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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 239]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 239]
Send date: 2010-09-10 16:08:40
Issue #: 55
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. Brussels Development Briefing on 'Financing Agriculture'
  2. Regional Briefing on land access and land acquisitions
  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 13th to 17th September 2010
  4. Our video guest: Dr. Kisisa, Red Cross Kenya
  5. Fair food prices: new legislation needed, say MEPs
  6. Mali's President Amadou Toumani Touré: 'Africa will have its chance'
  7. Consultation on biodiversity
  8. International Label Given to Flower Firms
  9. UK growers get biofuel head start
  10. Ashton to obtain speaking rights at UN
  11. EPA the biggest threat to African integration
  12. SA sugar producers seek interim EU trade pact
  13. Old boys club dominates EU diplomacy
  14. Fair trade is growing but Africans lag behind
  15. Letter by President Barroso to the Members of the European Parliament
  16. ACP-EU Water Partnerships attracting attention
  17. Somaliland: ACP-EU Acknowledges 'Realities'
  18. Mauritius gets 30 mln euro EU grant to aid growth
  19. Caribbean Civil Society Unites to Tap EU Development Funds
  20. Land Registration Brochure, Film Out
  21. Cocoa Faces Export Ban
  22. EU funding for civil society in the Caribbean
  23. The EU approves € 264 M to help 19 ACP States face the economic crisis
  24. Annual Report 2009 - BTC publishes its second sustainability report
  25. EU research achieves breakthrough as fish spawn in captivity
  26. The EU allocates EUR 47 million for peace-keeping operation in Somalia
  27. Annual Report 2009 - BTC publishes its second sustainability report


  1. Brussels Development Briefing on 'Financing Agriculture'
    2010-09-10
    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 Briefing
    Link Past Briefings
    Link Programme_4.pdf

  2. Regional Briefing on land access and land acquisitions
    2010-09-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    Land is an asset of enormous importance for billions of rural dwellers in the developing world, and especially in ACP countries. The nature of property rights and their degree of security vary greatly, depending on competition for land, the degree of market penetration and the broader institutional and political context. Although there are specificities according to countries and regions, some general trends and common challenges can be identified and the pressure on land is set to increase over future decades, given the impacts of population growth, urbanisation, globalisation of markets, international investment flows, trade negotiations and climate change.

    The Rural Development Briefing in Central Africa on “Land access, land acquisitions and rural development: New challenges, new opportunities”  to be held in Yaoundé, Cameroun on 27-28th September 2010 will discuss the links between property rights, investment and economic opportunities in rural areas: Policy and Governance on Land and Forests Resources; the Land acquisition and its contribution to development and the Promotion of responsible agricultural transnational investments. The target group is more than 130 policy makers from Central Africa and other African countries.


    For further information, please contact: boto@cta.int  or verginelli@cta.int


    Link Programme
    Link EN_Regional_Programme_Briefing_Land2.pdf

  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 13th to 17th September 2010
    2010-09-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament :
    -13st September (Brussels): President of ECOFIN present the priorities of the Belgian Presidency  

    EU Presidency:
    -13th September (Brussels): General Affairs Council
    -13th September (Brussels): Foreign Affairs Council
    -15th-16th September (Antwerpen): Informal Council Transport
    - 16th September (Brussels):  European Council

    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    -14th September: Committee of Ambassadors

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


    Link European Parliament
    Link Belgian EU Presidency
    Link  ACP Secretariat


  4. Our video guest: Dr. Kisisa, Red Cross Kenya
    2010-09-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Our video guest this week is Dr. James Kisia. He is the Deputy Secretary General of the Red Cross in Kenya. On the occasion of his visit to Brussels, Dr. Kisia gave us an interview where he explained the work of the Red Cross in Kenya, the link between health and agriculture and the actions undertaken to win the fight against malaria. In this context, Dr. Kisia has come to Brussels to present a report on ‘home management of malaria’ at the European Commission. This is the result of an operational research project where Red Cross volunteers as part of their communities, are trained to recognize symptoms of fever and to provide anti malarial treatment to the population or to refer the most severe cases to health facilities.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Red Cross Kenya
    Link Red Cross EU Office


