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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 346 ]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 346 ]
Send date: 2012-12-03 06:38:31
Issue #: 163
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 : [03/12/2012]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week
  1. Our Video Guest: Achille Bassilekin, ACP Secretariat
  2. Main Events for the Week 03/12/2012 – 09/12/2012
  3. New EU support for Mozambique
  4. Rainfall shifts pushing rural poor to migrate
  5. EU and Madagascar: Renewal of fishing protocol
  6. EU: Council debate on the reform of CAP
  7. EU: No to shark finning
  8. Chad’s herdspeople map out their climate futures
  9. The EU October 2012 edition of "Commodity price data"
  10. Decrease in UK’s expenditures on development
  11. OECD paper: climate change adaptation technologies in Africa
  12. AidWatch Report: poor quality in European aid programs
  13. Agreement on external dimension of EU CFP
  14. EU Fisheries Council partially agrees on EMFF
  15. EC supports protection of GIs in Africa
  16. “Safety and Health at work” project in five developing countries
  17. World Development Report 2013: Jobs Drive Development
  18. Caricom's worrying attitude to the ACP
  19. ACP seeks EU clarification on outstanding BAM
  20. Caribbean Heads urge stronger voice for ACP Group
  21. Political talks kick off ACP parliamentary sessions
  22. World Bank did not urge Africa to reject EPAs with EU
  23. EU’s position at Doha conference adopted despite Council blockage
  24. Leading MEP calls for EU climate security envoy
  25. Using nanotechnologies to boost crop yields?
  26. Doha: Climate cash debate rages


  1. Our Video Guest: Achille Bassilekin, ACP Secretariat
    2012-12-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    In the first week of the COP18 taking place in Doha, Qatar, we met with Achille Bassilekin III, Assistant Secretary General in charge of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade at the ACP Secretariat, to discuss the common position and main expectations of the ACP group at the Climate Change Conference.


    Link Watch the Video


  2. Main Events for the Week 03/12/2012 – 09/12/2012
    2012-12-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Commission:
    -    9 December: Closing of the CAP@50 campaign


    Council of the EU
    -   6-7 December: Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council


    Other meetings under Cyprus presidency of the EU Council.
    -   4 December: Annual Meeting of the Heads of European Food Safety Agencies
    -    5-6 December: 46th Meeting of the European Food Safety Authority Advisory Forum (AF EFSA)


    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.




  3. New EU support for Mozambique
    2012-11-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    The European Union will provide €67.3 million support for Mozambique for the fight against hunger and chronic malnutrition and for the acceleration of the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015.
    The new programme is aimed to improve agricultural and fisheries production and to increase access to food for vulnerable groups, in particular women and children.
    It addresses the key pillars underpinning food security – availability of food, access to food and nutritional quality. This includes improving production of smallholder farmers and fishermen, for example by providing greater access to inputs such as seeds, fertiliser or tools. Other measures aim at reducing post-harvest losses, promoting home gardens for women and vaccinating chickens (to reduce the alarming mortality rate).
    The funding is part of the so-called "MDG initiative" of the European Commission (a total of €1 billion) that aims to foster progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
    The 2010 MDG Summit concluded with the adoption of a global action plan -- Keeping the Promise: United to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals -- and the announcement of a number of initiatives against poverty, hunger and disease. In a major push to accelerate progress on women’s and children’s health, a number of Heads of State and Government from developed and developing countries, along with the private sector, foundations, international organizations, civil society and research organizations, pledged over $40 billion in resources over the next five years.
    Mozambique is the largest beneficiary of the MDG initiative.

