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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 230]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 230]
Send date: 2010-07-02 17:25:17
Issue #: 46
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. Our video guest: Mr. Romain Philippe
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 5th to 9nd of July 2010
  3. Belgium's EU Presidency
  4. Council conclusions: Bluefin tuna documentation programme
  5. Council Conclusions: Simplification of agriculture legislation
  6. Council conclusions: Six genetically modified maize varieties approved
  7. Council conclusions: Reform of the CFP
  8. Council conclusions: Fishing opportunities for 2011
  9. ACP Council held in Ouagadougou discussed EPAs and Sugar
  10. Cashman: We must keep our commitments to developing countries
  11. S&D push for more sustainable fisheries policy
  12. Financing from the EIB to the Republic of South Africa
  13. Fisheries, Aquaculture, Food safety, and Marine Biotechnology projects
  14. EU launches forestry sustainable development tool
  15. ECLAC and AFD Sign Cooperation Agreement
  16. EU creates tsunami early warning system
  17. EU sets November deadline for new trade pact with EAC
  18. EU considering income insurance for farmers
  19. EIB invests USD 20 m to support small technology companies in Africa
  20. MDGs: The poorest African countries are making the most overall progress
  21. EU deal signals ban on illegal timber
  22. EU agrees stricter rules on industrial emissions
  23. Turning the MDGs into Millennium Development Achievements
  24. East Africa hosts most refugees outside the Middle East
  25. Failure to reach agreement on Migration in Revised Cotonou Agreement
  26. Sweet genes arm banana crops
  27. 2010 European aid report
  28. Greater Horn of Africa: Commission allocates € 20 million
  29. First results of the EU 1 bn Food Facility


  1. Our video guest: Mr. Romain Philippe
    2010-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    Our video guest this week is Mr. Romain Philippe . He is Officer in charge of Policy Coherence for Development at the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs (CONCORD Europe). CONCORD is composed of 25 national associations and 18 international networks representing over 1,600 NGOs. In this interview, Mr. Philippe explains the structure and work of CONCORD Europe with a special emphasis on agriculture and rural development.
    CONCORD intervenes in the decision making process of the EU institutions by bringing inputs from its partners based  in developing countries  and by providing expertise on thematic issues such as food security. CONCORD also publishes monitoring reports, in particular Mr. Philippe talks about the Monitoring Report on the Communication of the European Commission ‘Advancing African Agriculture’
    This interview is an illustration on how the civil society of both the EU and ACP countries can contribute to the amelioration of EU development policies.

    Link Watch the video
    Link Rapport Spotlight on Policy Coherence
    Link Rapport AidWatch 'Penalty Against Poverty":


  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 5th to 9nd of July 2010
    2010-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament (Strasbourg):
    - 5th-8th July: Plenary Session at the European Parliament
    EU Presidency (Brussels):
    - 7th to 9th Juillet: Informal meeting of the Ministers of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    - 8 July: Informal meeting of Ministers and Secretaries of State for European Affairs
    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    -6 July: Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/
     de l’Union européenne

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


    Link European Parliament
    Link Belgian EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  3. Belgium's EU Presidency
    2010-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    Belgium took over the 6-month rotating Council Presidency on 1 July but it still hasn't formed a new government after the elections in June where the Dutch-speaking N-VA and French-speaking Socialists (PS) emerged as the largest parties. We spoke to four MEPs from different parties and regions to ask what Belgium could bring to the EU during the 6 months of its EU Presidency.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Belgian EU Presidency


  4. Council conclusions: Bluefin tuna documentation programme
    2010-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The 3025th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 29 June 2010 adopted a regulation establishing a catch documentation programme for bluefin tuna, following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament under the ordinary legislative procedure. The regulation, which amends regulation 1984/2003, implements conservation and management measures adopted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), by incorporating the provisions of the ICCAT bluefin tuna catch documentation programme with a view to identifying the origin of all bluefin tuna. As part of the measures to regulate stocks of bluefin tuna, to improve the quality and reliability of statistical data and in order to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal fishing, ICCAT adopted at its annual meeting in Recife (Brazil), on 15 November 2009, amendments to the bluefin tuna catch documentation programme. These amendments entered into force on 1 June 2010 and need to be implemented by the EU.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link ICCAT
    Link Bluefin tuna management plan


