The CEPF Project team together with Socio-economic, legal, GIS, and biodiversity assessment consultants including representatives from the Yawri Bay Ramsar Site Working Group (YaRSWoG), NPAA conservation Officer, and Ministry of Fisheries Officer are on a four-day community engagement sessions with key community stakeholders including headmen, women’s leaders, youth leaders, representatives from the Western Rural District Council and Moyamba District.
The engagement sessions gear towards:
- introducing consultants to communities and updating them on the activities of the aforementioned consultants
- source existing community bye-laws to further help in decision making of either to review or formulate bye-laws where necessary
- establish community eco-guards across four Chiefdoms,
- create synergy between eco-guards and both NPAA Conservation Officer and the Ministry of Fisheries Officer, and
- source community supports in support of the activities of the consultants hired.
The first meeting held in Tombo in the Western Rural District was very successful as there was a huge turnout from communities. Communities have expressed commitment to working with the consultants and to render support not only to the consultants but to the project team as well. Six eco-guards including men and women have been established with Phebian Henry from Kent unanimously appointed from among the eco-guards as the head in the Western Rural Area. Furthermore, NPAA Conservation Officer and Ministry of Officer alongside eco-guards have signed attestations expressing commitment to working together to ensure the protection and conservation of Yawri Bay. Notably, the Councilor Mr. Mohamed B. Kamara expressed thankfulness to the CEPF project team and further mentioned that CSSL has been the only institution to his own understanding have involved the councils in every facet of their work in the Yawri Bay.
Further engagement sessions to continue in Morchail, Shenge, and Samu in the next couple of days.