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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 233]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 233]
Send date: 2010-07-23 13:50:34
Issue #: 49
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. Financing Agriculture
  2. EU Development Commissioner meets Secretary-General
  3. EU and ACP non-state actors insist on food security as a human right
  4. Europe in fish debt to rest of the world
  5. ICT research: EU-funded technology helps disaster workers save lives
  6. Andris Piebalgs commended Finland for active EU development policy
  7. EU allocates €150 million to war-affected populations in Sudan
  8. NGOs slam EU-Brazil plans to develop biofuels in Africa
  9. Estonia joins the euro-family
  10. Consolidation or cooperation: The future of EU development cooperation
  11. Guyana Has No Regrets over Holding Out on EPA
  12. Additional resources for the most vulnerable population in Sudan
  13. Agricultural policy priorities of Belgian Presidency
  14. EU, Brazil, Mozambique to sign bioenergy pact
  15. Questions and Answers on Niger and Food insecurity
  16. Questions and Answers on Sahel and Food Insecurity
  17. Piebalgs in London to promote EU action against illegal timber export
  18. EC to recover € 265.02 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
  19. Improving the dairy chain
  20. Commission allocates € 5million for short-term food assistance
  21. Commission allocates € 15 million to prevent hunger in Ethiopia
  22. Conference on CAP post-2013 to build on success of public debate
  23. Europe must push for a healthy Africa
  24. US$5 million settlement boosts Marine Conservation Plans in the Pacific
  25. France wants to increase its Indian Ocean tuna capacity by 500%


  1. Financing Agriculture
    2010-07-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    The 20th Brussels Development Briefing will be on ‘Financing agriculture and will take place on the 15th of  September 2010. As an input to the UN Summit on MDGs to be held in New York on 22-26 September 2010, we will discuss issues related  to financing development in the context of agriculture and rural development. This will include issue such as Aid and ODA, taxation (Domestic tax revenues), private investment (new donors), revenue generation. Speakers include: Centre for Environmental Policy at  Imperial College in London, the  Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa in the US, CONCORD, OECD, African Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, YARA, African regional framers organizations.


    For more information please contact: lopes@cta.int or boto@cta.int


    Link Brussels Development Briefings
    Link Videos of the last Briefing
    Link Past Briefings


  2. EU Development Commissioner meets Secretary-General
    2010-07-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Andris Piebalgs endorses Kamalesh Sharma’s call for a deepening of the relationship between the Secretariat and the European Commission Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma welcomed European Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, to the Commonwealth Secretariat on an historic occasion. This was the first visit by a Development Commissioner to Marlborough House, the Secretariat’s headquarters, though European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has met the Secretary-General both in London and in Brussels over the last few years.
    The Commissioner endorsed the Secretary-General’s call for a deepening of the relationship between the two institutions. On a number of important policy areas there is common interest and both the European Union (EU) and the Commonwealth share the basic values of freedom and democracy.  The Commissioner expressed satisfaction at the role of the Secretariat in delivering trade related capacity-building in conjunction with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, to all member states of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) grouping. He believes that a Phase II of this programme was within reach and that the two sides should meet again in September in Brussels to resolve outstanding issues. On the Pacific, following the Secretary-General’s discussions at the Forum Heads of Government Meeting last year in Cairns, with former Development Director-General Stefano Manservisi, the Commissioner expressed the opinion that the EU and the Commonwealth could do more together to assist the island governments in the Pacific region. He looks forward to receiving proposals on this from the Secretariat. On the joint EU/African Union (AU) Strategy for Africa, where the Secretariat is accepted at the political levels as an important contributor to the governance aspects, the Commissioner envisaged further discussion about deepening the relationship, both with the AU Commission in Addis Ababa and in individual Commonwealth African countries. It is anticipated that the discussions will move further forward as both the Commissioner and the Secretary-General will attend the forthcoming AU Summit in Kampala. It was agreed that a regular meeting between the Commissioner and the Secretary-General would be a new feature of the relationship between the two organisations.