     

    Source: European Commission, United Nations


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the MDGs
    Link New EU assistance for Somalia


  4. Rainfall shifts pushing rural poor to migrate
    2012-11-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Migration driven by changing rainfall patterns is on the rise in poor rural communities, as farming families struggle to grow enough food amid worsening droughts and floods. And unless they are helped to cope, governments may face large-scale movements of destitute people in the future, says a new research, quoted by Alertnet.
    The study by CARE International and the U.N. University was carried out in diverse districts of eight countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and shows that vulnerable households - especially those with little land - are sending members away during hungry periods to find food or to earn money to buy food.
    The most commonly reported changes include delayed and shorter rainy seasons, fewer rainy days per year, more frequent heavy rains, and more frequent prolonged dry spells in rainy seasons – perceptions that in most cases correlate with local meteorological data over recent decades, the study notes. In many cases, these changes were cited as key reasons for migrating.
    The case studies - from Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana, Tanzania, Guatemala and Peru - reveal that migration is often temporary and seasonal but can be permanent if no solutions are found to deal with rainfall variability and food insecurity.  Movement tends to be almost entirely within national borders, with the most common destinations being more productive agricultural areas in Ghana, Bangladesh and Tanzania, urban centres in Peru and India, mining areas in Ghana and industrial estates in Thailand and Vietnam.


    Source: AlertNet


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link Climate Change World Bank Report


  5. EU and Madagascar: Renewal of fishing protocol
    2012-11-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The protocol setting out fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the fisheries partnership agreement (FPA) between the EU and the Republic of Madagascar was renewed at the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 28 November 2012 adopted a decision on the signing on behalf of the EU, and the provisional application.
    The partnership agreement in the fisheries sector between the EU and Madagascar was concluded in 2007. The main objective of the protocol to this FPA is to define the fishing opportunities offered to EU vessels as well as the financial contribution due, separately, for access rights and for sectoral support.

     

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about EU Fisheries Partnerships Agreements
    Link  EU Fisheries Council partially agrees on EMFF


  6. EU: Council debate on the reform of CAP
    2012-11-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Policy

    At the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 28 November 2012,
    Ministers had three orientation debates within the framework of the common agricultural policy
    (CAP) reform. The discussions focused on three points: the proposal for a regulation establishing rules for direct payments to farmers (direct payments regulation), the proposal for a regulation establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO regulation), respectively the proposal for a regulation on support for rural development (rural development regulation).
    Among the discussions, on the sugar quota regime due to expire on 30 September 2015 it was noted that, a number of countries opposed the end of this regime and would like it extended at least until 2020, whilst a number of other delegations supported the planned expiry.
    This debate was the fourth one at the level of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council under the Cyprus Presidency.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the reform of CAP
    Link Cuts in CAP budget


  7. EU: No to shark finning
    2012-11-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Parliament has voted to end shark finning on all EU vessels and all vessels fishing in EU waters, closing regulatory loopholes that permitted the practice of removing shark’s fins on board freezer vessels before reaching port.
    According to the European Commission, the move strengthens existing EU legislation and protects shark populations around the world. The previous 2003 Regulation against the practice permitted certain exemptions and was difficult to monitor. The proposal was adopted after public consultation with industry and other actors.
    Fin removal, often carried out while the fish is still alive, hinders species identification and the collection of scientific data necessary for fisheries management and conservation. Also, EU’s international commitments to protect sharks are in line with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and its International Plan of Action on Sharks (IPOA-Sharks).
    Shark finning is the practice of cutting off the fins of sharks – often while they are still alive - and then throwing back into the sea the shark without its fins. To facilitate storage and handling onboard vessels, fishermen will be permitted to slice partly through each fin and fold it against the carcass of the shark. The aim of the new rules is to better protect vulnerable shark populations across the world's oceans.

     

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Commissioner's comment
    Link Commission proposes full ban on shark finning


  8. Chad’s herdspeople map out their climate futures
    2012-11-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Environment

    An innovative initiative led by the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), the Association des Femmes Peules Autochtones du Tchad (AFPAT) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), is exploring how traditional knowledge and atmospheric science could be combined to respond to the climate change risks.
    A meeting held in November 2011 in N’Djamena, Chad, brought together meteorologists and community representatives from Chad, Niger, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa, and resulted in the ‘N’Djamena Declaration on traditional knowledge and climate adaptation’, which was presented at the 17th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban in 2011.
    Over 12 days the participants worked together to construct a 3D model of the Baїbokoum area of Chad. Bouba and his colleagues made a significant contribution identifying six tree species protected under M’bororo customary law, which have both medicinal and ecosystem functions and have acted as navigation reference points over the years.
    Moreover, the government has invited the M’bororo people to advise them on issues such as the protection of threatened forest spaces in mountains outside Baїbokoum, ensuring their voices continue to be heard in the corridors of power.
    Source: AlertNet


