisms for engaging with producers, government and other users of resources for the effective sustainable management of aquaculture operations by taking into account environmental, socio-economic and governance aspects, and by explicitly including concepts of carrying capacity and risk.

All the workshop participants found the presentations and guided discussions very interesting and informative. The results of this workshop created baseline information to enable the Ministry of Fisheries to be in a better position to implement appropriate aquaculture planning and zoning strategies.

It was agreed that, while the commitment of the Ministry of Fisheries is vital for implementation of the project, it has to be matched by strong commitment and collaboration by all relevant institutions and stakeholders in order to plan for the sustainable and responsible development of aquaculture in Angola. A number of follow-on activities are under way for this project, with two additional workshops scheduled for 2015.

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