    Source: Commonwealth


    Link Read more
    Link Commissioner Piebalgs
    Link EU and international organizations


  3. EU and ACP non-state actors insist on food security as a human right
    2010-07-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Security, Aid effectiveness

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and their partners from across Africa met at the 11th Regional Seminar of ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They addressed the revision of the Cotonou Agreement and called for greater involvement of non-state actors in its implementation. They broached the challenging issues of Economic Partnership Agreements for the East African Community (EAC) and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) regions, sustainable food security and the EU-Africa Strategy. The Cotonou Agreement still lacks both effective dissemination and timely information and consultation with non-state actors, namely when it comes to its five-year revision, said the delegates. The future revision of Cotonou should take into account the strengthening of social protection schemes in ACP countries, as well as better fiscal governance. Food security has to be considered a human right. To achieve this, food security clauses have to be introduced in the EU-Africa trade agreements and the agricultural sector needs to be placed at the centre of national and international development policies. Local and regional markets need to be supported, and farmers' organisations should be reinforced and consulted in decision-making policies. The EU-ACP non-state actors supported the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreements under the condition that they include provisions aimed at the development of the beneficiary regions, namely the inclusion of economic, social and environmental provisions, timely information and involvement of non-state actors, promotion of infrastructures, modernisation of the agricultural sector and good economic governance.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The recommendation
    Link The Cotonou agreement


  4. Europe in fish debt to rest of the world
    2010-07-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Starting last Friday (10th July), Europeans began to accumulate yet another debt -- fish debt, actually.
    At least that's what several economists and marine conservationists say. Their new report indicates that Europeans consume almost twice as much fish as EU waters produce, putting pressure on global resources. In concrete: If the European Union this year had consumed only fish from its own waters, it would have effectively run out of stock by last week, making the bloc wholly dependent on imported fish from around the world, numbers from the New Economics Foundation Indicate. So since last Friday, Europeans have been accumulating fish debt.
    "Safeguarding the marine environment is vital if we want to make efficient use of EU resources and protect livelihoods and economies," said Aniol Esteban, head of environmental economics at NEF. "The EU has some of the largest and richest fishing grounds in the world but at the moment we're not managing them properly."
    NEF's report, entitled "Fish Dependence: The increasing reliance of the EU on fish from elsewhere," compiled with marine conservationists, is a worrisome reminder that rich countries consume more fish than is sustainable.
    While importing fish in general doesn't seem to be too outrageous a concept, EU consumers and importers often neglect the unsustainable fishing methods employed by fishing companies in developing nations and those nations' own needs for fish, the report suggests. Moreover, uncontrolled piracy fishing in Africa or Asia -- to sell the fish at high profits to markets with a high demand, apart from Europe also the United States, China and Japan -- is threatening the livelihoods of local fishermen and quickly depleting fish populations.
    Even in Europe, individual stocks are hopelessly overfished, with several species, including the North Sea cod, in danger of becoming extinct. While the European Union recently took steps to combat Illegal fishing, more needs to be done to protect the marine ecosystems, NEF writes in its report.  The group calls on the EU to "turn this situation around and provide a policy framework that will restore marine ecosystems to healthy levels and deliver a fair allocation of resources internationally."
    It wants Brussels to:
    -- reduce fishing levels to be in line with available resources by improving data collection, transparency and reporting;
    -- render conservation profitable, by making access to resources conditional on social and environmental criteria;
    -- promote responsible fish consumption among EU citizens;
    Whether the EU succeeds in protecting its fish stocks will likely depend on its willingness to confront the interests of a huge globalized business: In 2008 alone, companies all over the world exported fish worth $102 billion.