  5. Council Conclusions: Simplification of agriculture legislation
    2010-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Regional Fisheries

    The 3025th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 29 June 2010 held an exchange of views on the simplification of agriculture legislation following a presentation by the Commissioners in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health and Consumer Policy, Dacian Ciolos and John Dalli, of the state of the play of the ongoing process in their respective area of responsibility. 18 delegations pointed out in a common note the importance of simplification of legislation which in their view should be identified as a key issue in preparation of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy scheduled for 2013. They considered simplification as an important way to diminish the administrative burden on European farmers, streamlining rules and regulations and improving the quality of the legislation adopted. The Commission is expected to present to the Council in October another set of simplification measures.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
    Link DG Agriculture


  6. Council conclusions: Six genetically modified maize varieties approved
    2010-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Security

    The 3025th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 29 June 2010 examined proposals for decisions authorizing the use of six genetically modified maize varieties in food and feed, excluding cultivation, have been presented to the Council for adoption. No agreement in favour or against the authorisations was reached. Following the submission of initial applications for authorising these genetically modified varieties the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was initially consulted, as provided for by regulation 1829/2003, and issued favourable scientific opinions. On this basis, the European Commission drew up proposals for authorising these varieties which were presented to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH). At its meetings on 9 February and 19 April 2010, the SCoFCAH was unable to gather the qualified majority necessary to deliver an opinion in favour or against the authorisation measures proposed by the Commission. In the absence of an opinion it was to the Council to act on the Commission proposals within a three month period.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link SCoFCAH


  7. Council conclusions: Reform of the CFP
    2010-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The 3025th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 29 June 2010 had an exchange of views on the available policy options for the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP) following a presentation by Commissioner Damanaki. In preparation of the reform of the CFP, the Commission issued a Green Paper on April 2009. This document analysed the outcome of the last CFP reform in 2002 and identified structural failings and main issues to be addressed in the future. It addresses issues such as: differentiated management regimes for industrial and small-scale coastal fleets, management tools, relative stability, trade and market, integration of the CFP in a broader maritime policy context, knowledge base of the policy, structural policy and public funding, the external dimension of the CFP and aquaculture. Commission's presentation to the Council underscored the necessity of an appropriate review of the CFP by explaining that in absence of a reform, the outlook for the future would be catastrophic for preservation of fish stocks and economic situation of fisheries affecting strongly the social situation of people living from this activity. Following the Commission's presentation, three delegations, while mentioning the importance of a sustainable fishery, proposed a common declaration highlighting their attachment to the fundamentals of the CFP, in particular the management by national quotas and their opposition to the introduction of individual tradable rights (ITR) at EU level. The results of the large consultation process initiated on the reform will be followed by legislative proposals to be addressed by the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament early in 2011.

    Source: Council of the EU


     


    Link Read more
    Link CFP reform
    Link Commissioner Damanaki


  8. Council conclusions: Fishing opportunities for 2011
    2010-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The 3025th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 29 June 2010 has hold an exchange of views on fishing opportunities for 2011 on the basis of the Commission's communication. The communication sets out the general approach to be taken by the Commission in formulating its proposals for fishing opportunities in 2011. The objective of many measures proposed in this document is to reach by 2015, maximum sustainable yield (MSY) targets agreed in Johannesburg. The document outlines the state of the stocks, the need to reduce capacity, the commitment to longterm plans and possible new rules governing the setting of some total allowable catches (TAC). For many important stocks which are now under long-term plans, these plans should be implemented now. In addition, for stocks for which no long-term plans have yet been proposed, it would be appropriate to move towards MSY by specific measures detailed in the communication. Most of the delegations agree on one hand on the objectives to preserve the stocks but regret on the other hand that the Commission proposes to reduce quotas for certain categories of fish although no scientific elements are provided to confirm this need. Some delegations pointed out that the implementation of new measures in this area should be flexible and progressive. The Presidency insisted on the importance of scientific data and considered essential to have an exchange of views at Council level on this Communication in order to prepare the annual setting of the TACs and the allocation of quotas scheduled to be decided in the last quarter of the year.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Committee on Fisheries
    Link DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries


