Acorn Ideas

Issue No. 40, December 2015

A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership in Ghana: Marine and Fisheries Management

On November 30th 2015, Ghana’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development launched a set of Action Plans to address the complex challenges of marine sector management.
In recent years, Ghana’s fishermen and coastal communities have raised concerns over the status of offshore fisheries and the potential impacts of oil and gas development. In 2014 the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency initiated and the Ministry of Fisheries endorsed an Independent Study of Marine Conditions as a key step forward. The study–which Acorn International was honored to help lead–included extensive participation from fishing groups, coastal community members, oil companies, government officials, NGOs, the press and other interested parties. Ultimately this effort produced a series of recommendations for marine sector management.

Implementing these recommendations in an inclusive yet effective manner is critical to long-term success. To meet this challenge, the Ministry of Fisheries, with support from offshore E&P operators, created a multi-stakeholder Fisheries Management Plan Steering Committee (the ‘MFAC’) tasked with moving from recommendations to a set of broadly supported, outcome-focused, and coordinated activities, the Action Plans.


Membership of the MFAC reflected the view that successful marine sector management would require representation from a broad array of interests. MFAC currently includes members from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fisheries Commission, the Maritime Authority, the Navy, the Ghana Tuna Association, the Hatof Foundation, Kosmos Energy Ghana, the University of Ghana, the Marine Police, the National Fisheries Association, the Petroleum Commission, the Regional Maritime University, and Tullow Ghana Limited.

The Action Plans are intended to inform an initial two-year design, launch and implementation period, which will be followed by review, adjustment, and follow-on activities. Action Plan focus areas include: governance, stakeholder awareness, environmental research; spatial planning; marine and coastal data generation and utilization, land-based sources of contaminants, and livelihood diversification.

Acorn International congratulates the many stakeholders involved in this important initiative–the Ghanaian government, civil society, oil and gas industry, community stakeholders and others–and join them in wishing the MFAC and the Action Plans much success. Their explicit recognition of the need for government leadership, industry support, and civil society collaboration in order to tackle a critical environmental and socio-economic challenge is admirable. Success in this collaborative model could represent an approach with global applicability.

At Acorn International, we continue to work with our partners in 70 countries around the world, on strengthening capacity to govern extractive industry activities and use of resources. As a non-technical and social risk management consulting group, we welcome the opportunity to work with companies, governments and communities on collaborative development. Find out more at Acorn International. We look forward to collaborating with you!

To view a copy of The Coastal and Marine Sector Action Plans, click here.

Acorn International LLC delivers social and environmental risk management consulting services to the extractive industries and investors worldwide. We work with local partners in over 80 countries worldwide. Use of these local specialists is paramount, particularly in developing countries, where information is often scarce, second-hand, and unreliable. We look forward to engaging in continuous improvement for the industry and building capacity with our partners.


Issue 39 -The Colombian Social Responsibility Framework: An Evolving Model
Issue 38 -Social Network
Issue 37 -A Community Look-back on Ebola
Issue 36 -Ghana and the Voluntary Principles: Implementing the Human Rights Protection Framework
Issue 35 -Inundation
Issue 34 -Colombia: Local Hiring Requirement for O&G Industry
Issue 33 -Mature and Frontier Mining Geographies: Where does Greater Risk (and Reward) Reside?
Issue 32 -Local Content in Mining: Increasing Expectations and Potential Solutions
Issue 31 -Fast Money Beware: Non-Technical Risk Due Diligence
Issue 30 -Social and Environmental Performance - Considerations for Difficult Commodity Price Environments
Issue 29 -A Window into the Opposing View - Stakeholder Concerns about Oil and Gas in Mexico
Issue 28 -Why Non-Technical Risks Matter to the Mexican Apertura
Issue 27 -Equator Principles:Drivers of Sustainability in the Oil and Gas Industry?
Issue 26 -The Transparency Tightrope: Examining UNEP’s New Access to Information Policy
Issue 25 -July 2014: Bouston
Issue 24 - July 2014: Land Tenure and Property Rights - Where Legal Compliance May Not Be Enough
Issue 23 - May 2014: 3 Things I Learned in Mexico - Non-technical Risks in the Oil Industry
Issue 22 - April 2014: Capacity Building on Stakeholder Engagement
Issue 21 - March 2014: Above-ground Facilities and Stakeholder Engagement: Deploying the 'CAC'
Issue 20 - March 2014: A Starting Point for Shared Equity
Issue 19 - March 2014: What It Takes to Run a Great Consulting Firm
Issue 18 - February 2014: Considering Human Rights - Trends and Lessons in Oil and Gas Impact Assessments
Issue 17 - June 2013: Managing Environmental Health in International Development Projects
Issue 16 - January 2013: Integrating Environmental and Social Performance throughout the Project Lifecycle
Issue 15 - January 2013: The State of Shale Play in 2013
Issue 14 - August 2012: Building Environmental and Social Governance in Host Countries
Issue 13 - May 2012: Human Rights and Business: A New Era
Issue 12 - February 2012: Extractive Industries Confront Pressure for Greater Transparency
Issue 11 - January 2012: Key Updates to the IFC Sustainability Policy and Performance Standards
Issue 10 - June 2011: Oil & Gas and NGOs: New Rules of Engagement?
Issue 9 - February 2010: Annual Study of Sustainable Development Priorities
Issue 8 - January 2009: Annual Study of Sustainable Development Priorities
Issue 7 - May 2008: Top Ten Lessons Learned About Health Impact Assessment
Issue 6 - January 2008: Annual Study of Sustainable Development Priorities
Issue 5 - September 2007: Results of web forum with our International Partners
Issue 4 - January 2007: Annual Study of Sustainable Development Priorities
Issue 3 - May 2006: Suggestions and tips for safe international travel
Issue 2 - January 2006: Annual Study of Sustainable Development Priorities
Issue 1 - November 2005: The Top 10 “unspoken" criteria for determining the success of EIAs


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