    Source: UPI.com


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Fisheries
    Link Maritime affairs and fisheries


  5. ICT research: EU-funded technology helps disaster workers save lives
    2010-07-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    WORKPAD, an EU-funded ICT research project, has developed software applications that allow emergency teams responding to natural disasters to coordinate and communicate with each other quickly and efficiently, helping to save more lives. Coordination and communication is especially important when emergency teams from many different agencies, civil authorities and NGOs are on the ground at the same time. €1.85 million of EU funding helped the researchers to explore how dozens of databases from different organisations can be linked via peer-to-peer technology to improve response time and avoid duplication of efforts. One central dispatch point that receives and sends out information to all emergency teams can help save more lives in a quick and efficient way. The technology has already been tried successfully in Southern Italy and is available to be used anywhere in the world.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Sixth Framework Programme
    Link ICT 2010


  6. Andris Piebalgs commended Finland for active EU development policy
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen met in Helsinki on Friday (9th July). Piebalgs and Väyrynen discussed Minister Väyrynen's proposal for European Union global strategy, strategic partners, and productivity of development cooperation. In the EU development ministers meeting in June, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen proposed a comprehensive EU global strategy as a framework for EU external action to promote environmentally, financially and socially sustainable development in the world. According to Väyrynen, a global strategy would coherently implement development policy by linking it with trade policy, environmental and climate policies, financial system development, and foreign and defence policies. Commissioner Andris Piebalgs agreed on the need for a single, more comprehensive and more extensive strategy to replace several separate strategies. He believes the UN should have a central role and the EU should be stronger. ”The UN is a system we already have.”
    Piebalgs commended Finland for active EU development policy, and sets Finland as an example for new member states. Piebalgs – former Commissioner for Energy – and Minister Väyrynen also discussed energy issues; how the use or renewable energy could be increased through development policy measures, for example. They both agreed that locally produced energy, such as wood or solar energy, promotes sustainable development. Piebalgs stressed that even though energy is not among the UN Millennium Development Goals, it is one of the key issues in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development. Väyrynen pointed out that Finland is active in the energy sector and helping out in many countries in cooperation with others. In addition, Finland has initiated an energy and environmental partnership in Central America and plans to apply the model also in the southern Africa, the Mekong river region and the Andes.

    Source: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland


    Link Read more
    Link Development policy of Finland


  7. EU allocates €150 million to war-affected populations in Sudan
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The Commission welcomes the decision taken by the Council today to allocate an amount of €150 million to war-affected populations in Sudan. This decision will allow the EU to assist the Sudanese most in need despite the Government of Sudan's decision not to ratify the revised Cotonou agreement – the political framework of EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries' relations. Refusal to ratify the revised Cotonou agreement has made it legally impossible for the EU to channel development assistance to Sudan through the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). In order to bridge the financing gap, the EU decided to use global funds that were not spent from the 9th EDFs. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton said: "Sudan is now at a critical juncture. The EU wants to see the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement as the way forward to a better future for the population of Sudan. At the same time we call for an all inclusive process that will lead to a comprehensive peace agreement In Darfur."
    Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner responsible for Development said: "The international community has a crucial role to play in promoting stability and development in Sudan. The EU's decision today proves we remain committed to the Sudanese population and the stability of Sudan." The €150 million will be used to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations in Sudan, in particular in the war-affected areas, including the South of Sudan and Darfur, in the border regions between North and South Sudan (the Transitional Areas) and in East Sudan. The funding complements ongoing development and humanitarian programmes in Sudan, including over €500 million in development assistance committed since 2005 and over €750 million in humanitarian assistance since 2003. In addition, the European Commission has adopted an Instrument for Stability decision (€15 million) for the provision of basic services in South Sudan and support to the referendum process.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Sudan
    Link Humanitarian Aid


  8. NGOs slam EU-Brazil plans to develop biofuels in Africa
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Rural development

    EU and Brazilian leaders are set to announce a new "triangular co-operation" initiative, under which they will aim to work together in some of the world's poorest countries, but NGOs say the duo's scheme is self-centred and will simply make conditions worse. At a bilateral summit in Brasilia on Wednesday (14 July), European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva are to agree to co-operate on a range of different projects in Portuguese speaking parts of Africa, Haiti and East Timor in the coming years. The development of renewable energy is likely to be a central theme, and a first step will see the EU and Brazil sign an agreement with Mozambique this week to develop bioelectricity and biofuels projects, EU sources have indicated. Brazilian companies are world leaders in the production of biofuels and are looking to expand their operations both internally and abroad, while the EU is looking to increase its biofuel use at home in order to meet its target of sourcing 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.
    But as EU and Brazilian officials prepare to start studies on how best to develop bioethanol, biodiesel and bioelectricity projects in Mozambique - already a leading African producer of biofuels - environmental groups say the initiative will simply serve to displace people from their land and exacerbate food shortages.

