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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 208]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 208]
Send date: 2010-01-25 11:54:38
Issue #: 24
Content:
Bulletin CTA
 
1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. 27th January 2010 – Briefing on Population and Development
  2. CTA Weblog/Newsletter survey
  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week 25-29 January 2010
  4. Our video guest: Laura Sullivan, ActionAid International
  5. Existing studies on biofuel sustainability are 'inconsistent'
  6. EU trade chief-designate rejects carbon border tariffs
  7. Cooperation with EU parliament top priority for Ashton
  8. Spain, best organic grower is COATO in Murcia
  9. €18 million EU support for the promotion of dairy products
  10. What next for biodiversity protection in the EU?
  11. Revised framework for relations with ACP countries
  12. UK government's Advisor backs GMOs. The organic sector uprises
  13. Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa Report 2009
  14. World needs to act now to prevent new Sudan war
  15. EPAs: Empirical evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa
  16. Central Africa: a testing ground for German development minister
  17. Ashton chaired EU meeting on Haïti
  18. EU's de Gucht unsure over Doha conclusion this year
  19. Spain: Heavy rains kill partially the vegetables harvest and the olive grove
  20. Kenyan exports suffer in cold weather
  21. UK: 'Worlds first' virtual farmer's market launches
  22. MEP Louis Michel on emergency aid for Haiti
  23. ALDE pushes again for European coordination for tragedies
  24. Surinami banana producers unhappy
  25. Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life.


  1. 27th January 2010 – Briefing on Population and Development
    2010-01-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Archive

    The 16th Brussels Development Briefing will be on "Population growth and its implications for ACP rural development" and will take place on Wednesday 27th January 2010 from 8h30 to 13h00 at European Commission, Building Borschette, - Rue Froissart, 36, Room 1D. CTA in partnership with the European Commission-DG Development and EuropeAid, the EU Presidency, the ACP Secretariat, Euforic, IPS Europe and Concord organizes bimonthly Development Briefings in Brussels to raise awareness on key rural development issues with the development community based in Brussels. The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held on 27th January 2010 and will discuss the current state and future projections on population growth at global and regional levels and the main issues/challenges involved from a development perspective. We will also discuss future Policy responses to address the identified challenges. You can view the programme at http://brusselsbriefings.net. For registration please contact: boto@cta.int or pruna@cta.int
    Link Read more on the Briefing
    Link Registration form
    Link Past Briefings


  2. CTA Weblog/Newsletter survey
    2010-01-25

    If you haven’t yet filled the questionnaire giving feedback on this news service, the Brussels Weblog team would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes to reply to the questionnaire below on the quality of the Brussels ACP-EU News Service (http://brussels.cta.int).
    Your feedback is critical to us if we want to ensure that this service is still responding to your needs and expectations both in terms of content and format.

    Click here, it will not take more than 3 minutes:
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ACP-EU_Brussels_News
    Many thanks in advance for your responses.
    The Weblog Team


    Link Go to the Questionnaire
    Link CTA main website
    Link French Weblog


  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week 25-29 January 2010
    2010-01-25

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 25th January: Subcommittee on Human Rights Hearing and Committee on Development: Humanitarian situation in Haiti.
    - 25-28th January: Spanish ministers address European Parliament committees
    - 26th-28th January: 19th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

    EU Presidency (Brussels and Madrid):
    - 25th January: Council of General Affairs
    - 25-26th January: Council of Foreign Affairs Council
    - 25-27th January: High-level European conference on biodiversity after 2010 (Madrid)
    - 27th January: Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I and COREPER II)
    - 27th January : Meeting of African Director Generals (Madrid)

    ACP Secretariat (Brussels) :
    - 25th January: Bureau of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA)
    - 26th-28th January: 19th session of the  JPA (at the European Parliament)
    - 29th January: 1st meeting of the Steering Committee of the Intra-ACP Migration Facility; EDULINK Evaluation Programme; ACP Fish II Steering Committee

    Briefing CTA (Brussels):
    - 27th January (8h30-13h00): 16th Brussels Development Briefing on Population growth and its implications for ACP rural development -European Commission, Building Borschette, - Rue Froissart, 36, Room 1D (boto@cta.int)