  9. ACP Council held in Ouagadougou discussed EPAs and Sugar
    2010-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers met in Quagadougou, Burkina Faso from the 17th –19th June, 2010.  The Joint ACP-EU Council will also hold their Meeting from the 21st – 22nd June, 210. The ACP Council discussed several important issues including the status of the Economic Parthership Agreements (EPAs), trade in bananas, sugar and cotton, climate change and the Millennium Development Goals.
    ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS
    Not unlike previous Council Meetings, the EPAs generated much discussion. Since the EPA process was launched eight years ago, only 27 of the 78 ACP countries have signed full or interim agreements including the CARIFORUM group.
    An additional 9 have simply initialled Agreements.  Member States of the various groupings expressed concern regarding the many issues that still remain unresolved including Most Favored Nation (MFN), Rules of Origin, market access, export taxes and the need to be sure of the net fiscal impact on the economy before agreements on the reduction of tariffs.
    These were the very issues that Guyana had raised prior to signing the EPA but eventually had to sign to avoid trade disruptions, as was the case with several others who signed or initialled interim Agreements. The EU is being asked to revisit some of these conditions which the ACP finds difficult to accept.
    It should be noted that the other five negotiating groups are advocating for an automatic five year review to be included in the EPAs.  It was Guyana that had advocated for this provision for the CARIFORUM EPA.
    It was expected that there will be a Joint ACP-EU Declaration on EPAs at the end of the Joint Council. However, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett expressed the view to her colleagues that such a Declaration will not encapsulate most of the concerns expressed by Members States in the several hours of discussion.
    She indicated that while efforts should be made to find common ground on a Joint ACP-EU Declaration on EPAs and indeed on the issues that remain unresolved, it is incumbent on the ACP Council to itself issue a Declaration. This suggestion received widespread support from the Member States and an ACP Declaration is being finalized.

    SUGAR
    The ACP group noted that the European Commission had concluded negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the Group of Central American countries, which include concessions on market access for sugar and which will further erode the preferences accorded to ACP countries in their respective EPAs thus adversely affecting their competitiveness.
    They expressed concern that the European Commission failed to properly consult the ACP on these trade arrangements as called for by the Cotonou Agreement and the EPAs.
    The group took note that the European Union has begun the process of reforming their Common Agricultural Policy for 2013 and called for the EU to ensure that the ACP producers, along with the EU producers, be provided with fair, stable and reasonably remunerative EU market prices and guaranteed priority access.
    They also called for the European Union and the Commission to “take into account the fact that major investments in sugarcane industries are amortized over long periods, hence the need for continuing preferential sugar access beyond 2015.”
    They further asked that the EU and the Commission “ensure that the new provision of the Cotonou Agreement regarding the need to review support programmes such as the Accompanying Measures Support Programme with a view to deciding on appropriate additional measures to be implemented is respected in order to guarantee EC’s commitment to continue to support the ACP Commodity Sector, including sugar, beyond 2013.

    Source: guyanachronicleonline.com


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou agreement
    Link ACP-EU-Trade


  10. Cashman: We must keep our commitments to developing countries
    2010-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Parliament today called on the EU Council and member states to keep their commitments to developing countries. It urged member states and the Commission to reverse the decline in funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries. Michael Cashman, S&D MEP and author of a report approved today, stressed that member states promised to give 0.7% of their GNI to development before 2015. He warned that the EU already looks set to fall up to 20 billion euro short of its 2010 mid-term goal and some member states are even scaling back aid."We need member states to keep the promises they made when times were good. I don't want to see more starvation and disease in the coming years. No more women dying in childbirth and no more children under five dying of preventable diseases."The Parliament, following an S&D initiative, gave its support to voluntary family planning, safe abortion, treatment of sexually transmitted infections and the provision of reproductive health supplies, including condoms.Mr Cashman regretted that many members from the right and centre-right refused to support the report on the sole basis of these fundamental rights. He recalled that maternal mortality claims over half a million women's lives a year and progress has been negligible.