  5. Fair food prices: new legislation needed, say MEPs
    2010-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The bargaining positions of all players in the human food chain must be rebalanced, and fair competition enforced by law, to ensure fair returns to farmers and price transparency to consumers, says Parliament in a resolution voted on Tuesday. In a report drafted by José Bové (Greens/EFA, FR) and approved by a show of hands, MEPs suggest ways to tackle abuse of dominant positions, unfair commercial and contractual practices and late payments, and to improve producers' position in the food market. The report, a response a Commission communication, sets out MEPs' ideas on to improve the functioning of the food supply chain for the benefit of producers and citizens.

    New legislation to enforce fair competition

    Codes of good commercial practice, including penalties and a complaint mechanism should be put in place, to counter unfair behaviour by market players, say MEPs. To monitor trading relations between producers and retailers and if necessary rebalance them, an EU-wide instrument could be implemented through specialised bodies in the Member States, they add. Measures to be taken should include an analysis of possible misuse of private labels, i.e. retailers' "own brand" products and a pilot project to create an EU farm prices and margins observatory.

    Parliament urges the Commission to table legislative proposals to limit dominant market positions at all stages of the supply chain, from the input sector, through the food processing industry to retailers, says the text, adding that companies committing unfair practices should be "named and shamed".

     Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Report on fair revenues for farmers
    Link Agricultural and food prices


  6. Mali's President Amadou Toumani Touré: 'Africa will have its chance'
    2010-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    "Demography, raw materials, and our people will certainly give us one day our luck," said Amadou Toumani Toure, President of Mali, on Tuesday when he addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg. His visit touched on routes out of poverty, immigration, the potential of the African continent and the importance of cooperation with Europe. "Europe is not far from us" and "now serves as a school for the African Union", said the President.  During his visit on 7 September - in which he met MEPs from the Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence and Development Committees, we caught up with him and asked him some questions.

     Mr. President, the financial and economic crisis has hit the world. How has your country been affected by the crisis?

    Although we have suffered less, there are factors on which the financial crisis has adversely affected our development. Our control measures, auditing, and monitoring loans have enabled us to not take the crisis hard. But we have suffered the consequences, especially in terms of development assistance.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The Africa-EU strategic partnership
    Link EU Relations with Mali


  7. Consultation on biodiversity
    2010-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission has launched a web-based consultation to gather input from a wide range of stakeholders on policy options for the European Union's post-2010 EU biodiversity strategy. Opinions are sought from citizens, stakeholders, public administrations, business and civil society on issues including the shortcomings of the existing biodiversity policy, the new approach that the Commission is proposing, farming and biodiversity, the economics of biodiversity, and biodiversity governance inside and outside the EU. The results will feed into the new strategy which is under development. The consultation runs until 22 October 2010. European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik said: “Europeans agree on the need to step up efforts to combat biodiversity loss. I encourage everyone concerned by this vital issue to contribute and to help shape our policy on this vital issue."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Fill in the consultation
    Link Protection of biodivrsity


  8. International Label Given to Flower Firms
    2010-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Kenyan flower growers have been granted an international label that recognises good environmental and social practices. Growers, who have a Kenya Flower Council (KFC) silver certification or higher, can now register with Fair Flowers Fair Planters (FFP) that partners with more than 4,000 European flower vendors. Those who register stand to benefit financially, since the FFP relationship opens the market to consumers interested in sustainable products. Growers may also gain a marketing boost, since they can now claim their operations adhere to strict labour and environmental standards. "We are putting in a lot of effort on the social and environmental standards and should capitalise on these efforts in the marketplace," said Ms Jane Ngige, chief executive of KFC.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link ACP horticultural exporters
    Link Fair Flowers Fair Planters