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Declaration presented at Durban
    Link CTA Briefing: Pastoralism


  9. The EU October 2012 edition of "Commodity price data"
    2012-11-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy

    The European Commission has released the October edition of ”Comodity price data”, a price dashboard which provides a summary of commodity price data for the most representative agricultural products and consumer food prices, at EU and world level for the last month.
     Although not all the products are comparable at both EU and world level, this document is intended to give an indication on the most recent price developments.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read previous editions of the dashboard
    Link Read other EC reports on Commodity prices


  10. Decrease in UK’s expenditures on development
    2012-11-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    The UK’s Gross Public Expenditure on Development (GPEX) amounted to £8,950m (11,04m Euro) in 2011/12, registering a decrease of 0,6% as compared to last year, according to the annual report released by the Department for International Development of the UK government.
    The Department for International Development (DFID) aid programme accounted for £7,682m (9,474m Euro) or 87% of this expenditure. DFID’s bilateral assistance to sub-Saharan Africa rose to £1,8 m (2,22m Euro) in 2011/12, a 3% from the previous year, while the bilateral assistance to the Pacific registered an increase of 15% compared to 2010-2011 to £3.0m (3,7m Euro). The DFID bilateral assistance was provided to 68 countries, out of which Ethiopia, India and Bangladesh received the largest amounts of aid.
    The report on the deployment of official financial resources to support international development shows how this funding is broken down by destination country or organisation, type of assistance and purpose.
    It provides information on the UK’s Gross Public Expenditure on Development (GPEX) which includes both the Department for International Development (DFID) programme and the element of official UK aid that is delivered through other UK Government Departments. This report also provides information on the level of Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the UK.


    Source: The Department for International Development of the UK government


    Link Read more
    Link AidWatch Report: poor quality in European aid programs
    Link Find out more about the DFID


  11. OECD paper: climate change adaptation technologies in Africa
    2012-11-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    OECD released a paper on “Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Africa: Evidence from Patent Data”, which presents comparative data on innovation in climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies in the context of Africa.
    The analysis is aimed at informing policy aimed at encouraging international technology transfer and development of domestic innovation capacities. It presents detailed analysis of the role of Africa in development of these technologies (invention), and examines Africa as a technology market (as reflected in patenting). In addition, it touches upon the question of cross-border technology development (co-invention) in Africa.
    Despite Africa’s generally low volume of inventive activity in these fields in comparison with other countries, inventive activity is disproportionately directed towards mitigation and adaptation technologies. In addition, the rate of international co-invention for most mitigation and adaptation technologies is much higher in Africa than in the rest of the world. And finally, rates of protection of climate technologies at African intellectual property offices are high relative to other technologies. Nonetheless, it is emphasized that a relatively small number of inventions are protected in Africa, providing evidence that IP is not a barrier to technology transfer and diffusion.


    Source: OECD


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the OECD
    Link CTA Briefing: Climate Smart Agriculture


  12. AidWatch Report: poor quality in European aid programs
    2012-11-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    The quality of EU aid programmes to developing countries can further improve and more funding can be better delivered to developing countries, shows the latest AidWatch report published today by Concord, the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development.
    The report indicates that there exists an overlap between the Member States and the European Commission aid programs, which results in “expensive bureaucracy and unnecessary costs of administration for recipient countries”. Thus a better coordination between the separate programs is to be desired for achieving an increase in aid quality.
    The report also underlines that aid tying (aid that is given on the condition that the recipient will use it to purchase goods and services from suppliers based in the donor country), due to its domestic interest bias, reduces the amount of aid which can actually help the developing countries- “Despite many EU Member States’ fully untying aid over the last decade, six countries continue to tie 30% of their aid,” says Amy Dodd, member of AidWatch and UK Aid Network (UKAN).
    The report comes on the eve of the anniversary of last year’s international aid summit in Busan, South Korea, where the EU signed up to a global agreement to make development cooperation more effective.
    AidWatch is a group of European aid experts from members of the European Confederation for Relief and Development (CONCORD), which represents more than 1,600 European NGOs.