    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/


    Link Joint Parliamentary Assembly
    Link EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  4. Our video guest: Laura Sullivan, ActionAid International
    2010-01-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive, Aid effectiveness

    Laura Sullivan  is our guest this week. She is responsible for the European policy and Campaigns in Brussels for ActionAid International. On the occasion of her participation to the Brussels Development Briefing on food crisis in ACP countries, Ms Sullivan explained her views on the subject, on the role of women and the small-scale farmers and the need to invest in their empowerment. She also touches upon trade policies and liberalisation approaches not always compatible with development.
    Link Watch the video
    Link Briefing on Food Security
    Link More on ActionAid International


  5. Existing studies on biofuel sustainability are 'inconsistent'
    2010-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security

    According to a recent French research, existing studies on the impact of biofuels on greenhouse gas emissions are not sufficiently consistent to serve as a basis for policy making, as percentages of a biofuel's negative or positive impact vary a lot depending on factors such as the crop and zone of production. The research, compiled by French environmental consultancy BeCitizen external, analysed existing methodologies to calculate the impact of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) on greenhouse gas emissions, and highlights major discrepancies when they are applied to different biofuel production processes. As a result, more in-depth studies are necessary to develop a robust methodology for calculating indirect land-use change caused by EU biofuel production, concluded the review, and it would therefore be "risky" to use current methods as a basis for policy making.

    Source: Green Planet


    Link Read more
    Link More on the study
    Link Renewable energy within the EU


  6. EU trade chief-designate rejects carbon border tariffs
    2010-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    The European Union should not impose border tariffs on goods from countries that fail to cut back their climate-damaging emissions, the EU's trade commissioner-designate said on the 12th January. "I don't think that's the right approach myself", Karel de Gucht told members of the European Parliament, which will vote whether to approve the European Commission line-up on 26 January. "It's an approach that will run into many practical problems." Europe has pledged to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide, which are blamed for climate change, to a fifth below 1990 levels over the next decade. But manufacturers worry that the cost of cleaning up factories and power-generators will make their products more expensive and less attractive than cheap imports from rivals in India and China. Some politicians, particularly in France, have said that imposing carbon tariffs on goods from carbon-intensive manufacturing regions would level out the playing field.

    Source:


    Link Read more
    Link Hearing of karel de Gucht
    Link DG Trade


  7. Cooperation with EU parliament top priority for Ashton
    2010-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The EU's incoming foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said she intends to work closely with MEPs to make Europe "a stronger, more credible" international force. During a three-hour parliamentary grilling on her suitability for the powerful post of EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Ashton highlighted the importance of cooperation between the EU institutions. The commission vice-president was appearing before MEPs in parliament in Brussels as the hearings of commissioners-designate kicked off on 11th January. It is the second time in little over a month Ashton has gone before MEPs as she sets out to prove she is cut out for her "double-hatted" foreign policy role. Setting out her stall in her opening speech, the baroness told deputies that the EU now has a "once in a generation opportunity" to create a coherent approach to EU foreign and security policy. But the former trade commissioner was keen to stress that the overlap of experience with the cluster of commissioners with whom she will be working closely - Štefan Füle (enlargement and European neighbourhood policy), Rumiana Jeleva (international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response), and Andris Piebalgs (development) - is an "asset" that will "enrich" her role.

    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link More on Catherine Ashton
    Link Hearing of Catherine Ashton


  8. Spain, best organic grower is COATO in Murcia
    2010-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Rural development, Environment

    Granted with the Agricultural ministry MARM's 22nd award "Food from Spain 2009", the Murcian co-operative COATO is the best Spanish organic company in 2009, with the largest organic cultivated surface in Europe. The ministry MARM underlined the company's rising route in the sector of organic farming, as well as its contribution to the consolidation of this industry, being the European company with the largest area dedicated to this type of production. Moreover, the Ministry also praised the marketing effort, the introduction of techniques promoting environmental concern, product diversification, the application of demanding quality protocols and the steady increase year after year in the area devoted to such crops. COATO is an agricultural co-operative based in Totana and established in 1979 by 65 producers of paprika of the area.