  9. UK growers get biofuel head start
    2010-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    A new farm assurance scheme for biofuel crops will give UK arable farmers the edge in Europe’s rapidly growing bioenergy market. The scheme, which will form part of the Red Tractor Assured Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet Scheme, will help growers comply seamlessly with the EU’s new mandatory standards on sustainable biofuels. With new biofuel plants coming on-line, including Ensus and Vivergo in the North East, and Government biofuel targets increasing, Ian Backhouse, NFU combinable crops board chairman, added the scheme would give UK farmers the edge over their competitors. “Crops with the badge of assurance will have a market advantage. “This will benefit all who participate by facilitating trade, supporting demand for crops in Europe, adding value and supporting prices,” said Mr Backhouse. He added the assurance would demonstrate that the crops have met strict EU guidelines, due to come into force in December under the Renewable Energy Directive, therefore removing the need for a government or supply chain scheme being imposed on growers. “The changes have been designed to have a minimal burden on farm as they utilise the existing strengths of the Red Tractor systems,” he said. Under the update the 16,000 members of the Red Tractor Assured Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet Scheme will be asked two additional questions in their Red Tractor assurance renewal pack.

    Source: bioenergy.checkbiotech.org


    Link Read more
    Link EU strategy for biofuels
    Link Biofuels issues


  10. Ashton to obtain speaking rights at UN
    2010-09-08

    European Council and Commission representatives confirmed reports that the United Nations is to grant the EU the right to speak at the body's General Assembly ahead of its 64th session, which starts on 15 September in New York. Thus far, the EU has only had observer status at the UN. With the Lisbon Treaty, however, and the election of a permanent Council president and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU's position at the UN appears to urgently require an upgrade.  According to Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, EU members France and the UK, who would hate to lose their influence in the UN Security Council, were initially reluctant to accept the idea. Ultimately, they have agreed to a compromise under which the head of EU diplomacy, Catherine Ashton, will have the right to speak on the EU's behalf in the General Assembly but not in the Security Council.
    Apparently, the EU's request is also compelling other organisations, such as the Arab League, the African Union and ASEAN, to seek equal status. It is still unclear what response these organisations will receive, as the UN is unwilling to open a Pandora's box of new speaking rights.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU vies for special status at UN


  11. EPA the biggest threat to African integration
    2010-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has the potential to split Africa and poses a great threat to the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC’s) planned economic and financial integration, a civil society and trade analyst in the region declared recently. Speaking at a Civil Society gathering code named ‘The Southern African People’s Solidarity Network’, a trade and justice activist in the region, Dot Keet, said the EPA has the potential to derail efforts to unite both SADC and Africa’s goals of integration. “We throw our weight behind the decision by Namibia not to sign the EPA agreement because the agreement has no benefits for the continent. It is important that countries stick to what they believe including charging tariffs on their exports for the benefit of the locals,” said Keet. According to Keet, SADC and the African continent as a whole has laid proper platforms that can be accessed to promote regional trade, including the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African countries (COMESA) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). She added that it is more important for African states to promote inter-regional and African trade for the betterment of the African people. While the SADC civil society has shown its reservations against what they term ‘European dominance’ through the EPA, some SADC countries, including Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, have already inked the agreement. Namibia, South Africa and Angola are still back-pedalling on the agreement, calling for the consideration of some outstanding issues including infant industry protection and tariff charges on exports to the EU.

    Source: Trade Law Center for Southern Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Trade and regional integration
    Link SADC


  12. SA sugar producers seek interim EU trade pact
    2010-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    South African sugar producers are seeking an interim duty-free export deal for sugar to the European Union (EU) as talks for a quota and tariff-free access into the bloc continue, an industry official has said. The EU, South Africa’s largest trading partner, unveiled a new trade regime last year that allowed the world’s poorest countries quota and tariff-free access into the market. South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy, is not regarded as a least developed country and consequently does not benefit from the EU regulation. Trix Trikam, Executive Director of the South African Sugar Association (SASA), said on Thursday that the industry is still in talks with the South African government and the EU to conclude an economic partnership agreement (EPA) that would allow producers to export sugar into the bloc. “In the short-term, we believe that asking for a fixed amount of sugar at duty-free is the way to go. In the long-term we would like what everyone has got, no quota, no duty,” Trikam told Reuters. “If we get the (EU trade deal) we can enhance the revenue. Generally, the price you can earn in the EU market is better than what you would earn on the world market.” The EU has become the world’s biggest sugar importer after the bloc reduced subsidies to its farmers.

