International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Strategic Partnership for a Sustainable Fisheries Investment Fund in the Large Marine Ecosystems of Sub-Saharan Africa (Tranche 1, Installment 1)

The 5 Large Marine Ecosystems(LMEs) of Sub-Saharan Africa are beginning to feel the cumulative effects of growing populations and overfishing. As such, these LMEs, and the living resources they support, are being threatened on two fronts: from the destruction of critical habitat that provides spawning and nursery grounds for many species of fish in the early stages of their life cycle, to over-harvesting of target fish stocks based on inadequate management of fishing effort (both local and distant fleets). For the protection of globally significant marine biodiversity and for the livelihoods for millions of people that depend on this biodiversity in the LMEs of Sub-Saharan Africa, there is an urgent need for improved fisheries resource management based on an ecosystem approach, which takes into account both the pressures on individual fish stocks as well as the threats to the habitat critical to their survival.

In order to reverse the depletion of fisheries in the LMEs of Sub-Saharan Africa, and to assist the individual coastal countries bordering these LMEs to meet the fisheries targets set by the WSSD, a ten-year Strategic Partnership for a Sustainable Fisheries Investment Fund is being proposed. The rationale for a partnership is that the fisheries resources supported by the large marine ecosystems of Sub-Saharan Africa are both poorly governed and often transboundary in nature. For this reason, the WSSD has recommended partnerships of donors, technical agencies and NGOs as the best vehicle to assist developing countries to change both policies and practices in fisheries management and the governance of large marine ecosystems.

Thus, a Strategic Partnership for a Sustainable Fisheries Investment Fund, focused on the LMEs of Sub-Saharan Africa (with a coalition consisting of WWF, FAO, and the World Bank Group), is being proposed in order to assist the coastal countries in the region to meet the targets for sustainable fisheries set by the WSSD, to complement the existing regional LME projects funded by GEF, and to ensure the health of the fisheries resource base upon which so many lives and livelihoods depend. This would be analgous to the Danube/Black Sea Basin Partnership for nutrient reduction except it would focus on single country interventions for policy reforms and investments for conserving living resources and their habitat in the 5 LMEs of SSA.

The World Bank would be responsible for the preparation of the country-level investments for sustainable management of marine fisheries and their habitat by use of the World Bank’s ongoing country dialogue for development of regional and country programs and by use of the most applicable IBRD or IDA financing instrument, which would be combined with GEF co-financing. Once potential projects have been identified in a country, the World Bank and other donors would co-finance the project with the GEF (which would use the Sustainable Fisheries Investment Fund) at a ratio of 3 to 1. For example, the World Bank might finance country-level investments in institutional strengthening and restructuring (using technical assistance loans), alternative income opportunities and community development in rural fishing communities (based on a community-driven development model) and monitoring, control and surveillance activities (through specific investment loans), while the GEF-led Sustainable Investment Fund financed the implementation of small-scale fisheries management systems and networks of effectively managed marine/coastal protected areas.

The World Bank would also be responsible for the establishment of a multi-donor Global Forum and Trust Fund for Sustainable Fisheries, which would evolve from the current Trust Fund for Sustainable Fisheries funded by the Government of Japan. The Global Forum would be the vehicle for coordination of different donors at the LME and regional level. The Global Trust Fund would be a separate fund from the GEF Sustainable Fisheries Investment Fund, receive its funding from interested bilateral and multilateral donors, but not from the GEF. It would undertake the upstream analytical work to guide the investments under GEF and other bi-lateral and multi-lateral sources (including the Bank) such as preparation of fisheries sector notes and adjustment and investment operations at the national level complementing the ecosystems management focus supported by the GEF.

FAO would provide the technical expertise in the preparation of the policy sector notes and the country-level adjustment or investment operations. In these it would be guided by the agreed upon principles for sustainable fisheries management as provided in the Code of Conduct and in UNCLOS. WWF would provide the technical and operational expertise to prepare and implement the proposal preparation process; to foster the development of coastal and marine protected area networks; to utilize its existing network with stakeholders in countries throughout the region, including the governments, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, and others to ensure effective stakeholder participation and implement country-level activities, within the possibilities of the Bank’s procurement rules; and partner with the Global Forum and Trust Fund for Sustainable Fisheries to ensure that the ecosystem approach to living resources and habitat management is followed.

Consistent with the Council-approved Danube/Black Sea Basin Partnership, a "Partnership" brief will be produced for Council approval containing the criteria for national subprojects, participation activities, and M & E requirements. Examples of several possible subprojects will be appended to the Council document. The proposal is for $60 mil from GEF over a ten year period to be combined with at least $205 million in cofinance. Only the first tranche of $20 mil GEF is being sought in the Partnership brief in a first tranche to last 4 years with a minimum of $70 mil in cofinance being mobilized.


Agulhas Current (LME) , Benguela Current (LME) , Somali Coastal Current (LME) , Guinea Current (LME) , Canary Current (LME)

General information
GEF ID 2093
IBRD ID 87411
Project type FSP
Project Status Council Approved
Start Date 14 Nov 2005
GEF characteristic:
Focal Area
GEF Allocation to project 5.74M US$
Total Cost of the project: 80.74M US$
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (WB)

Project contacts
Mr. Christopher Crepin GEF Africa Regional Coordinator