Oceans

Oceans are the foundation of the ecosystems that make the earth inhabitable by humankind: they contain 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere and absorb around 30% of the CO2 produced by humans. Further, approximately 1 billion people owe their means of existence to marine and coastal biodiversity.
It’s thus crucial to preserve and restore the balances that are currently under threat. AFD works along with its partners to manage this resource sustainably, support the fishery and aquaculture sectors, and protect marine and coastal ecosystems.
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 Protected natural area, Gabon, crabes, océan, Terdjman
AFD and oceans: preserving ecosystems and exploiting marine ressources sustainably
 Protected natural area, Gabon, crabes, océan, Terdjman

Improving the governance of oceans, seas and marine resources

Indonesia, Indeso, control room, Andy

Promoting competitive and resilien fishery sectors

AFD supports the establishment of sectoral policies and governance of the sector, so that its resources can be better managed. To do so, it uses an ecosystemic approach, involving the establishment of fishery observatories and information systems, fishery development plans, support for scientific research and oceanic economy matrix, etc.

Overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing: the ideas we are encouraging to resolve these problems include better regulation of fisheries, the rationalization of investments and equipment (especially ports), support for small-scale operators, and approaches for the ecological labeling of products, etc.

In Indonesia, for example, we have supported the creation of the Indeso National Oceanography Center. Thanks to satellite surveillance, this center helps to better monitor marine ecosystems and to fight against illegal fishing.
 

Protecting and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems

Coral, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Protecting and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems

Reduction of the environmental impacts of fishing and aquaculture activities is one of the themes dealt with by AFD projects. They work towards this goal through integrated management of coastal zones, the development of port facilities and the setting up of tools to monitor ecosystems that are vulnerable to human activities and climate change.

In 2017, 6.35% of marine zones throughout the world enjoyed protected status. However, this figure doesn’t show the big geographical variations: 20 countries alone contain 80% of the surface area of all the marine protected areas (MPAs). 

AFD supports the creation and management of such MPAs. For example, we are supporting the development of the Mohéli National Park, the only MPA in the Comoros, and we are helping to supply the Bacomab fiduciary fund, whose goal is to guarantee the integrity of the system of marine and coastal protected areas in Mauritania. In Overseas France, examples are our support for the project for sustainable management of the natural heritage of Mayotte and the Îles Éparses and the RESCCUE project, which seeks to promote the resilience of land and marine ecosystems of small island states and territories in the Pacific.
 

Promoting competitive and resilient fishery sectors

fishing, fishes, fisherman, East Asia, Chabrol

Promoting competitive and resilient fishery sectors

The aim of support for the fishing and aquaculture sectors is to enhance production and its integration into local, regional and international markets, as well as to increase producer income.

To carry this out, AFD is supporting the energy, hygiene, technical and social upgrading of boats and their equipment, as well as the construction and rehabilitation of ports following an “Ecoport” approach. Improvement of health standards and the traceability of products is a priority. The food and nutritional security and the resilience of fishing communities to the effects of climate change are dealt with in the projects financed by AFD.

In Morocco, for example, we support the program to upgrade the infrastructures and strengthen the commercial capacities of the national fishery office.

Promoting more sustainable aquaculture

woman, fishing, aquaculture, Cambodgia

Promoting more sustainable aquaculture

Aquaculture supplies more than half of the fishery products available at the world level. It also has significant impacts in terms of pollution and food security. The transition towards more sustainable aquaculture involves promoting food that respects the environment, reducing genetic modifications, supporting algaculture and certifying production.

In this area we support, for example, the CaPFish Aquaculture project in Cambodia, which seeks to find responses to the constraints of the Cambodian aquaculture sector, in order to ensure growth that is more sustainable, resilient to climate change, and inclusive.

Oceans are under pressure all around the world. Their resources are overexploited, and non-treated wastes and pollutants on land pour into them. The oceans are also affected in different ways by the growing and often contradictory interests held by users, offshore wind turbine fields, deep-sea mining, tourism and industrial fisheries, etc. Climate change is moreover leading to the phenomena of increasing sea level and warming of ocean water temperatures.

Preservation of these spaces is vital: around 1 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their direct means of subsistence. The vast majority of those people live in developing countries.

The role of communities in the management of marine and coastal resources must be emphasized. The contribution of small-scale or coastal fisheries to the economic, social and environmental resilience of poor coastal communities is undeniable. These communities must be able to live sustainably from “their” fishing resources.

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Research document

Community Participation Beyond Idealisation and Demonisation: Biodiversity Protection in Soufrière, St. Lucia

The Soufrière Maritime Management Association is one of the best-known examples of "participatory environmental planning" in the southern hemisphere. Created in 1994 after more than three years of intensive stakeholder ...
Jan 2010
Research document

Community Participation in Biodiversity Protection: An Enhanced Analytical Framework for Practitioners

This paper presents an enhanced analytical framework to project designers and evaluators for reinforcing their analysis of initiatives based on "community participation"-with a special focus on projects involving biodiversity ...
Aug 2009