Project objectives are also highly consistent with national CBD objectives underpinning establishment of the Sherbro MPA. No contact has been made with the local CBD focal point as yet; this is being prioritised by local PI Dr. Sankoh and will be an agenda item on future joint missions. The project aims and progress to date and summarised above are consistent with the 3 main Conventions on Biological Diversity goals as follows:
The project is highly gender focussed with female oysters gatherers (and their households) being the primary target beneficiaries. Preliminary research has increased understanding of female access rights, both formal and informal to oyster resources and markets for steamed and smoked product forms. As oysters in the Sherbro MPA essentially remain an open-access resource, female access is highly dependent on mobility characteristics linked to canoe ownership and sharing arrangements with males, geographic safety factors and competition for oyster beds in more populous areas. Although females are responsible for most gathering and almost all processing and marketing (with little evidence of supply-chain specialisation) early findings suggest male participation and competition may increase as fishing yields decline.
This project aims to achieve direct impacts on livelihoods through value-added production and supply chain interventions (described above). Female oyster gatherers in and around Bonthe Town and their households are the direct target beneficiaries. Interventions will also be designed to limit extraction pressure on mangrove populations bringing indirect benefits to a wider range of resource dependents.