WorldFish Calls for Small-Scale Fisheries’ Inclusion in COP28 Loss and Damage Fund

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As the COP28 begins in Dubai, WorldFish, an international research and innovation organization reducing hunger, malnutrition and poverty across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, strongly advocates for the inclusion of small-scale fisherfolk in the Loss and Damage Fund, initiated at COP27 and due for operationalization at this year’s COP. 

"Over 58.5 million people are employed in small-scale fisheries, these fisheries are global lifelines,” says Dr. Essam Mohammed, Director General of WorldFish,

Small-scale fisheries, both marine and freshwater, face significant threats from climate change. Rising temperatures, ocean acidification, and extreme weather events disrupt ecosystems, affecting fish populations and habitats in rivers, lakes, and oceans. These changes can result in reduced catches, or loss of traditional fishing grounds, impacting the livelihoods, nutrition and food security of millions dependant on this sector.

WorldFish calls for the swift operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund, stressing the need for straightforward access and rapid disbursement of grants, especially for marginalised communities like small-scale fisherdfolk. 

Emphasizing lessons from the Green Climate Fund’s challenges, WorldFish suggests a more inclusive, responsive approach to funding, ensuring broad accessibility beyond governmental reach, involving grassroots organizations, and local communities.

 “Incorporating small-scale fisheries in the Loss and Damage Fund is essential for justice and equity. COP28 is our chance for transformative action to protect millions of lives, livelihoods and lay the groundwork for shared prosperity,” says Dr. Essam Mohammed,

WorldFish’s other key recommendations for COP28 include:

  1. Investment in Sustainable Aquatic Food Systems to maximize their potential as a climate solution. These systems play a key role in climate change mitigation, nourishing billions, and fostering economic growth, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
  1. Increase South-South collaborative efforts to accelerate adaptation of proven innovations and technologies that sustainably manage fisheries and can climate-proof production.
  1. Improve nutrition access and resilience by cultivating nutrient-rich fish to provide essential nutrients to low-income communities and to adapt small-scale fisheries to climate change, ensuring food security and sustaining livelihoods in vulnerable regions.

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Press contact: 

David Wardell


 About WorldFish

WorldFish is an international research organization that creates, advances and translates aquatic food systems science into scalable solutions. We envision an inclusive world of healthy, well-nourished people and a sustainable blue planet, now and in the future. Our mission is to end hunger and advance progress on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals through science and innovation to transform food, land and water systems with aquatic foods for healthier people and the planet. 

For over 45 years, WorldFish's data, evidence and insights have shaped practices, policies and investments to end hunger and advance sustainable development in low- and middle-income countries.  We have a global presence across 20 countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, with 460 staff of 30 nationalities deployed where the most significant sustainable development challenges can be addressed through holistic aquatic food systems solutions. Embedded in local, national and international partnerships, we work with countries to to help set agendas, develop capacities and create new knowledge to support decision-making for climate action, food and nutrition security, resilient fisheries and sustainable aquaculture, blue economy, One Health and AgriTech, integrating gender, youth and social inclusion. 

A core element of the 2030 WorldFish Research and Innovation Strategy: Aquatic Foods for Healthy People and Planet is focused on building the resilience of aquatic food systems to shocks, which is critical to COVID-19 response and recovery.

WorldFish is part of CGIAR, the world's largest agricultural research and innovation network. 

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CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to transforming food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis. Its research is carried out by 13 CGIAR Centers/Alliances in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector. 

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