FoE Togo Project Activities
In the framework of the Frontline Resistance to Oil and Gas and Coordinated Campaigning for Climate Justice and Just Energy Transformation for Africa project, on 28 May 2021, Friends of the Earth Togo led a workshop that brought together civil society organisations (CSOs) and government actors, specifically from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Maritime Economy, the Prefecture of the Gulf and the City Council of Gulf 4.
The Frontline Resistance to Oil and Gas and Coordinated Campaigning for Climate Justice and Just Energy Transformation for Africa project aims to prevent new oil and gas infrastructure projects and accelerate a movement for climate justice and a just energy transition across Africa.
The aim of the workshop was for CSOs and members of coastal communities to learn more about the Abidjan Convention and the blue economy, specifically linked to the Togolese context.
Specifically, the workshop sought to :
- Empower participants on the concept of blue economy and the content of the Abidjan Convention;
- Highlight the link between the maritime economy and the Abidjan Convention;
- Show the link between the Abidjan Convention and climate change.
The blue economy is a concept related to the economic activities carried out in oceans, sea, rivers and coasts. During the workshop we reflected on the implementation of this concept in Togo and specifically looked at the activities of the Togolese government in the development of the blue economy. In addition to the extraction of oil from the sea, there are other activities such as fishing, which are concerned. We would need to understand the limit of Togo in these activities.
The Abidjan Convention protects marine ecosystems. We therefore also looked at how Togo implements the Convention. The participants not only reflected on the link between the blue economy and the Abidjan Convention but also on the consequences of the blue economy on fishing activities and fishing communities, and its climate impacts.
The idea is that, from the discussions, we develop strategies to accompany the communities, defend their rights and protect them against the harmful aspects of the blue economy based on the Abidjan Convention.In fact, the Convention should be used to contribute to the fight against climate change since it participates in the protection of the sea and oceans.
Kwami Kpondzo, Campaigns officer at Friends of the Earth Togo and Project Coordinator says : ‘’While in Togo, there is a probability of oil exploitation since oil has been discovered there, the idea is to ensure the application of the Abidjan Convention to stop the Togolese Government from extracting oil, based on the concept of the blue economy. The aim is not to produce more greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for climate change’’.
Two communications were made during the workshop :
- Communication 1: The blue economy and its links with the Abidjan Convention
- Communication 2: Link between the Abidjan Convention and climate change
After questions from the participants followed by explanations, two working groups were formed to address the following topics:
What actions can CSOs take to appropriate and disseminate the texts related to the blue economy in the context of climate change?
After some reflection, each group presented the results of its work, along with recommendations to the actors concerned by the workshop’s themes.
To the State:
1. Clearing of sand to the coast and installing dikes
2. Relocate the inhabitants of Baguida ask to the land in order to carry out IGA
3. Give to women fish processors more space and loans (to buy equipment) for their activities
1. FoE Togo to accompany them in their advocacy towards the State
2. Institute the biological rest period in Togo at the level of the fishermen inhabitants
3. Accompany the fishermen in alternative activities in relation to fishing
3. Continue the implementation of the WACA project along the coast
4. Adopt good practices in recommendations, capitalize on what is done elsewhere in order to finalize them
5. Increase the number of loans granted while sensitizing the population on good management
Interview of Kwami KPONDZO, Project Coordinator
Prior to this workshop, Friends of the Earth Togo, as part of the implementation of the project Frontline Resistance to Oil and Gas and Coordinated Campaigning for Climate Justice and Just Energy Transformation for Africa, from May 18 to 20, 2021, participated in the Francophone workshop for climate justice, held in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire.
A workshop that had as objectives :
- To share information, analysis and build collective knowledge on the crises and climate justice struggles in Africa
- To build unity and deepen solidarity amongst the progressive flank of the climate justice movement in Francophone Africa
- To develop common strategy and work to advance the progressive struggle on climate justice in Francophone Africa
Friends of the Earth Togo has also launched a study to ” document the potential people’s rights to be violated if oil is exploited and people’s rights violated by the effect of climate change’’. A first report on this study is expected in July.