    Source: Green Planet


    Link Read more
    Link Organic Farming at EU level
    Link DG Agriculture


  9. €18 million EU support for the promotion of dairy products
    2010-01-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Security

    The European Commission has approved 13 programmes in 11 Member States to promote milk and milk products in the European Union. The total budget of the programmes, running for a period of three years, is €35.8 million of which the EU contributes €17.9 million. This was one of a set of measures proposed by the Commission in July 2009 to address the difficult market situation faced by the dairy sector. The Commission committed itself to adopt an additional round of dairy product promotion programmes on the internal market."I'm pleased to see that the dairy market situation has improved since last summer, which is to a large extent thanks to the measures we introduced", said Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. "I hope that these extra promotional schemes will underpin this improvement. But I also think it's important to do all we can to promote dairy products in general, because they form an important part of a balanced, healthy diet".

    Source: Europa


    Link Read more
    Link Measures proposed by the Commission
    Link Dairiy market situation 2009


  10. What next for biodiversity protection in the EU?
    2010-01-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Today the European Commission marked the opening of the International Year of Biodiversity with a paper setting out future options for biodiversity policy. Despite past efforts, species extinctions are continuing at alarming rates, and a new vision is required to halt these losses. The Communication sets out a vision and outlines four possible targets to reach it, with different levels of ambition. The aim is to launch and facilitate a debate between Member States with a view to developing a post-2010 biodiversity policy framework for the EU before the end of the year.

    New targets are needed, as the current EU and global biodiversity targets expire after 2010.Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "We will step up our efforts and put in place a new policy and strategy for the post-2010 period. We need a new vision and target for biodiversity considering the on-going loss of species and signalling the importance we attach to this issue. We cannot afford to turn our backs on the fight against biodiversity loss, and a high level of ambition to underpin our policy in the coming period is essential.

    Source: Europa


    Link Read more
    Link Communication from the Commission
    Link Protection of Biodiversity


  11. Revised framework for relations with ACP countries
    2010-01-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Regional Fisheries, Environment

    The second revision of the Cotonou Agreement governing relations between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries should be finalised in March 2010. Progress in the negotiations is assessed in a report by Development Committee Chair Eva Joly (Greens/EFA, FR).The report also proposes improvements to tackle climate change, tax havens, migration, agriculture and "land-grabbing" (government-backed foreign investors buying up arable land in developing countries), mostly on the African continent.EU policy towards developing countries must be coherent and consistent.  Policy in areas such as trade, fisheries and agriculture must be designed to have sustainable development in the ACP countries in order to fight poverty, and guarantee decent income and livelihood, which is not the case now", said rapporteur Eva Joly in the debate preceding the vote.

    Clearer focus on agriculture in ACP countries:
    Agriculture remains a neglected sector in ACP-EU co-operation, despite the fact that 60% of ACP countries’ population lives in rural areas. ACP countries are therefore urged to focus more clearly on agricultural development so as to ensure food security.  "ACP farmers need support and decent wages to produce for local markets and that they need infrastructures which can sustain trade and the movement of goods", said the rapporteur during the same debate. On the issue of "land grabbing", MEPs urge Cotonou revision negotiators to avoid the adverse impacts of farm land acquisition, such as expropriation of small farmers.  "If this acquisition continues, not only would extreme poverty be further exacerbated but violent conflict and food riots could also take place. It is extremely urgent to tackle this issue by adopting guiding principles, which recognise, as an inalienable human right, the right of the people to control vital natural resources including land and water and other vital natural resources", stated the EP rapporteur Eva Joly.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou agreement
    Link Committee on Development


  12. UK government's Advisor backs GMOs. The organic sector uprises
    2010-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Security, Environment

    UK government's Chief Scientific Adviser John Beddington recently stated that Britain needs to enhance the production of GM crops in order to fight climate change and global hunger, thus raising concerned reactions by the British anti-GM lobby. Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, Professor John Beddington said 'a new and greener revolution' was required to feed an extra 3 billion people by 2040, while also coping with climate change and dwindling energy and water resources. "Techniques and technologies from many disciplines, ranging from biotechnology and engineering to newer fields such as nanotechnology, will be needed", he said. He said that over the last 50 years, 75% of the increase in global output was due to yield increases but it is no longer possible to rely on this with current technologies as yield growth rates are now slowing, the Farmers Guardian reported. His comments were condemned by the Soil Association. "GM is not going to feed a growing world population sustainably, now or in the future," Emma Hockridge, the association’s policy manager said. "We need far-reaching changes to our food and farming systems, rather than GM technology, which, despite millions in public and private research expenditure, has consistently failed to deliver food security."

