Last week, the FiTI International Secretariat conducted a four-day country mission to Madagascar, principally to deliver two workshops to key national stakeholders on the benefits the country’s implementation of the FiTI holds for their respective roles.
Mr. Sven Biermann, Executive Director, and Mr. Will May, Regional Coordinator for the Western Indian Ocean, led the half-day workshops, which were both held at Novotel Convention and Spa in Antananarivo on Tuesday, 13 September.
The morning session was attended by 12 members of the Fisheries and Fish Resources Committee within Madagascar’s National Assembly, and the afternoon session gathered over 25 representatives from local media houses and civil society organisations.
Madagascar’s commitment to increase transparency in the management of its marine fisheries sector by implementing the FiTI holds bearing for all three of these stakeholder groups (i.e. parliamentarians, media and civil society). This is because they all play a key role in the participatory governance of the fisheries sector. Participatory governance is defined as the ability of stakeholders to participate and monitor decision-making processes.
For example, greater public access to the information requested by the FiTI Standard will allow parliamentarians to debate and approve legislative initiatives (e.g. fisheries laws) with an informed opinion. Similarly, media houses will be empowered to better report on key developments in the fisheries sector, while civil society organisations will be able to better hold the government accountable for fisheries management decisions.
To this end, each participant of the workshops received a brochure designed by the FiTI International Secretariat entitled ‘Know Your Fisheries!’ The brochure outlines how Madagascar’s engagement in the FiTI will allow national stakeholders to not only understand what information on the country’s marine fisheries is available online, but also to:
- Answer critical questions about Madagascar’s fisheries, such as ‘Who is allowed to fish in Madagascar’s waters?’ or ‘How healthy are Madagascar’s fish stocks?’
- Identify knowledge gaps to improve fisheries information over time;
- Recognise inconsistencies between government priorities, policies and practices in fisheries.
During the country mission, the FiTI International Secretariat also paid a corteousy call to Minister of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Dr. Paubert Mahatante, held meetings with donors and other key national partners, and attended a workshop to officially launch Madagascar’s FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group.