     

    Source: CONCORD


    Link Read more
    Link Read the AidWatch report
    Link Response of the European Commission


  13. Agreement on external dimension of EU CFP
    2012-11-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Parliament has subscribed to the Commission's proposal which sets the same sustainable fishing objectives for international as for European waters. On 22 November, the European Parliament plenary session adopted the European Commission's Communication on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy. While pleading for a broadening of the Communication’s scope and an integrated view encompassing European trade and development policies, the EP backs all topics of the Communication, including the elaboration of a 'global catch and traceability documentation scheme' to fight against illicit fishing, strengthening the capability of the regional fisheries management organisations and increasing the contribution from ship owners to the financial compensation paid to the benefiting countries of partnership agreements.
    The Council adopted its general approach on this Communication in March 2012, and also globally backed the Commission's policy.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the CFP
    Link Reform of the CFP


  14. EU Fisheries Council partially agrees on EMFF
    2012-11-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    At the ministerial discussions at the Council on 22 and 23 October 2012 in Luxembourg Member States’ fisheries ministers reached a partial agreement on how the future Regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Member States agreed to phase out scrapping aid, with a transition period lasting until 2017. They also agreed to retain temporary cessation aid and engine replacement aid, albeit under strict, limited conditions.
    The Commission estimates that the maximum possible amount for these subsidies will be less than half what is actually being used for these measures in the EFF (European fisheries fund).  ‘Of course, our proposal is more ambitious'; commented Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, ‘it puts a complete end to the ineffective subsidies of the past, which contributed to overfishing and to the economic decline of the fishing sector.’
    Pending further information on the European Parliament’s position, the Commission reiterated that its initial proposal was still on the table, with a view to reaching a compromise agreement between the three institutions.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about EU Fisheries
    Link Find out more about EFF


  15. EC supports protection of GIs in Africa
    2012-11-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy

    The European Commission signed on Monday 26 November in Zanzibar (Tanzania) a cooperation agreement with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to improve the protection of traditional agricultural products (geographical indications or "GIs") in Africa.
    This will involve, among other matters, promoting the GI legal framework, informing producers and other stakeholders and enhancing the public's awareness of GIs and their potential for African producers.
    The (non-legally binding) agreement is an administrative memorandum of understanding in which the Commission's agricultural department and ARIPO undertake to work together in development of GIs.
    The EU has developed over time a comprehensive scheme of protection of geographical indications, which encourages diverse agricultural production, protects product names from misuse and imitation and helps consumers with information on specific characteristics of products.
    Speaking at the opening plenary of the 36th session of ARIPO's Administrative Council, where the agreement was signed, Dr Gift Sibanda, ARIPO's Director General, declared "We took a strategic decision last year to develop geographical indication protection. Through this cooperation with the Commission, we hope to build a system of effective GI protection, suited to African farmers' needs."


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link GIs in the EU
    Link New European framework for quality schemes in agriculture


  16. “Safety and Health at work” project in five developing countries
    2012-11-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive

    The European Commission and the International Labor Organization (ILO) conducted a joint project aimed at a more inclusive and productive society through a reduction in occupational accidents and work-related diseases. The "Improving safety and health at work through a Decent Work Agenda" project was implemented in five pilot countries- Honduras, Malawi, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Zambia- starting in 2010.
    The project was presented in a conference on "Safety and Health at Work: hopes and challenges. Towards a systematic approach in development cooperation", organized today 28 November 28 by the "External Cooperation" Info Point of the European Commission in Brussels. Among the speakers were Annie Rice, Senior Specialist, Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (Safework),  and Amélie Schmitt, Chief Technical Advisor for the project.