    Source: Greenplanet


    Link Read more
    Link Soil Association
    Link EU and GMO


  13. Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa Report 2009
    2010-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa Report 2009 is both an exercise in 'mutual accountability'- assessing what has been done to deliver on commitments to Africa's development, and a review of 'development effectiveness'- assessing what results have been achieved. It is also intended to be of practical use to political leaders in looking forward to the key policy challenges ahead. The review has been undertaken jointly by task teams from UNECA and OECD, in close consultation with the NEPAD Secretariat, and with inputs from African and international institutions and civil society.  It is intended to answer four basic questions: What are the main commitments which have been made by Africa and its development partners?; Have these been delivered?; What have the results been?; What are now the key future policy priorities? 

    Source: OECD


    Link Read more
    Link NEPAD
    Link OECD and Africa


  14. World needs to act now to prevent new Sudan war
    2010-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Major conflict could return to southern Sudan unless there is urgent international action to save the peace agreement that ended one of Africa’s longest and deadliest wars, ten aid agencies warned today. In a new report “Rescuing the Peace in Southern Sudan”  – released ahead of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – the agencies said a lethal cocktail of rising violence, chronic poverty and political tensions has left the peace deal on the brink of collapse. In 2009 some 2,500 people were killed and 350,000 fled their homes, a human toll greater than occurred last year in Darfur. The rest of the world has largely overlooked this suffering according to the agencies. Communities say that women and children have increasingly been targeted in attacks on villages and the Government of Southern Sudan and international peacekeepers have not been able to protect them.

    Source: Oxfam


    Link Read more
    Link Rescuing the Peace in Southern Sudan
    Link The EU and Sudan


  15. EPAs: Empirical evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa
    2010-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    Since early 2008 interim trade agreements between the EU and six regions of ACP countries (respectively sub-groups within the region) are in force. These agreements could be stepping stones towards full Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and all ACP countries. This paper written as a background paper for the World Development Report 2009, estimates the welfare effects of the interim agreements for nine African countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, and Uganda. The analysis is based on highly disaggregated data for trade and tariffs (HS six digit level) and follows a simple analytical model by Milner et al. (2006) to quantify the welfare effects of trade liberalization. Results indicate that Botswana, Cameroon, Mozambique, and Namibia will signicantly profit from the interim agreements, while the trade effects for Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda are close to zero.

    Source: ACP-EU-Trade


    Link Read more
    Link DG Trade
    Link ACP Secretariat


  16. Central Africa: a testing ground for German development minister
    2010-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    New German Development Minister Dirk Niebel has begun a one-week trip to Central Africa. Deutsche Welle asked experts just how effective aid has been in the region up to now, and whether changes are necessary. Dirk Niebel's visit to Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique is his first official foreign trip since taking office. It is being seen by many as a litmus test of the intentions of the Liberal Democrat, who has vowed to bring about a fundamental shift of German policy. Just a few days before his departure the development minister sparked controversy with his remarks that he did not see the ministry as a "benefit office for the world." This and other comments clearly indicated that he also saw his remit as representing German business interests abroad. The fact that the Liberals have been put in charge of this portfolio had already raised many eyebrows. During coalition talks, the party had called for the complete abolition of the post and its integration into the foreign ministry.

    Source: Deutsche Welle


    Link Read more
    Link German Ministry of Development
    Link The controversial interview


