The Phase II of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME-2) Project was launched from the Regional Workshop held in Bangkok during 12-14 December 2023. The BOBLME-2 is a step towards implementation of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) developed during the Phase 1 (2009-15) of the project.
The BOBLME-2 will take a five-pronged approach to make measurable developments in critical areas such as establishing EAFM, curbing IUU fishing; development of marine managed areas; pollution control; livelihoods and development of a coordinating mechanism. BOBP-IGO will be implementing the project components in Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka in collaboration with the national agencies in the respective countries.
Speaking during the inception meeting, Dr. P Krishnan, Director, BOBP said that the Organisation envisions “A Bay teeming with rich flora and fauna where both artisanal and industrial fisheries flourish for eternity and are ensured through collective action”. He elaborated that the BOBP-IGO will be implementing the project activities concerning establishing EAFM, curbing of IUU fishing and management of fisheries-related pollution, in its member-countries directly. BOPBP-IGO will partner with IUCN for implementing the project components related to marine managed areas, and sustainable livelihoods.
Outlining their national priorities, the delegates from Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka said that they expect the project to contribute to the national fisheries and environmental initiatives such as management of major national fisheries, and critical ecosystems. They also expected the project to delve into critical areas; develop mechanisms for regional collaboration and look at the issues of undefined property right issues.
About 40 participants representing the project countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand; Donor agencies: GEF and NORAD; Implementing agency: FAO, and executing agencies: IUCN, SEAFDEC and BOBP-IGO participated.
The Workplan, budget and project activities for the first year of the project activities were approved by the regional project steering committee, comprising of senior officials from the Ministry/Department of fisheries and environment of the partner countries.