    Source: EU observer


    Link Read more
    Link EU relations with Brazil
    Link Biofuels, Trade and Sustainability


  9. Estonia joins the euro-family
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Today the Council has taken the formal decision which will pave the way for the introduction of the euro in Estonia as of 1 January 2011 and will become the 17th European Union country to share the euro currency."Estonia has achieved a high degree of sustainable economic convergence and is ready to adopt the euro on 1 January 2011. We commend Estonia for its long-standing commitment to prudent policies. To ensure that the adoption of the euro is a success, Estonia must pursue its efforts to maintain a prudent fiscal policy stance. Estonia needs also to remain vigilant and react early and decisively in case signs of build-up of macroeconomic imbalances and/or losses of competitiveness were to appear. Estonia must now continue with its practical preparations to ensure that the changeover takes place smoothly", said Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. The official conversion rate is set to be 15.6466 kroons per 1 EUR.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Estonia on course for the euro
    Link European Central Bank


  10. Consolidation or cooperation: The future of EU development cooperation
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    A primary objective of this research project is to stimulate thinking about how the context that development policy responds to could change in the long-term. In the face of a changing global development landscape, one challenge that European donors currently confront is the adaptation of their development cooperation systems to address internal deficits and prepare for new external demands. Within Europe, this adaptation process will take place both within the bilateral development cooperation systems of the European Union (EU) Member States and at the EU level. Against a backdrop of ongoing reforms in the EU’s external relations apparatus, Mikaela Gavas, Simon Maxwell, and Deborah Johnson of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) offer a discussion in this paper of the different roles that the EU might be able to play as a development actor in the future. Their work highlights the importance of continuing to critically examine the comparative advantages of the EU in global development as EU external relations reforms move forward.

    Source: German Development Institute


    Link Read more
    Link EU Development Policies
    Link DG Relex


  11. Guyana Has No Regrets over Holding Out on EPA
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

     Two years after 14 Caribbean countries signed a wide-ranging and controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe, Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo still maintains that his country was right in holding out until the last minute to get a "better deal" for the Caribbean.Under the EPA, the European Union allows the 15-member Caricom grouping plus the Dominican Republic (known as CARIFORUM) duty- and quota-free access to its market in all goods and services, with the Caribbean agreeing to open 80 percent of its market to the Europeans. Haiti signed in 2009. Guyana, which did not attend the October 2008 signing ceremony, had argued on a number of fronts, including concerns that the "Most Favoured Nation" clause in the accord – which commits CARIFORUM to grant Europe the same treatment it grants to any 'major trading economy' in subsequent free trade agreements, including developing countries like China and trade blocs like Mercosur - would affect Caricom's cooperation with South-South partners that has been a feature in development economics for decades.

    Source: Inter Press News Service


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Guyana
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  12. Additional resources for the most vulnerable population in Sudan
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The 3026th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 12 July 2010 adopted a decision allocating EUR 150 million from the funds decommitted from the ninth and previous European Development Fund (EDF) for the purpose of addressing the needs of the most vulnerable population in Sudan. The funds will be used in particular in the conflict-affected areas, including Darfur, South Sudan, East Sudan and the border regions between North and South Sudan (the Transitional Areas). The government of Sudan's decision not to ratify the revised Cotonou agreement had made legally impossible for the EU to channel development assistance to Sudan through the tenth EDF. The funding complements ongoing EU development and humanitarian programmes in Sudan, including over EUR 500 million in development assistance committed since 2005 and over EUR 750 million in humanitarian assistance since 2003.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Sudan
    Link  EuropeAid