    Source: Trade Law Center for Southern Africa


    Link Read more
    Link South African Sugar Association
    Link EU Trade with South Africa


  13. Old boys club dominates EU diplomacy
    2010-09-08

    Belgian, Dutch, Italian, French and German men make up the lion's share of EU ambassadors abroad, a new study timed to coincide with a major recruitment round for the European External Action Service (EEAS), has said. The five founding members of the EU together have 66 heads of delegation out of the EU's 115 foreign missions which are run by an official with the top-level grade.
    The UK and Spain, two large countries which joined the EU later down the line, hold another 20, the report, by the Polish Institute for Foreign Relations, has shown. In contrast, the 10 countries which joined after 2004 have just two. The current distribution of top-level foreign posts reflects old colonial ties. Portugal and Spain between them lead five EU embassies in Latin America. Former colonial powers have all but three out of the EU's national representations in Africa. The gross imbalance also goes against women. Just 11 out of the 115 ambassadors are women, accounting for less than 10 percent, even though women make up 52 percent of European Commission personnel overall and 37 percent of staff in the commission's foreign relations department.

    Source: EU Observer


    Link Read more
    Link EEAS


  14. Fair trade is growing but Africans lag behind
    2010-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Despite its minuscule share of world trade, fair trade is a booming business, importing certified foodstuffs and products from all over the world to Northern supermarkets. But there is increasing concern that this growth is yet to benefit poor countries in Africa. The movement to ensure decent prices and working conditions for producers in the developing world represents less than one percent of global commercial exchanges. But, according to the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations, one of its main promoters, the tiny sector’s sales still notched 3.6 billion euro in 2009. That same year, despite the global financial and economic crisis, fair trade sales in France alone increased by 10 percent. But fair trade’s expansion is much slower in poor countries in Africa. "It is obvious that fair trade does not focus enough on least developed countries," says Christophe Eberhart, of Ethiquable, a cooperative that imports fair trade foodstuffs to France from African least developed countries (LDCs). Fair trade is increasingly popular with European consumers. In France, the Platform for Fair Trade ("Plate-Forme pour le Commerce Équitable" in French) polled consumers and found that 95 percent of them have heard of fair trade. But most fair trade success stories hailing from the South are from South America and Asia, rather than Africa. The Fairtrade Labelling Organisations’ 2009 report lists a growing number of consumer prizes awarded to fair trade products. Among an estimated 6,000 products, Bolivian vodka, Ecuadorian spicy banana chips and other niche delicacies were endorsed. But no African goods made the list.

    Source: Inter Press News Service Agency


    Link Read more
    Link Fair trade and the EU
    Link Fair Trade


  15. Letter by President Barroso to the Members of the European Parliament
    2010-09-07

    "Dear President Buzek, One year ago I presented my political guidelines for the next five years to the European Parliament and I proposed a special relationship between the Parliament and the Commission. I am pleased to see that in the few short months since the present College of Commissioners took office we have been able to give political and practical meaning to that approach. In particular it was important to conclude our new Framework Agreement quickly so that we have a clear and agreed framework for our relations. As you know, our Framework Agreement makes important changes in the way the Commission adopts its Work Programme. It foresees that the adoption of the Work Programme will be preceded by discussions between our institutions on the political priorities for the Union. It also includes the provision that the President of the Commission will make a State of the European Union speech to the plenary. In parallel with delivering this address, I would like to provide you with an outline of the main elements guiding the preparation of the Commission Work Programme. This should support an exchange of views between the Commission and Parliament which will help the Commission to finalise its work programme for 2011 by the end of October as foreseen in the Framework Agreement. As you will see from this letter, there will be a strong emphasis on economic matters for the rest of 2010 and in the Commission's next Work Programme. This reflects the continuing priority to tackle the economic crisis. We will be tabling proposals and pursuing policies that aim to get the EU economy into better shape and also front loading proposals that can help to boost sustainable growth and create new jobs. These should give hope to our citizens throughout the EU and demonstrate the real added value of action at EU level. We hope that we can secure the agreement of the European Parliament and the Council to programme "fast track" negotiations on certain key proposals central to economic recovery and job creation. This would show how our decision-making system is able to respond to particular needs and particular urgencies. In the rest of this letter I have grouped the main elements we are considering for our future Work Programme under the following headings.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link President Barrosso
    Link The Lisbon Treaty& the Parliament