  17. Ashton chaired EU meeting on Haïti
    2010-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Lady Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief,chaired an emergency meeting of EU ministers on Monday on humanitarian aid for Haiti, devastated by an earthquake that has killed tens of thousands of people.It was Lady Ashton’s first session in charge since EU governments selected her for the post of foreign policy high representative in November in succession to Javier Solana of Spain. Her appointment, which remains subject to approval from the European parliament, forms part of a reorganisation of the EU’s foreign policy machinery.Under the EU’s Lisbon treaty, which came into force in December and is designed to strengthen the EU’s voice in the world, the remit of the foreign affairs councils to be chaired by Lady Ashton has been broadened to cover not only traditional diplomatic and security issues but trade and development. Monday’s council session on Haiti brought therefore together development ministers from the 27-nation bloc rather than foreign ministers.The European Commission has already approved €3m in funds for the international rescue effort in Haiti, and countries such as France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK have sent help in the form of search and rescue teams, field hospitals, water purification systems, tents and medicines. Lady Ashton told reporters that she had been in contact with Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, and Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, over how to address the crisis. But she said she had no immediate plans to travel to Haiti.Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, called for an international donors’ conference to speed up Haiti’s recovery from Tuesday’s earthquake.

    Source: Financial Times


    Link Read more
    Link Solidarity with Haïti
    Link Council conclusions


  18. EU's de Gucht unsure over Doha conclusion this year
    2010-01-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Union's trade commissioner-designate said on Tuesday he was unsure whether world leaders would achieve their pledge to complete the Doha round of global trade talks this year. The G20 group of rich and emerging economies pledged last year to conclude the Doha talks, aimed at liberalising global trade, in 2010 in a bid to kickstart dwindling trade flows hit by the worst financial crisis in nearly 80 years. "I'm personally confident that we are going to conclude the Doha round - whether it will be in 2010 or 2011... I am quite confident about it", Karel de Gucht told a European Parliament hearing. "We are agreeing on 90% of the topics we have to address in Doha... there is no alternative to Doha", he told the assembly, which votes on Jan. 26 on whether to approve a new European Commission line-up for a five-year term. The talks have stumbled since their inception in 2001 but G20 leaders, buoyed by a new U.S. administration under Barack Obama and facing pressure from a global economic downturn, reignited hopes of reaching a deal last year. Estimates of the value of a Doha deal, which would be phased over several years, vary. Major trading powers, however, see the conclusion of the talks as a major step towards reinvigorating global trade and injecting some energy into the world economy.

    Source: The Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link Doha Development Agenda
    Link EU & WTO


  19. Spain: Heavy rains kill partially the vegetables harvest and the olive grove
    2010-01-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Security

    The rain and snow falling in the province of Granada in last few days has destroyed 20% of the vegetable harvest and 15% of the olive groves, according to COAG Granada. The secretary of the agricultural sector in the province, Miguel Monferrer Montoro, praised the recent rains because the reservoirs have recovered and explains that they are beneficial to the cereal and livestock, but "have been a blow for the producers of fruits, vegetables and olive trees who are losing their crops", he said.  He continues to explain that in this regard the Granada coast has lost over 2.5 million kilograms of tomato and cucumber due to splitting of the fruits and botrytis – 20% of the harvest - while olive producers have not been able to collect the entire crop due to heavy rains. These provisional figures, as the rains continue are adding to the extensive damage to the agricultural infrastructure, such as greenhouses, breakwaters, or ditches, and on rural roads in the province. Therefore, COAG is requesting that the government declare the area a catastrophic zone and to give extraordinary support to the fixing of the agricultural infrastructures and coverage for damages covered by insurers, among other measures.

    Source: Fresh Plaza


    Link Read more
    Link State Aid in the Agricultural Sector
    Link Agriculture and the Environment


  20. Kenyan exports suffer in cold weather
    2010-01-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    The Kenyan fresh produce industry is suffering from the bad weather conditions in Europe, which are causing delays in transportation for perishable goods. Flights in mainland Europe have been delayed and even cancelled, hitting the Kenyan fresh produce industry hard as they rely on aviation for most of their exports. Inland there have also been problems, with trains and lorries being delayed, causing produce to be wasted in transit or unable to be sent. Flowers, fruits and vegetable sales have also been hit by the reluctance of European consumers to leave their houses to shop. The winter season is usually the best for Kenyan exporters, with supplies being relatively protected from competition, and so there are fears for the future as long term contracts may be lost to other bidders during the cold snap.