  13. Agricultural policy priorities of Belgian Presidency
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Regional Fisheries

    At the 3026th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 12 July 2010, Ms Sabine LARUELLE and Mr Kris PEETERS gave a brief presentation on the Belgian Presidency work programme in the agriculture and fisheries sectors. The agricultural policy priorities of the Belgian Presidency will focus mainly on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP) after 2013 and on the dairy sector. As regards the dairy sector, the presidency reminds that the work of the high level group (HLG) on milk will constitute the ground for a initial discussion at  this Council meeting. On the veterinary, plant health and food safety sectors the emphasis will be on the roadmap on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), financing animal health strategy and the framework for genetically modified organisms. The presidency stressed the importance of the agricultural aspect of the latter dossier.The priorities for fisheries policy will focus on the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP) for which legislative proposals will be tabled for the first half of 2010. On this issue, a conference will be organised by the Commission on 16 November 2010 and the Belgian presidency intends to highlight improved cooperation between science and fisheries by setting up an international symposium on "Improved Science and Fisheries Partnership Agreements as Policy Drivers" on 9 and 10 November 2010. The symposium's findings will be put to ministers at the November Fisheries Council lunch. Finally, with regard to external policy, several regional fisheries organisations will hold their annual meeting during the Belgian presidency, such as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT). A new negotiating mandate is needed for the part of that meeting dealing with bluefin tuna. This will be discussed at the October Council meeting.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Belgian EU presidency
    Link Agriculture and Rural Development


  14. EU, Brazil, Mozambique to sign bioenergy pact
    2010-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    The European Union and Brazil will sign an agreement with Mozambique this week to develop bioelectricity and biofuels projects, officials said on Monday. The agreement will be signed during a summit of European and Brazilian leaders in Brasilia on Wednesday, they said. Spurred by surging EU biofuel demand and Brazil's production expansion goals, the deal with Mozambique is seen in Brussels and Brasilia as a first step toward greater cooperation on developing renewable energy projects in Africa. Under the agreement, the EU and Brazil will start studies on how best to develop bioethanol, biodiesel and bioelectricity projects in Mozambique, which has become a leading African biofuels producer in recent years. "This agreement will be part of the EU and Brazil's wider cooperation with Africa, which we hope will eventually lead to an agreement with the Africa Union," an EU official said. The EU needs biofuel to meet its target of sourcing 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. Teaming up with global bioethanol leader Brazil would speed up the creation of a new and cheaper supply in Africa. Unlike Brazilian bioethanol, which is subject to high import tariffs at EU borders, African-produced biofuel would be subject to minimal tariffs. New production bases in Africa could benefit Brazilian biofuel producers such as Cosan and ethanol and sugarcane group Copersucar, Brazilian diplomats said. Such companies would still need the EU's stamp of approval to ensure African-made biofuel meets strict European rules designed to protect the environment. EU officials are unsure about how long feasibility studies on Mozambique will take to complete, or how soon they could spawn bioenergy projects. Brazil has completed similar feasibility studies with the United States for bioenergy projects in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Central America. Despite the EU's commitment to increasing use of biofuels over the next decade, concerns are rising about the impact such a policy could have on the environment and food security, with some research showing biofuels may end up causing more harm than good to the environment.

    Source: checkbiotech.org


    Link Read more
    Link Biofuels to fight against Hunger
    Link Renewable Energy


  15. Questions and Answers on Niger and Food insecurity
    2010-07-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Niger is one of the countries of the Sahel region, which also covers parts of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, northern Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Many of the countries in the area are threatened by food insecurity, especially Niger and Chad, whose governments have declared a state of emergency and asked for international assistance.

    What is the current situation in Niger?

    Out of a total population of 15 million, 3.3 million are considered severely food insecure, and a further 3.8 million moderately food insecure. It is estimated that there are 378,000 severely acutely malnourished  children under 5 years of age, a further 1.2 million children moderately acutely malnourished  and 345,000 pregnant and lactating women at risk of severe acute malnutrition.

    How did this happen?