    Source: "External Cooperation" Info Point, CTA


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the Project
    Link Read the project outline


  17. World Development Report 2013: Jobs Drive Development
    2012-11-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive

    According to the World Bank, 600 million new jobs will have to be created over a 15-year period for employment rates to remain constant. The World Development Report 2013 considers jobs as drivers of development and shows that jobs are more than merely a byproduct of economic growth – they are transformational in terms of living conditions, social cohesion and productivity gains.
    The Report was presented in a panel discussion at the World Bank Brussels Office on 27 November, where many issues relating to employment in developing countries were raised, including the importance of increased rural productivity for smallholder farmers, the necessity for remote small island nations to link their economies to the global economy for the sustainable creation of jobs, and the lack of data concerning employment and labour in the majority of Sub-Saharan African countries.


    Source: World Bank Group, CTA


    Link Read more
    Link CTA: Increasing rural employment in sub-Saharan Africa
    Link BR 19: Youth and Rural Development


  18. Caricom's worrying attitude to the ACP
    2012-11-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    There are concerns that the 14 independent member countries of Caricom will be missing from the ACP's Seventh Summit of Heads of State and Government, scheduled for December 13-14 in Malabo, the Jamaica Observer notes.
    The Caricom head of states were also absent at the sixth ACP Summit in Ghana in 2008 (with the exception of the then Surinamese President Ronald Venetiaan).
    Ahead of yesterday's start of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly, Sir Shridath Ramphal commented: "I am absolutely appalled to learn of the negligible response from Caricom to these meetings of the ACP group of nations... The Caribbean has an obligation to be in the forefront of participation in these significant ACP events rather than, as it appears, being in retreat..."
    While a number of Caricom governments are faced with serious domestic social, economic, and political problems, none of these are said to be so acute as to deter quite a few of them from demonstrating scant interest to ensure at least reasonable representational involvement in the summit, the Jamaica Observer notes.
    The ACP's Seventh Summit of Heads of State and Government will have a work agenda driven by the central theme: "The Future of the ACP Group in a Changing World — Challenges and Opportunities".


    Source: Jamaica Observer


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about CARICOM
    Link Find out more about the ACP group


  19. ACP seeks EU clarification on outstanding BAM
    2012-11-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are seeking clarification from the European Union (EU) regarding outstanding pledges to support their banana sector.
    At the start of the 24th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly here, Suriname’s representative Rabin Parmessar, questioned alleged reports that the European Parliament has decided to reduce the amount of pledged financial support for the industry. “We were informed that the European Parliament has decided to reduce the amount of the accompanying measures on bananas and we would like to know if that is correct”, said Parmessar.
    He reminded his ACP and EU-colleagues that in 2010 the European Union decided to establish the supporting programme Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) in order to help the ACP member states to cope with the new EU banana regime. The assistance programme was supposed to be set up and implemented in the period 2010-2013. “We wish to urge the EU to disburse all the resources announced and to guarantee full disbursement of the allocated resources and facilitate their optimum use”, Parmessar told the conference.
    The Banana Accompanying Measures were designed to help those ACP countries adjust to the changes arising after December 2009, when the EU agreed to cut the EU's banana tariff for Latin American countries - its so-called Most Favoured Nation or MFN tariff - (which lead to a decrease in the preferential margin which ACP countries enjoyed) as a response to more than 15 years of legal disputes in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over preferential trade regime with the ACP.  But in the last period the ACP countries have complained that the EURO 190 million for 10 countries over a four year period, have not been forthcoming.


    Source: Carribean 360


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the BAM
    Link Cameroonian banana sector to receive EU funds