    Source: Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Micheal Cashman
    Link EU and the MDGs


  11. S&D push for more sustainable fisheries policy
    2010-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    New impetus for sustainable aquaculture and fisheries policy was given today in Strasbourg, following the adoption of two reports backed by European Socialists and Democrats. "The debate on fishery seems often to be a matter of intensive fishery vs. quotas. Aquaculture can offer new prospects to such an issue as Europe consumes more than 5 million metric tons of farmed fish annually but produces less than 1 metric million tons", said Guido Milana (S&D), European Parliament Fishery Committee Vice President and rapporteur on Aquaculture. "Moreover, aquaculture can offer new employment opportunities to European fishermen hit by the crisis in the sector."The European fishery sector has to cope with booming international competition whose quality and social and environmental standards are often lower than in the EU. Our challenge is to sustain our fishery while making it more and more sustainable". Currently, the EU has not yet a specific piece of legislation on aquaculture as a numbers of provisions and rules are spread into different fishery regulations and directives. There needs to be a comprehensive strategy which encompasses, among others, specific economic measures, up-to-date training and research, more transparent labelling and marketing initiatives.The European Parliament has also adopted a report which calls on the EU to introduce a tracking system from catch to sale aimed at strengthening the control on fishing of bluefin tuna, in accordance with the ICCAT recommendations.

    Source: Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Fisheries Comittee at the EP
    Link DG Fiheries


  12. Financing from the EIB to the Republic of South Africa
    2010-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The EIB has been active in the Republic of South Africa (RSA) since the country's transition to a democratic government in 1994. Following the conclusion of the EU-South Africa Trade, Cooperation and Development Agreement, the EIB has been entrusted by the European Council with four successive mandates for a total lending volume of EUR 2.4 billion.The current mandate covers the period 2007 to 2013 for up to EUR 900 million.Financing comes form the EIB's own resources, which the Bank obtains by borrowing on capital markets.

    Source: European Investment Bank


    Link Read more
    Link The Trade and Development Agreement
    Link EIB in South Africa


  13. Fisheries, Aquaculture, Food safety, and Marine Biotechnology projects
    2010-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Regional Fisheries

    In FP7, marine related projects are to be found across all themes of the Specific  programme COOPERATION.Theme 2: "Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnologies" plays a key role to support marine related research projects through 3 activities:- Activity 2.1. Sustainable production and management of biological resources from land, forest and aquatic environments,- Activity 2.2 Fork to farm: Food (including seafood), health and well-being,- Activity 2.3 Life sciences, biotechnology and biochemistry for sustainable non-food products and processes. The EU will earmark more than € 1.9 billion for funding this theme and the knowledge bio-based economy over the duration of FP7 (2007-2013). Each of the three activities comprises marine related areas such as sustainable production and management of fisheries and aquaculture, quality and safety in food products (including seafood) as well as marine biotechnologies. This interim catalogue presents 44 marine related projects selected for funding under Theme 2 for a total EU contribution of around 125 Million €. Most of the projects are already running and some of them are about to start (Call KBBE 2009).


    Source:  European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link DG Maritime Affairs


  14. EU launches forestry sustainable development tool
    2010-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    EU researchers have developed a tool to help governments and industry make sustainable development the number one goal of the EU forestry sector. ToSIA (Tool for sustainability impact assessment) allows policymakers to consider in equal measure the economic, social and environmental elements of sustainable development. EU support came from the EFORWOOD ('Tools for sustainability impact assessment of the forestry-wood chain') project, one of the biggest ever European forestry research studies, with a budget of EUR 20 million including a contribution of nearly EUR 13 million from the 'Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems' Thematic area of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link DG Research
    Link EFORWOOD


