Dried sardines, Olingan, Dipolog City, Philippines, prior to Yolanda.
I was in the Philippines a day after Yolanda struck working with both staff members and our Board. Our Philippines-based staff gave a presentation about how communities in Leyte, Bohol, and Cebu had identified options for improving their livelihoods and increasing their food security as part of the CGIAR Aquatic Agricultural Systems program. In a somber moment, we all realized that not one of the houses we had seen in the presentation was still standing and, most likely, some of the people we were working with had died.
Fisher boat in Haor, Bangladesh. Photo by Balaram Mahalder, 2010.
The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations has just released a fascinating report entitled “Now for the Long Term“. The report asks: how we can avoid future crises and overcome our inability to address big challenges that will shape our world?
A key recommendation in the report is to make more use of boundary spanning multi-stakeholder coalitions, often called Global Action Networks or GANs, to try and deal with specific problems. I whole-heartedly agree.
Dave Mills, a senior researcher at WorldFish, was describing the outcomes of a project on governance reform with small-scale fishers in Ghana. This project had empowered women in the community by working to build confidence, capacity, and vision among women to engage in decision-making and by helping challenge underlying and oppressive attitudes towards them. Dave recounted how, at a project review meeting, the village chief proudly exclaimed “What have you done with these women – they have changed!” He was delighted they were now active in decision-making and that he now knew what women needed and wanted in his community.
Woman prepares vegetables as part of ensuring a balanced diet for the family. Photo by Felix Clay/Duckrabbit
I was struck this week by an article on Devex highlighting how the popular narrative about Africa’s growth is being challenged. The article points out that, despite national-level economic growth in many African countries, the benefits of that growth are failing to trickle down sufficiently; when two in five Africans surveyed say that they are unable to meet their basic needs and are food insecure, such a conclusion is hard to argue with. Continue reading →
Venturing into tilapia production in El Minya, Upper Egypt. Photo by Jens Peter Tang Dalsgaard.
If we are to meet the world’s demand and need for fish, aquaculture production must rise. But for this to happen at scale, greater private sector investment will be needed, especially to support the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in developing countries. This will increase fish supply, help stimulate rural development, and increase economic opportunity for the poor.