    The food crisis in the entire Sahel region has been deepening due to the shortfall in food production resulting from erratic rainfall at the end of 2009. In Niger a 30% (=150,000 tons of crops such as millet, sorghum, cassava and rice) decrease was reported, and this was probably a very conservative figure. This has had a dramatic impact on the livelihoods and coping mechanisms of the traditional pastoralists. It has aggravated the already difficult situation caused by continued high food prices and limited wage earning opportunities. The 70% shortage in fodder in Niger is also worrying since livestock production supports one third of the population.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Niger
    Link EU Humanitarian Aid


  16. Questions and Answers on Sahel and Food Insecurity
    2010-07-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The Sahel is a belt of mainly arid and semi-arid land that stretches across Africa from Cape Verde in the west to Sudan in the east, covering parts of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Many of these countries are threatened by food insecurity, particularly Niger and Chad, whose governments have declared an emergency and asked for international assistance.

    What are the underlying causes of the food crisis in Sahel?

    The Sahel is one of the poorest regions in the world. Access to clean water, food, education and health services is very limited. Extensive poverty and lack of infrastructure and basic services mean that large parts of the population are extremely vulnerable to external shocks such as climate change and high food prices.. The food crisis in the region has been deepening due to the shortfall in food production as a result of the erratic rains at the end of 2009. High food prices and a reduction of remittances sent home by expatriate worker are also contributing factors. For pastoralists and agro-pastoralists the 2009/2010 season has been particularly damaging to their livestock and crops, leaving them highly vulnerable to food insecurity.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Humanitarian Aid
    Link EU and the Sahel region


  17. Piebalgs in London to promote EU action against illegal timber export
    2010-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    On July 15th, Commissioner Piebalgs was in London to deliver a speech at the launch of a report prepared by an international think tank on "Illegal Logging and Related Trade". The report documents progress made at the global level of combating illegal logging and improving forest governance in developing countries. Commissioner Piebalgs highlighted achievements made through the EU Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT). Amongst these achievements are the signature of voluntary agreements with Congo and Ghana, which will ensure that all wood products entering the European Union from these countries carry a licence showing that the wood they contain is of legal origin. Following this event, the Development Commissioner will hold a bilateral meeting with Andrew Mitchell, the UK Secretary of State for International Development. European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said: "The EU must be at the forefront of fight against illegal timber trade. Following Ghana, the Republic of Congo, and soon Cameroon, I encourage all wood producing countries to sign the tailor-made voluntary trade agreements with the EU, named "FLEGT". This is in our mutual interest: we guarantee European consumers that the furniture, the decoration and any wooden product they buy has been legally produced and imported within the EU, in respect of the biodiversity and forest life cycle; in the same time, this will benefit developing countries who will enjoy a legal and sustainable exploitation of their forests, ensuring jobs creation and domestic resources". The study, carried out by the Chatham House, is an attempt to measure for the first time global efforts to tackle illegal logging of consumer, processing and wood producing countries. It examines the response and actions taken in countries where illegal logging occurs and also in those countries which import, process and consume illegally sourced wood. In addition to measuring how illegal logging has changed over time, the report shows how attention to the problem has changed and how governments and the private sector have responded. It notably mentions the EU FLEGT agreements as one credible and useful tool.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade
    Link Commissioner Piebalgs


  18. EC to recover € 265.02 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
    2010-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    A total of € 265.02 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is claimed back as a result of a decision adopted today by the European Commission. This money returns to the EU budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds. Commenting on the decision, Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “We are working hard to achieve the best possible control of farm spending in order to verify that taxpayers money is not being misspent."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Clearance of annual accounts
    Link Managing the agriculture budget wisely