  15. ECLAC and AFD Sign Cooperation Agreement
    2010-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, signed an agreement with the Executive Director for Operations of the French Development Agency (AFD), Jacques Moineville, for inter-institutional collaboration in areas such as climate change, sustainable cities, innovative instruments for financing for development tied to fiscal decentralization, and triangular cooperation.The agreement establishes a framework to benefit Latin American and Caribbean countries through technical cooperation and the dissemination of information and publications of mutual interest. The first activities will be carried out in the Caribbean. Bárcena also met with Brice Lalonde, Special Ambassador of France for climate change, who is working on the preparation of the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

    Source: ECLAC


    Link Read more
    Link UN-ECLAC
    Link French Development Agency


  16. EU creates tsunami early warning system
    2010-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    EU-funded researchers have helped develop an early warning system that will protect vulnerable communities from tsunamis and avoid future terrible losses of life such as that suffered in Indonesia and Sri Lanka in December 2004, when an estimated 230 000 people were killed. EU support for the research came from the DEWS ('Distant early warning system') project, which received just over EUR 4 million from the 'Information society technologies' (IST) Thematic area of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to develop an advanced interoperable tsunami early warning system for strong early warning capacities.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link DG Research


  17. EU sets November deadline for new trade pact with EAC
    2010-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Union (EU) has set a November deadline to conclude long running negotiations with East Africa over the signing of a new economic partnership agreement (EPA). The new deadline followed an unsuccessful round of talks in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this week aimed at unlocking a stalemate on the signing of a framework on the Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA). “We didn’t agree and both sides agreed to maintain the status quo as we work towards beating the new November deadline,” said David Nalo, Permanent Secretary at the East African Community (EAC) Affairs Ministry. “It was agreed that signing a framework on the EPA would be an illegality at this stage because the original deadline of July 2009 had lapsed. All negotiations would now be focused on having a comprehensive EPA by November.” Among the sticking issues ahead of this week’s talks had been a demand by EAC states for an enhanced development budget to compensate them for revenue losses expected to result from removal of tariffs on EU imports. The European Commission (EC) has argued that it already disburses a lot of budgetary allocation in development support to the region and will not make additional commitment.Estimates from the Trade ministry reveal that loss of tariff preferences with the shift to GSP would cost Kenya investments worth US$700 million as well as thousands of jobs in the horticulture sector.


    Source:Tralac.org


    Link Read more
    Link The Economic Partnership Agreements
    Link The HIPC Initiative by IMF


  18. EU considering income insurance for farmers
    2010-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    The Commission européenne is considering proposals for a publicly-funded income insurance scheme for farmers as part of reforms to the bloc's farm policy from 2013, the EU's top agriculture official said yesterday (21 June).A second proposal to create a new agency to promote European agri-food products globally is also under consideration, EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Cioloş said at an event in Brussels organised by grain trade association Coceral. "We think of an instrument with a public or maybe a public and private contribution, with management at member state level or European level," Cioloş said of the insurance scheme proposal. He said new instruments were needed to ensure a minimum income for farmers after the EU gave up many of its market management mechanisms, such as automatic intervention storage, which will be used only as a temporary "safety net" in future.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Agriculture and Rural Development
    Link Copa-Cogeca


  19. EIB invests USD 20 m to support small technology companies in Africa
    2010-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) has become a lead investor in Adlevo Capital Africa LLC, the first private equity fund dedicated to the high-tech industry in sub-Saharan Africa. The EIB’s USD 20 m (approx. EUR 15 m) equity investment will enable Adlevo to support the continent’s growing number of information and communications technology (ICT) enterprises. The fund will focus on investments in high-growth firms with technology business models principally, although not exclusively, in Nigeria, West-Africa and South Africa where recent economic development fuels demand for ICT services. Adlevo hopes to address the limited availability of risk capital for African technology companies, recognising that underinvestment in the sector may hamper growth in emerging economies. Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB Vice President responsible for lending operations in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions said, “This is a landmark project for the EIB and for the African technology sector. We are confident that Adlevo’s experienced management will build a portfolio of investments which provide strategic support for technology companies. Moreover, we hope that this operation will act as a catalyst to develop private equity and foreign direct investment in the region.” The Adlevo fund is of particular importance for the economies of sub-Saharan Africa due to its sectoral focus. Telephone subscribers in Africa represent only 16% of the population and internet penetration rates in Nigeria stand at only 5.9%, 11.6% in South Africa. Unmet demand ensures that Africa offers significant investment opportunities in telecommunications, internet provision and support technology for the financial, health and education sectors. ICT investment will allow African businesses to gain competitive advantages and catalyse economic growth. Adlevo is the first pan-African fund that will target the ICT market in a systematic and dedicated manner.