  16. ACP-EU Water Partnerships attracting attention
    2010-09-07

    In 2010 the EU earmarked €40 million of the ACP-EU Water Facility to support water partnership projects. These are not-for-profit partnerships intended to: “develop capacity in the ACP water & sanitation sector, leading to better water and sanitation governance and management, and to the sustainable development and maintenance of infrastructure”. The European Commission is awarding grants to partnerships in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. EPSU/PSI and several other organisations have supported this initiative and are encouraging its use. PSIRU at the University of Greenwich has created the www.acp-eu-waterpartnerships.org website to support the ACP-EU water partnerships. The www.acp-eu-waterpartnerships.org website helps water utilities, local authorities and civil society organisations access and use EU aid to build not-for-profit ACP-EU water partnerships.

    Source: European Federation of Public Service Unions


    Link Read more
    Link Briefing
    Link Newsletter


  17. Somaliland: ACP-EU Acknowledges 'Realities'
    2010-09-07

    The meeting of ACP-EU representatives in the Seychelles has noted in its final communiqué the need for solutions to the crisis in Somalia to note the realities in Somaliland amongst others. Below is an article published by UNPO: Meeting in the Seychelles over the course of 14-15 July 2010, the joint parliamentary assembly of African, Caribbean, and Pacific and European Union countries discussed issues of key concern to East Africa, with a focus on the ongoing insecurity facing Somalia and associated offshore piracy. The final communiqué of the meeting noted - after much negotiation spearheaded by Mr. Giancarlo Scottà MEP, Vice-Chair of the Delegation - that the fight against piracy in East Africa had to recognise realities on the ground and drew particular attention to Somaliland and Puntland, although without specifically noting the success of Somaliland initiatives to combat piracy or the peaceful presidential elections held on 26 June 2010. Representatives nevertheless acknowledged a need to combat the root causes of piracy and expressed the need for ACP and EU states to act against companies and individuals from the EU and Asia fishing illegally or dumping toxic substances in the region. Delegates continued to note the need for state structures to be restored to Somali territory, albeit without reference to the ongoing democratisation process in Somaliland – a process that has won international commendation over recent months and where indicators of poverty, lack of development and political instability are markedly lower than in Somalia. Opinion remains divided over finding a meaningful solution to the instability and insecurity facing Somalia but discussions held during the course of the ACP-EU meeting revealed growing awareness of Somaliland’s achievements and the potential this may hold for the democratisation and development within the region as a whole. The ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly will convene for its 21st session in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo on 1-5 December 2010.

    Source: Hiiraan


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Somalia


  18. Mauritius gets 30 mln euro EU grant to aid growth
    2010-09-07

    The European Union (EU) said it had handed Mauritius a 30.2 million euro grant in direct budgetary assistance to help the Indian Ocean island's reforms towards becoming a high growth economy.
    The disbursement, the first tranche of the EU's 2010-2012 budget support programme worth 100.74 million euros, signalled the EU's confidence in Mauritius's economic reforms, said Alessandro Mariani, the EU's ambassador to Mauritius."The government of Mauritius has maintained good progress in implementing its economic reform programme, in maintaining a policy of macroeconomic stability and in improving public finance management," Mariani said in a written statement.Since 2006, the island has embarked on a raft of reforms to slash red tape and lure foreign investors, while donors have praised its coordinated fiscal and monetary response to the global slowdown.Official government forecasts predict the almost $10 billion economy - consistently one of Africa's most prosperous and stable - will grow by 4.2 percent this year compared with an estimated 3.1 percent in 2009.