  19. Improving the dairy chain
    2010-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    Creating more balanced contractual links between milk producers and dairies, increasing farmers' bargaining power and developing tools to reduce market volatility were some of the key issues discussed by the Agriculture Council on 12 July as it looked for further ways to stabilise the milk market and producers' revenue. Ministers took note of the recent final report of the High Level Group on Milk, set up in the wake of last year's dairy crisis. In order for the dairy sector to be better able to adapt supply to demand, the paper recommends promoting the use of formal and detailed contracts, made in advance, to cover raw milk deliveries (incl. price, volume, timing and duration), either using guidelines or a legislative proposal.
    The report also suggests strengthening farmers' bargaining position by allowing producer organisations made up of dairy farmers to negotiate contract terms, such as price, with a dairy.
    The High Level Group proposed that the on-going work on labelling should consider raising the profile of milk products by the use of "place of farming" labels and seek distinct labelling for imitation dairy products, such as "analogue cheese". The Council also looked at the further development of the European food price monitoring tool, which should help to anticipate possible market disturbances, and at the importance of innovation and research for the competitiveness of the dairy sector. The discussions are due to continue at the Agriculture Council in September, allowing the Commission to come forward with proposals before the end of the year.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Milk and milk products
    Link Agriculture and Fisheries Council


  20. Commission allocates € 5million for short-term food assistance
    2010-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Today the European Commission has decided to allocate € 5 million to support the protection of livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the disaster-prone regions of south-east African and south-west Indian Ocean. This aid will promote disaster preparedness by providing short-term food security, short-term livelihood support, and other support activities in Comoros, Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique. The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva said: “Despite the success of our preparedness programmes in disaster-prone areas, the experience shows that natural hazards put at risk not only lives but also livelihoods. For this reason, we are taking our programmes a step further by setting up complementary tools aimed at fostering the population’s food security.”South-east Africa and south-west Indian Ocean are two of the most natural disaster-prone regions in the world. In addition to permanent threats from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the region has in recent years experienced a dramatic increase in the frequency of floods and cyclones. This high recurrence of natural disasters has seriously reduced the possibility of sustainable recovery. The principal objective of this new Decision is to link disaster risk reduction to food security actions, with short-term livelihood support and short-term food-security, in order to decrease the vulnerability of communities exposed to the risk of natural catastrophes. Assistance will be provided through multiple interventions such as seeds, tools and livestock support and capacity building activities at household and community level. The funding will also be used to provide coordination and technical support to partner operations, and to finance awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns.


    Link Read more
    Link Humanitarian Aid
    Link Kristalina Georgieva


  21. Commission allocates € 15 million to prevent hunger in Ethiopia
    2010-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Today, the European Commission has adopted a € 15 million aid package to address a critical food security situation in Ethiopia where an estimated 5.2 million people will be requiring food assistance this year. The main bulk of the Commission’s funding will go towards providing appropriate and adequate food assistance to the disaster affected population, including food aid, nutrition and short-term food security. Support will also be given to the agricultural and livestock sectors, to safeguard livelihoods and improve food security. The new funding decision will also provide a response to compounding needs in the health and water and sanitation sectors, to avoid health risks such as the recurrent outbreaks of cholera and meningitis epidemics. The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, stated: “The majority of the population in Ethiopia still live far below the poverty line, and is extremely vulnerable to severe changes in weather patterns, droughts, epidemics and protracted internal conflicts. With our multiple interventions we aim not only to provide for a speedy recovery but also to help to communities strengthen their own coping mechanisms.” In addition to emergency food aid like the one adopted today, disaster risk reduction programmes are a crucial part of the Commission's overall aid strategy, emphasizing longer term solutions in the form of climate change adaptation and strengthening communities' own coping mechanisms. In June, the Commission allocated € 20 million to support 6 drought-prone countries in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Humanitarian Aid
    Link EU Relations with Ethiopia


  22. Conference on CAP post-2013 to build on success of public debate
    2010-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Roughly 600 delegates from all over the EU come to Brussels next Monday and Tuesday to discuss the future of the Common Agriculture policy after 2013. This Conference will seek to debate and draw some form of conclusions from the public debate on the post-2013 launched by the Commission in April, based on the four very fundamental questions of: "Why do we need a CAP? What do citizens expect from agriculture? Why reform the CAP? What tools do we need for the CAP of tomorrow?" The exchanges will form a useful platform for discussion before the Commission drafts its Communication on the future of the CAP, due for publication in November 2010. To accompany the Conference, there will be a Fair in the centre of Brussels (Place St Catherine) highlighting the diversity of Europe's quality agriculture products, where each member states will have a stand offering some of their national specialities to the general public.