    Source: PostNigeria.com


    Link Read more
    Link European Investment Bank
    Link Adlevo Capital


  20. MDGs: The poorest African countries are making the most overall progress
    2010-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    So says a new analysis by the London-based Overseas Development Institute and the U.N. Millennium Campaign. The report's been released prior to the G8 and G20 summits at week's end in Canada. They say 11 of the 20 countries making the most absolute progress are among the poorest in Africa. "Absolute" progress measures overall progress countries have made toward achieving the MDGs. Also, the analysis indicates about half of African countries are on track toward cutting poverty in half by 2015.The analysis shows that even if the MDG target date of 2015 is not met, many poor countries are moving in the right direction. The ODI and U.N. Millennium Campaign list of top 20 countries in "absolute" terms includes: Benin, Mali, Ethiopia, Gambia, Malawi, Viet Nam, Uganda, Nepal, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Honduras, Mauritania, Ghana, China, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Togo.

    Source: africathegoodnews.com


    Link Read more
    Link MDGs
    Link EU action plan for reducing poverty


  21. EU deal signals ban on illegal timber
    2010-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    After years of debate, EU legislators yesterday (16 June) reached a deal to ban illegal timber from entering the common market as of 2012. The compromise between the European Parliament, the Spanish EU Presidency and the Commission européenne is a step towards ensuring that illegally harvested timber and wood products cannot be sold on the EU market. It is estimated that 20-40% of global industrial wood production comes from illegal sources, with up to 20% ending up on the EU market. The agreement covers raw timber and wood products like furniture and floorboards. But it exempts printed materials such as books and newspapers for at least five years. Companies will be required to use a due diligence system and carry out risk assessments where illegal activities are suspected. Furthermore, they will have to trace back the timber they use to the country and place where it was harvested.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link The illegal logging of timber
    Link EU finally to ban illegal timber


  22. EU agrees stricter rules on industrial emissions
    2010-06-30

    Factories and power plants will have to take further steps to cut the emissions that cause acid rain, pollute rivers and soils, following an agreement struck between EU governments and MEPs on July 18th ,2010 on new legislation on industrial emissions. Industrial plants are expected to have to comply with the new rules by 2012 although some of the most polluting plants will be exempt from the law for up to 13 years, a loophole that a leading MEP described as “a European tragedy”.The law will require industrial plants - from steel-works to meat-processing plants - to use the most-advanced technologies and practices to reduce waste and hazardous substances, known as “best available techniques”. The law tightens emission limits for a wide range of pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, dust, asbestos and heavy metals. The biggest disputes between governments and MEPs had been on how much leeway plants should be given on applying best available techniques. The European Parliament had wanted tightly-defined European standards, while environment ministers had insisted on the need for flexibility. In the end, the ministers mostly won this battle. National authorities will be allowed to give licences to plants that do not use best available techniques, if they would lead to “disproportionately higher costs” compared to the environmental benefits. However, the Commission européenne and Parliament believe they have wrung an important concession, because, for the first time, the law defines when authorities can depart from best available techniques, this restricting some flexibility.