    Source: International Supermarket News


    Link Read more
    Link Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya
    Link Coleacp


  21. UK: 'Worlds first' virtual farmer's market launches
    2010-01-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development

    The world's first interactive 3D farmers market has launched to capitalise on the growth of the online grocery sector. Virtual Farmers Market combines a 3D world with a traditional online retail website in an attempt to improve user experience. The site has been created by digital agency, Digital Presence. VFM gives consumers a virtual take on the traditional Farmer's market allowing them to interact with specialist food & drink producers in a 3D environment without stepping foot outside their front doors. In 2009 the online grocery market was worth £4.4bn and is expected to be worth £6.9bn by 2014, according to Mintel. Retail analysts, IGD, however, predict the 2014 figure will be larger.

    Marcus Carter, founder of VFM and managing director Carter Food House said: "The VFM gives consumers the opportunity to buy direct from the producer. Seeing the face behind the food is more important today than it has ever been. To be able to connect remotely by using the internet, with the people who make what we eat, enables consumers to get a sense of trust before buying.

    Source: Fresh Plaza


    Link Read more
    Link Virtual Farmers Market UK
    Link DG Agriculture and Rural Development


  22. MEP Louis Michel on emergency aid for Haiti
    2010-01-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Environment

    As the scale of the disaster in Haiti unfolds, it is clear the country will need massive help from the international community. Meeting on Monday (18 January) EU Ministers welcomed €30 million in humanitarian assistance from the European Commission and €92 million by member states. The estimated long term response is €200 million. Below is an interview with Belgian MEP Louis Michel, who oversaw the EU’s response to the Asian Tsunami and now co-chairs the Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Council conclusions on Haiti
    Link MEP Louis Michel


  23. ALDE pushes again for European coordination for tragedies
    2010-01-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive

    The earthquake which has struck Haiti is a test for the capacity of Europe to act outside its borders. Nonetheless this catastrophe has seen a humanitarian response based on a national level. Each Member State is sending its own personnel, its own sniffer dogs, planes etc. This tragedy confronts us once again with the lack of European coordination in the face of humanitarian crises.

    ALDE feels it is time to re-launch EUR-FAST, which allows the European Union to consolidate civilian and military resources to dispatch within 24 hours. This would be possible through the creation of a permanent coordination centre which could be activated within two hours following a humanitarian catastrophe with access to permanent stocks of humanitarian aid equipment and the capabilities to coordinate the transport equipment made available by Member States.

    Source: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe


    Link Read more
    Link EU Humanitarian Aid department
    Link Delegation of the EU to Haiti


  24. Surinami banana producers unhappy
    2010-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade

    The organisation for the conservation of the banana sector in Suriname (SBBS), feels like it has been done for the second year in a row. Importer Univeg is buying bananas at unreasonably low prices, reports De Ware Tijd. This goes against all agreements. The last barrier to a better market price has just been removed. SBBS's two plantations now adhere to the highest food safety standards in Europe. Thus it was expected that Univeg would pay more. Since this will now not happen the plan has been changed. The partnership with Univeg will continue, but to maintain a balance a new market partner will join. SBBS will now at last make a profit after ten years of running at a loss. It must simplify the transformation from being state run to being privately run. Thirty million euros have been invested in privatisation in the last five years by the Government and the EU. According to chairman André Brahim at least the same amount of money is still needed. "If you look at the economic advantages, the business is worth saving."

    Source: Fresh Plaza


    Link Read more
    Link Delegation of the EU to Suriname
    Link DG Trade


  25. Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life.
    2010-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    To celebrate the launch of the International Year of Biodiversity on 11 January, the European Environment Agency (EEA) is commencing a series of concise, thematic assessments of biodiversity. The first of these '10 messages for 2010' presents the interaction between climate change and biodiversity. Biodiversity embraces the variety of genes, species and ecosystems that constitute life on Earth. Despite a global pledge to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss significantly by 2010 and a European commitment to halt it altogether, the steady decline continues. The consequences for the natural world and for human wellbeing are profound. In coming months, therefore, the EU and the rest of the international community will be striving to identify a post-2010 policy framework to be agreed in Nagoya, Japan, in October. The EEA's '10 messages for 2010' will highlight one theme per month until the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October. The first message on climate change and biodiversity will be followed by others on themes such as protected areas and the marine environment.

    Source: European Environment Agency


    Link Read more
    Link EEA's 10 messages for 2010
    Link Protection of nature and biodiversity



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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Fax 02 511 38 68
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The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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