     Source: Africagoodnews.com

     


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Mauritius


  19. Caribbean Civil Society Unites to Tap EU Development Funds
    2010-09-07

    Roosevelt King, the secretary general of the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (BANCO), believes that Caribbean governments have dropped the ball when it comes to their commitment to support the initiatives of civil society. He says their lack of commitment dates back to the Cotonou Agreement that was signed in 2000 and regarded as the framework for the European Union's relationship with the 79 countries of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions."If you look at the handbook for non-state actors, you will see that our governments have done absolutely nothing to allow us to reach that level of participation," King told IPS ahead of the first ever meeting of civil society organisations from across the Caribbean, which are seeking to develop a proposal to access assistance from the European Development Fund (EDF). "At least, I should say they have taken us to the threshold but are not allowing us to cross. If it were not for the active vigilance of the EU to ensure that their Euros are properly spent to achieve development through cooperation, we would still be out to sea," he said."Our governments have a mandate to allow us to participate in the country strategy paper (CSP) and the national indicative programme (NIP). To explain these documents in a nutshell, the CSP is like an assessment paper and the NIP is a plan of action listing the main focal areas for funding and a budget for executing the programme. These strategies also exist at the regional level," he added.

    Source: Inter Press News Service Agency


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou agreement
    Link EU Relations with Barbados


  20. Land Registration Brochure, Film Out
    2010-09-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    A brochure and 30-minute film were launched yesterday as information tools on the recently embarked upon registration of communal land. Before the Act came into effect, traditional chiefs and authorities allocated land-use rights according to traditional tenure systems. This was done mostly orally and not documented, leading to a myriad of land-use disputes. The Communal Land Reform Act aims at establishing a proper and uniform land registration system for all existing rights and for land rights for which application will be made in future. The Act distinguishes between two rights to use land in communal areas, which are customary land rights and non-commercial residential and farming use and rights of leasehold for commercial activities.Customary land rights entail the allocation of rights to residential units and rights to farming units. These rights are strictly for non-commercial practices. Leasehold land rights are allocated to people who wish to carry out economic activities, like a business or agriculture in designated areas. The communal land registration process started in March 2003, and will be intensified with financial assistance from the German government. The European Union, the German Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, KfW, and DED assisted the lands ministry with the development of the land registration process. The EU's Rural Poverty Reduction Programme (RPRP), for which 53 million Euros have been provided for under the ninth European Development Fund (EDF), made available 5 million Euros to assist the ministry during 2005 and 2009. This grant was used for the purchase of cars, funding of bursaries and in-house training, the provision of technical assistance. It was also used to take aerial photographs as a reference for the identification and demarcation of individual land plots. Production and processing of these pictures cost 1.7 million Euros, which was also funded by the EU. This approach, said EU Ambassador to Namibia, Dr Elisabeth Pape, was successfully tested in several villages, confirming that this was speeding up the registration of communal land titles. "Registration of land rights is the starting point to turn land into a more productive asset and to ensure sustainable management of this fragile natural resource," said Pape.
     Counsellor to the German Embassy in Namibia, Reinhold Neukötter, said the Communal Land Reform Act is fair, just and gender-sensitive with far-reaching impacts to the majority of Namibian citizens.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Namibia
    Link EU Delegation to Namibia


  21. Cocoa Faces Export Ban
    2010-09-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Nigeria may be on the verge of losing out in the cocoa export business at the end of the year for failing to to comply with the European Union's standard requirement of chemicals used in the production of the commodity. Indeed, the nation stands the risk of its cocoa product being rejected at the international market due to the use of substandard chemicals in its cocoa plantations. The International Cocoa Organisation - the United Nation's regulatory body for the commodity has said that Nigeria's cocoa export has been found to be of low standard due to the discovery of substandard pesticides used in its production. Akin Gbadamosi, National Chairman, Cocoa Association of Nigeria, raised the apprehension at the one-day Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC's) cocoa export development interactive session in Lagos, recently, adding however, that the Federal Government order the nation's security agencies, to take urgent steps to stop the continued importatation of different substandard chemicals into the country, as a way of protecting the lives of the people, especially the farmers, who risk being out of jobs if the EU ban takes effect. On the effect of EU's ban, Gbadamosi said that the implication would affect adversely the growth of the nation's economy, stressing that agriculture contributes 41.48 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of which cocoa contributes 27 per cent.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Coton
    Link EU ACP Commodities