    Source: Europeanvoice


    Link Read more
    Link Environment Committee
    Link DG environment


  23. Turning the MDGs into Millennium Development Achievements
    2010-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The European Commission has launched a call for tenders for an ex-post evaluation of the 2000-2006 Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) financed through the EAGGF (European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund). The aim of this evaluation is twofold: first, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the relevance, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of the different rural development measures and programmes, and second, to identify factors influencing the contribution of these measures to the future priorities for rural development policy. In particular, the evaluation will cover the following aspects: (i) policy relevance, coherence and complementarity with other instruments; (ii) content and consistency of RDPs; (iii) impact, effectiveness and efficiency of the programmes and measures; (iv) delivery systems, monitoring and evaluation. The evaluation will cover all 25 countries which were EU Member States for at least part of the 2000-2006 period, and will involve a combination of synthesis of programme level ex-post evaluation reports, surveys and on-site fieldwork. The maximum budget attributed to this evaluation project is € 550,000. The deadline for submitting offers is 16 August 2010. The Commission intends to award the contract before the end of 2010, following the evaluation of the offers received. The contractor will have to carry out the evaluation within 10 months from the signature of the contract.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commissioner Piebalgs
    Link Conclusion of European Council


  24. East Africa hosts most refugees outside the Middle East
    2010-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    East Africa now hosts over a million refugees from East, Central and Southern Africa, the largest total figure in the world outside of the Middle East. According to the latest Global Trends report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania alone host nearly 610,000 refugees with Kenya the most generous host in the region with nearly 360,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia. Kenya is now the fifth biggest host of refugees worldwide behind only Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Germany but well ahead of the United States on 275,500 and the UK on nearly 270,000. The new report (released on June 15) said that around 43.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2009, the highest number of people uprooted by conflict and persecution since the mid-1990s. At the same time, the number of refugees voluntarily returning to their home countries has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years. The report indicates that overall refugee numbers remained relatively stable at 15.2 million, two thirds of whom come under UNHCR’s mandate while the other third fall under the responsibility of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.  However one piece of good news is that in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of refugees continued to decline for the ninth consecutive year. By the end of 2009, there were less than 2.1 million refugees compared with more than 3.4 million in 2000. The refugee population decreased by 1.5 per cent between the start and end of 2009, primarily due to the naturalisation of 155,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania and successful voluntary repatriation operations to the DR Congo (44,300), Southern Sudan (33,100), Burundi (32,400), and Rwanda (20,600).

    Source: The Eastafrican


    Link Read more
    Link UNHCR
    Link UNHCR in Africa


  25. Failure to reach agreement on Migration in Revised Cotonou Agreement
    2010-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Representatives of the EU and ACP (Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific group of states) signed the second revision to the Cotonou Agreement in Ouagadougou on 22 June.  The Agreement provides the basic framework for relations between the EU and ACP states.The parties failed to reach agreement on revisions to Article 13, the migration provision.
    The EU has been pressuring the ACP states to agree to changes in the Cotonou Agreement which would make it easier for EU member states to return illegal or irregular migrants from the EU to their home countries.  ACP states resisted incorporating such a provision in the Agreement, instead wanting to deal with readmission issues on a bi-lateral basis.
    As a result of this ongoing disagreement, Article 13 of the Agreement will remain unchanged for the time being.  The EU and ACP instead agreed on a Joint Declaration (Declaration III) which was signed yesterday in conjunction with the revised Cotonou Agreement.  It reads as follows:
    “JOINT DECLARATION ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT (ARTICLE 13)
    The Parties agree to strengthen and deepen their dialogue and cooperation in the area of migration, building on the following three pillars of a comprehensive and balanced approach to migration:
    1. Migration and Development, including issues relating to diasporas, brain drain and remittances;
    2. Legal migration including admission, mobility and movement of skills and services; and
    3. Illegal migration, including smuggling and trafficking of human beings and border management, as well as readmission.
    Without prejudice to the current Article 13, the Parties undertake to work out the details of this enhanced cooperation in the area of migration.  They further agree to work towards the timely completion of this dialogue and to report about the progress made to the next ACP-EC Council.”