    Speaking ahead of the event, Dacian Cioloș, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, drew attention to the strong response that the public debate triggered, with nearly 6000 internet contributions from the general public in 2 months, as well as positions from some 80 think tanks and 93 Non-Governmental Organisations. "This shows that people feel strongly about the CAP, and the responses have illustrated that our policy is not "only" about food production, but also about the provision of broader public goods", he stated. "I am very much looking forward to the event on Place St Catherine on Sunday and Monday, as a celebration of Europe's diversity, open to everybody. This reiterates my fundamental belief that the CAP is not just for farmers, it is for all EU citizens, as taxpayers and consumers"

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The Post 2013 CAP Conference
    Link Live weabstreaming


  23. Europe must push for a healthy Africa
    2010-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The World Cup is over and life in Africa is returning to normal, but it is anything but "fair play" with life expectancy for some 30 to 40 years less than for Europeans. There are many reasons, from bad governance, the financial crisis and climate change to natural disasters, extreme poverty, wars and greed. Nevertheless and despite Europe's focus on the financial crisis, MEPs insist that aid is essential. "It's not a question of ideology but of saving human lives," Belgian Socialist Veronique De Keyser said during a discussion of her report on health care systems in Sub-Saharan Africa in the Development Committee on 13 July. The financial crisis "does not encourage European countries to keep their promises...to give at least 0.7% of GDP in development assistance by 2010," the report says.

    Source: European Parliament


     


    Link Read more
    Link De Keyser report
    Link Cashman report


  24. US$5 million settlement boosts Marine Conservation Plans in the Pacific
    2010-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Spanish company Albacora S.A., owner of the Albacora Uno, was charged June 2 with 67 counts of fishing inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the western and central Pacific Ocean without a valid U.S permit over two years. After four days of negotiations, Albacora S.A. and US authorities NOAA reached a $5 million settlement that will go into the Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund. What is the largest civil penalty ever assessed by the US autorities will boost the Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund to implement marine conservation plans in the Pacific: “This money has the potential to do a lot of good for the region, in particular our territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, which are all struggling economically, in helping them sustainably develop their fishing industry and infrastructure” said a senior enforcement attorney for NOAA’s Pacific Islands region.The Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund was established in 1996, and fines and penalties from violations by foreign fishing vessels that occur in the U.S. EEZ are deposited into the fund, which can only be used to support the conservation and management objectives under a marine conservation plan. In addition to agreeing to a civil penalty, the company Albacora SA admitted the violations and promised to prohibit the Albacora Uno from entering U.S. waters, even in transit, for three years. The terms of the agreement also require the company to develop and implement a company-wide monitoring program to ensure future compliance by its vessels.

    Source: Pacific Island News Association


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Pacific relations


  25. France wants to increase its Indian Ocean tuna capacity by 500%
    2010-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    France’s Fleet Development Plan (FDP) submitted to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) shows that the country intends to increase its tuna fishing capacity from 4.638 GT (gross tonnage) to 23.430 GT in the Indian Ocean by 2015. France intends to add one new purse seiner of 2.319 GT each year, during 2009-2012, and fifteen small tuna vessels of 1.286 GT capacity (all combined) in 2015. In addition, the country has indicated that seven existing longliners, currently configured to target toothfish, will be converted to fish for tunas in the future. No specific time-line for the introduction of these vessels has been provided. Nevertheless, this will contribute to an increase in capacity of 8.230 GT. Besides France, only Malaysia and Mauritius have submitted FDPs to the IOTC. Malaysia wants to increase its fleet to 112 vessels by 2012, and Mauritius intends to increase its fleet to 20 vessels with capacity varying from 200 to 800 GT each by 2015.

    Source: Atuna


    Link Read more



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