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The fisheries and aquaculture sector in National Adaptation Programmes of Action: importance, vulnerabilities and priorities

Publication date:
L. Vadacchino (ed)
Type of publication:

Half a billion people directly or indirectly depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. Fish provides essential nutrition for about three billion people and is highly traded with more than 37 per cent of production entering international trade. The world’s capture fisheries and the livelihoods they support are under threat from a range of factors including over-exploitation. This report provides an introduction to the national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) of LDCs that have been developed to mitigate the threats to the fishing industry. It specifically looks at the extent to which the fisheries and aquaculture sector has been included in the existing NAPAs as a priority activity and how this prioritisation has been transferred into actual projects through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). The ultimate goal of this report is to promote the inclusion of the traditionally under-represented but potentially highly vulnerable fishing sector in the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies through:

Familiarising fisheries and aquaculture decision-makers in LDCs with the NAPA process and implementation.
Reviewing country priorities vis-à-vis the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
Providing those in the climate change arena with an understanding of sectoral needs and vulnerabilities.

The analysis tests and finds support for the hypotheses that the fisheries and aquaculture sector:

is important to LDCs in terms of food security, poverty alleviation and economic development
is among the vulnerable sectors
requires assistance for improving climate change adaptive capacity both in terms of cross-cutting efforts to increase vulnerable populations’ resilience, and in terms of reducing vulnerabilities specific to these communities’ dependence on aquatic systems for food and livelihoods security.

The paper makes the following recommendations:

A mixed approach of sectoral specificity, supporting integrated and holistic approaches to adaptation should be fostered in the NAPA implementation process.
Stakeholders in the sector should ensure proper inclusion of the sector in comprehensive NAPA projects.
For the successful implementation of NAPAs, trans-boundary issues, such as shared fish stocks, migratory species or basin-wide fisheries management should be put into consideration.
There should be a continual adaptation of GEF modalities to support project implementation.
Experience and learning lessons should be gained from these experiences to increase the effectiveness of the LDCF in its goal of assisting LDCs in implementing their NAPAs.
The strengthening of NAPAs should also specifically include actions to support poor marginalised groups and women.