    Source: Migrants at Sea


    Link Read more
    Link EU immigration policy
    Link The Cotonou agreement


  26. Sweet genes arm banana crops
    2010-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Scientists in Uganda have developed GM bananas that show promising resistance to the deadly banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) disease. Bananas are Uganda's leading non-cereal crop with some 70 per cent of the population depending on it as staple food. More than US$200 million has been lost to BXW infestation since 2001. The disease has also been reported in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. Now, the banana plants modified with two genes derived from sweet peppers (Capsicum annuum) show resistance to the disease caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum. Principal investigator Leena Tripathi, a Ugandan-based biotechnologist from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria, said inserting the genes - plant ferredoxin-like amphipathic protein (PFLP) and hypersensitive response-assisting protein (HRAP) - separately in four local banana varieties is giving encouraging results. But, she added, they still need to confirm this effectiveness in a field trial.Even if BXW-resistant bananas prove successful in field trials, the absence of a GM law in Uganda will hamper farmers' access to the technology. The 2008 National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill is yet to be presented to the cabinet for approval before it goes to parliament for enactment.

    Souce: Africathegoodnews.com


    Link Read more
    Link MGO and the WTO
    Link Food and Feed Safety


  27. 2010 European aid report
    2010-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Environment

    The European Commission adopted today (28th June) its Annual Report 2010 on the implementation of EU's development and external assistance policies in 2009. Programmes and projects led by the Commission reached around 140 developing countries. Specific instruments were set up to help the world's poorest to face the triple economic, food and environmental crisis and delivered results: for instance, more than 50 million people are receiving assistance to face hunger from the EU Food Facility, the budgets of 15 countries in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific were supported to help them resist to the pressure of the economic crisis, and the EU agreed a 'fast-start' funding of €2.4 billion annually for 2010-2012 to assist developing countries in adapting to climate change. The Commission is the second largest provider of development aid in the world, with commitments amounting to €12 billion, and plays a leading role in coordinating EU efforts to make aid more effective.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The EU aid report 2010
    Link EU donor Atlas


  28. Greater Horn of Africa: Commission allocates € 20 million
    2010-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Environment, Rural development, Archive

    The European Commission adopted a € 20 million humanitarian financial package to support 12 million people affected by drought in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. This funding will help efforts to develop the populations' resilience to drought and adapt to climate change. Commissioner Georgieva stated: “Drought is by far the main cause of natural disasters in the Greater Horn of Africa. Worryingly, the effect of climate change is felt more dramatically in this region. We need to accelerate our programmes which have an impact on the ground as they help communities to be better prepared and able to cope with reduced rains patterns.” A large number of the pastoralist populations in the arid lands chronically rely on outside assistance, and lack access to basic services. This results in high rates of malnutrition, child morbidity and mortality, as well as increasing numbers of pastoralist drop-outs, and poses significant humanitarian risks during periods of reduced rainfall. It is estimated that over 12 million pastoralists and agro-pastoralists are affected by recurrent droughts.This new decision will be used to fund preparedness programmes, promote drought resilience and protect lives and livelihoods. The allocation will also finance food security improvement, livelihood support, as well as the provision of water and sanitation. The funds are channelled through the Commission's department for humanitarian aid and civil protection (ECHO).

    Background

    The Greater Horn of Africa has been severely affected by recurrent and persistent manmade and natural hazards, leaving populations highly vulnerable to drought, human and livestock disease outbreaks, and to a lesser extent floods. Accounting for 95% of the death toll caused by natural disasters in Africa, droughts pose a very serious threat to the people of this region. Protracted conflicts, major structural problems and a lack of basic services mean that inhabitants are poorly equipped to cope with natural disasters. Malnutrition and child morbidity and mortality are among the greatest humanitarian concerns in this region. Since 2008, the Commission hassupported drought preparedness interventions in the region worth € 60 million..

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link ECHO
    Link EU-Africa relations


  29. First results of the EU 1 bn Food Facility
    2010-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    With more than € 500 million already disbursed and 97 % of funds committed after only one year and a half from its adoption, the € 1 billion EU Food Facility has provided a fast and efficient response in tackling food insecurity. The Commission present today a booklet on the use of the Food Facility. It shows that around 50 million people all over the world are receiving support from the facility and results are starting to show. Faced with an impressive number of high–quality proposals but a limited budget, the European Commission is calling on other donors to help funding projects under the newly launched "Food Facility Auction Floor".

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link What is food security?
    Link ROSA



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Isolina BOTO
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