  22. EU funding for civil society in the Caribbean
    2010-09-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Barbados’ civil society groups are among several in the Caribbean that stand to benefit from $10.1 million in funding from Europe to help confront social development issues. The money is part of more than $416 million the region is getting from the Europeans as part of the 10th European Development Fund Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme, said First Counsellor of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Robert Baldwin. But the EU spokesman is cautioning that as these organisations here and elsewhere in the Caribbean seek to implement programmes to benefit from the funding, and exploit the Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), signed almost two years ago in Barbados, it was important not to be over ambitious. Baldwin was speaking yesterday at the opening of a historic meeting of the Non-State Actors held at Savannah Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church. It is the very first time that civil society organisations from across the Caribbean are meeting to frame a proposal for submission to access the European Development Fund. The official noted that one of the innovations of the Cotonou Agreement which governs EU/African Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) relations was the increased emphasis on the role of civil society, specifically to give these non-state actors “a voice and also to fully involve it in EU-ACP cooperation”.“The countries of the Caribbean have taken this to heart by allocating funds in several of their national programmes under the European Development Fund to assist local non-state actors participation in NSA panels, which bring NGOs, the church, the private sector and labour organisations together and provide a conduit for their involvement in local development with their respective governments and also the EU Delegations in the region,” he said.

    Source: Barbados Today


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to the Caribbean
    Link Financement pour le développement


  23. The EU approves € 264 M to help 19 ACP States face the economic crisis
    2010-09-06

    The European Commission approved the first financing decisions under the EUR 264 million 2010 allocation for the so-called Vulnerability FLEX mechanism to help the most vulnerable African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries cope with the impact of the global financial crisis and economic downturn. The V-FLEX mechanism is a short-term instrument which provided for EUR 500 million over two years (2009-2010)."Developing countries continue to face important difficulties, including funding gaps in their government's budgets, as a direct consequence of the global financial crisis. This year, this EU mechanism will help 19 ACP countries maintain their level of public spending in priority areas, and therefore mitigate the social impact of the economic downturn," said Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development. The Vulnerability FLEX (V-FLEX) mechanism is the European Union's swift response to help countries most affected by the economic downturn due to their poor resilience to external shocks. In 2010, it will provide, upon their request, support to: Antigua & Barbuda, Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Grenada, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu and Zimbabwe. The financing decisions in favour of Burkina Faso (EUR 14 million) and Grenada (EUR 3,5 million) have been adopted today. Financing decisions in favour of other countries will follow during the course of autumn 2010. 15 countries have previously benefited from EUR 236 million funding under V-FLEX: Benin, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Comoros, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Malawi, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Island, and Zambia.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The V-Flex Mechanism: A success story?


  24. Annual Report 2009 - BTC publishes its second sustainability report
    2010-09-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    For a second year in a row BTC draws up its Annual Report in the form of a sustainability report. That way, we want to openly communicate about the sustainability of our activities and about our successes and shortcomings. It is a way for us to show that we want to learn from lessons from the past in order to perform even better in future. Over the last decade the landscape of development cooperation has dramatically changed. The 2005 Paris Declaration fundamentally moved the centre of gravity in development relations to the developing countries themselves. In this changed context BTC has to reconsider itself and prepare for future challenges. BTC has to reinvent itself and become a second-generation development agency, which still is relevant in the 21st century and generates added value.
    One of the most urgent matters in this respect is the adaptation of the organisational structure to the new challenges that BTC is facing, and more in particular to the emergence of new forms of aid and the increasing budget per intervention. BTC’s mission and vision were held against the light and thoroughly reformulated in 2009. From now on, BTC positions itself as the Belgian development agency. BTC wants to take on all related responsibilities and doing so focuses on quality and transparency.

