“Stewardship is not only an environmental concern, it's also a health, economic, food security and moral issue,” US Secretary of State John Kerry in his address to the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth. Oceans elicit emotional reactions in many people. They are places where we swim, fish, sail or simply watch the world go by. Yet, increasingly, we hear troubling messages that oceans are under grave threat from overfishing, pollution, climate change and more. These messages move us to take action. But, what actions can right past wrongs and create future opportunities?
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!”
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.