Inception Meeting with Stakeholders of YPSA-ULAB ARISE Project was held on 07 February, 2024 at Upazila Parishad Auditorium, Maheshali, Cox’s Bazar. The Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Maheskhali upazila Ms. Meekey Marma was present as the chief guest of the occasion and Marine Fisheries Officer Md. Alauddin, was present as special guest in the meeting.
Md. Aziz Shikder, Focal Person of Maheskhali upazila of YPSA facilitated the inception meeting while Dr. Prabal Barua, Program Manager of YPSA has given the introductory speech on behalf of YPSA about the different program of the wellbeing of the communities of Maheskhali upazila. He said, YPSA has been working for ensuring the rights of coastal fisher folk communities including enhancing their skills for alternative livelihood in Matarbari and Kutubjom union of Maheskhali who were affected by the large scale commercial development program. The new program will help to fishermen to raise their voice for sustainable coastal resource management and utilization for strengthen their life and livelihood.
Dr. Samiya Selim, Director of Center for Sustainable Development, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) said, ULAB will coordinate the Ocean Defenders Grant Program, named “Addressing Resource Use Through the Lens of Innovation, Sustainability, and Equity (ARISE),” funded by the Environmental Defenders Collaborative (EDC). YPSA will be the implementing grassroots partner on the ground who will co-deliver the outputs of this project. The project responds to challenges faced by the Maheskhali region’s coastal communities, dealing with environmental and social issues due to extensive blue growth and development, including the construction of a deep-sea port and a coal-based power plant. The project plans a multifaceted approach, encompassing stakeholder workshops, community engagement events, skill development training, and the creation of a Maritime Information Support System (MISS). It aims to empower local communities affected by displacement and environmental degradation, fostering their voice in decision-making processes. Primarily the project will be implemented for the 1 year as February 2024 to January 2025.
The participants from Government Sector, fishermen association, fishing entrepreneurs, Local Government Bodies, community people discussed about the importance of the project in the community level and the importance to involve the stakeholders and their role to ensuring the fishermen rights and their skill development for alternative livelihood improvement at the open discussion session.
At the special guest, Md. Alauddin, Marine Fisheries Officer of Maheskhali upazila said that there is urgently required for initiative of the coastal resource assessment and utilization based