    Source: Belgium Development Agency


    Link Read more
    Link Belgium Development Agency


  25. EU research achieves breakthrough as fish spawn in captivity
    2010-09-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    EU scientists have succeeded in obtaining viable mass eggs from Atlantic bluefin tuna in captivity, using natural means and without any hormonal induction. If breeding can be developed on a commercial scale, pressure on endangered wild stocks could be significantly relieved. This is the result of the third year of work of SELFDOTT, a research project funded by the European Union to the tune of € 2.98 million and co-ordinated by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO). The results of the project have been filmed and  broadcasted on 26th August on "Futuris", the science programme of TV channel Euronews. Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said "The SELFDOTT project is yet another example of EU funded research contributing to tackling the most important global challenges facing us today. If the results of this research can ultimately be commercialised, it can improve food supplies and contribute to economic growth and employment while also helping to ensure a sustainable management of bluefin tuna."According to the IEO researchers, these results show the tuna's ability to adapt after more than three years of domestication. A total of 10 million eggs were produced in a single day.Getting naturally spawned eggs from captive individuals represents an important step forward in research on Atlantic bluefin tuna aquaculture, bringing commercial breeding of this species closer. That could contribute to a sustainable management of bluefin tuna.The SELFDOTT team will now study the embryonic and larval development of these eggs and seek to improve the survival and growth of the juveniles. The project aims also to develop sustainable feeds for bluefin tuna juveniles and to produce a protocol for commercial-scale larval rearing.

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link DG Fisheries


  26. The EU allocates EUR 47 million for peace-keeping operation in Somalia
    2010-09-05

    The European Commission confirmed its support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing an additional EUR 47 million to the African Union, bringing the EU allocation to AMISOM to a total of EUR 142 million funded under the African Peace Facility (APF) since 2007. Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Commission Vice-President said: "AMISOM remains crucial to prevent a severe further downfall in the security of Somalia and has proven to be key to the creation of minimum security pre-conditions for dialogue and reconciliation in Somalia". EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, added: "The EU is committed to support the African Union in creating the necessary conditions to national reconciliation, lasting peace, stability and sustainable development in Somalia. I hope that this mission will establish an environment where human rights are respected, the protection of all citizens assured and internally displaced persons and refugees can return home in safety and dignity." AMISON has had an uninterrupted peacekeeping presence in Mogadishu since March 2007. The renewed EU support will continue to give AMISOM the means to provide protection to the Transitional Federal Institutions; assist in the implementation of the national Security and Stabilisation plan (NSSP); facilitate humanitarian operations and provide support to disarmament and stabilisation efforts.

    Source: European Union


    Link Read more
    Link African Peace Facility
    Link AMISOM


  27. Annual Report 2009 - BTC publishes its second sustainability report
    2010-09-05

    For a second year in a row BTC draws up its Annual Report in the form of a sustainability report. That way, we want to openly communicate about the sustainability of our activities and about our successes and shortcomings. It is a way for us to show that we want to learn from lessons from the past in order to perform even better in future.Over the last decade the landscape of development cooperation has dramatically changed. The 2005 Paris Declaration fundamentally moved the centre of gravity in development relations to the developing countries themselves. In this changed context BTC has to reconsider itself and prepare for future challenges. BTC has to reinvent itself and become a second-generation development agency, which still is relevant in the 21st century and generates added value.One of the most urgent matters in this respect is the adaptation of the organisational structure to the new challenges that BTC is facing, and more in particular to the emergence of new forms of aid and the increasing budget per intervention. BTC’s mission and vision were held against the light and thoroughly reformulated in 2009. From now on, BTC positions itself as the Belgian development agency. BTC wants to take on all related responsibilities and doing so focuses on quality and transparency.

    Source: Belgian Development Agency


    Link Read more
    Link Belgian development Agency



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