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EU Celebrates World Oceans Day

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FANTI TOWN, MARSHALL, MARGIBI COUNTY: World Oceans Day- a moment to reflect and to highlight the importance of the ocean in the lives of us all — is celebrated globally every year on June 8.

As the European Union (EU) stands on the sandy beach of Marshall in Liberia with fishermen and women, the day before World Oceans Day, a big celebration to recognize and appreciate the value of the ocean was held at the same time in New York under the theme: “Awaken New Depths”.

For the European Union, respecting the environment and ensuring that future generations will benefit from the riches of nature are the core pillars of a sustainable development. And Liberia, with the abundant natural resources of its waters, is no exception. Indeed, more than half of the Liberian population lives in coastal areas and fish, which provides 80% of protein consumption in the diets of Liberians, is essential for nutrition and health.

The European Union has been present in Liberia for more than 50 years, working in partnership with the Government of Liberia to stimulate development and improve people’s lives. Through its Global Gateway vision, the EU aims to connect people, to reach out to people and to give people a voice, exploring “new depths” in its interactions both with the government and with ordinary Liberians.

Within its Green Deal agenda, the European Union shows its dedication to protect marine life and support the fisheries sector, and by adopting in February 2023 a fisheries package that includes a fisheries and oceans pact, the EU is bringing a touch of blue in the green.
In the words of Ms. Charlina Vitcheva, Director General of Directorate General MARE:
“The ocean needs our care, and fisheries communities deserve our attention. Fishers of the future will be the stewards of the sea – they will harvest its resources whilst taking care of stocks, they will help remove plastic and make our oceans healthier and stronger.”
It is in this spirit that the EU Delegation to Liberia is supporting fishing communities in 4 coastal counties in Liberia (Margibi, Grand Bassa, Grand Kru and Grand Cape Mount) through its implementing partner Environmental Justice Foundation and in close collaboration with the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA).

To mark World Oceans Day, the EU celebrates the success of the fishing community in Marshall, where the first collaborative management association was established within its Communities for Fisheries project, strengthening fishermen and fishmongers’ voices and increasing the participation and contribution of women in decision making structures.
EU Ambassador Nona Deprez emphasized “the importance of the Marshall community to stand strong, let their voices be heard at national and international level and to appreciate the contribution of women in shaping the future of the families and the community at large”.
Under the project, three successful women village savings and loans associations were also established, bringing more financial security to the families and, with them, to the entire community.
The EU Delegation to Liberia is determined to investigate further opportunities to “awaken new depths” in support of fishing communities in Liberia, in close collaboration with the Government of Liberia.

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