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Esau takes over Benguela Commission stewardship

07 December 2016 – The Benguela Current Commission (BCC) Ministerial Conference Meeting will take place on Thursady in Swakopmund to assess the possibilities of unlocking transboundary potential and economic opportunities in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) Region.

This year’s meeting will also include the official handover by the current Chairperson of the Ministerial Conference, Hon. Dr. Victoria de Barros Neto from Angola, to the Namibian Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Honorable Bernard Esau. His term of two years will include overseeing the implementation of SAP, mobilizing resources, continuous support, and strengthening the BCC secretariat.

Since its inception as a regional entity, the Ministerial Conference has focused on transboundary issues. Policy directives that have included guidance on issues including capability development for the region, sharing and exchanging data, along with joint boundary surveys.

As the highest policy-making body of the BCC, the Ministerial Conference plays a pivotal role in assessing the challenges surrounding the implementation of the BCC’s 2015 – 2019 Strategic Action Programme (SAP).

As part of this closed Ministerial Conference, approximately 100 participants including development

partners, key industries and foreign diplomats will. The blue economy can be harnessed in the sectors of fisheries, minerals, energy, environment and transport to further improve the sustainable economic potential of the Region.

Key ministries in fisheries, environment, transport, minerals, petroleum and energy from Namibia, Angola and South Africa will develop policy actions and guidance with sustainability consistently at the core. SAP focuses on eight key themes: living marine resources, non-living marine resources, productivity and environmental variability, pollution, ecosystem health and biodiversity, human dimensions, and the economic development potential and governance of the Benguela Current.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Our Ocean, Our Heritage, Our Future”. This is in line with the Commission’s vision of promoting the optimal and sustainable utilization of the marine resources in the BCLME Region in the areas outlined above.

The BCC’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Hashali Hamukuaya reaffirmed the importance of this theme and said, “The current generation should continue to promote the harvesting of marine resources sustainably to ensure that the future generation will also enjoy the same benefit they are enjoying today from these resources”.

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