  20. Caribbean Heads urge stronger voice for ACP Group
    2012-11-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The President of Suriname joined fellow Head of State from Guyana in welcoming parliamentary delegates from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group last weekend, calling for stronger economic cooperation amongst its 79 member states, less reliance on foreign aid, and a united voice on global development issues.
    In his presentation at the opening ceremony of the 30th Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly on Saturday in Paramaribo, H.E Desiré Delano Bourtese urged members to embrace South-South cooperation in creating new economic models for sustainable development. He said leaders must “create order” in national economies first.
    “The ACP has shown its strength and remains a considerable force that cannot be overlooked... I call upon you to put in all your efforts in deepening the relations that exist among us. It is in our interest to shift the balance in our favour by vigorously promoting cooperation among ourselves,” he told the packed hall.
    President Ramotar urged parliamentary members to rally together on issues such as food security, unemployment, poverty reduction, and corruption. He called for the ACP voice to be heard more loudly on international issues, such as developments in the Middle East, democratisation of multinational institutions such as the IMF, and broadening relationships with emerging economies such as BRICs.
    The ACP plenary session was held in preparation for the 24th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly to start Tuesday 27th November.


    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Political talks kick off ACP parliamentary sessions
    Link ACP summit


  21. Political talks kick off ACP parliamentary sessions
    2012-11-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    ACP parliamentary sessions opened on Thursday 22 November in Suriname with the Committee of Political Affairs hearing updates on critical situations in ACP states, including the crises in Somalia, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Resolutions on these topics are expected at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly next week.
    “During [ACP sessions], we are able to assist our member countries to solve the problems we have. There are also issues that need the solidarity of members,” said Hon. Thandeko Zinti Mnkandhla of Zimbabwe, who stood in for Samoa to chair the meeting of the Political Affairs Committee this morning.
    Over the first three days of the sessions (22-24 November), parliamentary delegates from 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific strategised and prepared for joint sessions with European counterparts which  started on Saturday 25 November and continue until Thursday 29 November. Three standing committees – the Committee on Political Affairs; Economic Development, Finance and Trade; and Social Affairs and Environment held discussions before the full ACP plenary session kicked off on Saturday.
    Talks focused especially on the European and ACP Group response to the Somali crisis, the occupation of Northern Mali, and the instability in the Great Lakes region – especially in East of the Democratic Republic of Congo- where armed rebel forces M23 continue to destabilise the resource-rich SADC member state, while neighbouring countries have been accused of backing them.


    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link African leaders stress importance of major ACP summit
    Link 24th session of the ACP-EU JAP


  22. World Bank did not urge Africa to reject EPAs with EU
    2012-11-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    On November 26, a news taken from various media  with the headline: World Bank urges Africa to reject EPAs with EU, gave the erroneous impression carried by the headline and in the main body of the article as communicated by the World Bank Office in Brussels. As noted in the feedback from Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist, Africa Region of the World Bank, who was misrepresented, "Masahudu Ankillu Kunateh’s  story  of November 14, 2012 in the AllAfrica.com portal, and especially the headline, completely misrepresented my remark about Economic Partnership Agreements at the plenary session on youth employment at the recent African Economic Conference in Kigali.  Nowhere in my remarks did I call on African countries to “reject” EPAs.  My remarks were about the benefits (to both sending and receiving countries) of migration.  Since I was speaking after Professor Charles Soludo, who had said that the benefits of EPAs to African countries were not significant, I suggested that the benefits of agreements on migration could be considerably higher.  Turning this statement about the benefits of migration into a position on EPAs is inaccurate and misleading."
    The World Bank regrets any inconvenience caused by the article.
    For more information contact the World Bank Brussels Office.




  23. EU’s position at Doha conference adopted despite Council blockage
    2012-11-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Parliament voted on Thursday 22 November in favor of a common EU’s position at the UN climate change conference held between Monday, 26 November to Friday, 7 December 2012 in Doha.
    This comes after the council of heads of states could not reach an agreement and adopt a common position ahead of the Doha conference, due to Poland’ veto. The resolution issued by the Parliament underlines however that the unanimous adoption of Council conclusions is not required for actions in the field of climate change. Thus MEPs urge the Council to adopt such positions only on the basis of qualified majority, as the treaties indicate.
    The NGOs welcomed the decision and described it as a step forward towards a strong EU position in global climate negotiations.  
    Poland has blocked Council’s conclusion on the position because it fears it will not be able to trade anymore its surplus of carbon credits in the next Kyoto trading period.

     

    Source: European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Resolution for EU commitment at Doha
    Link Leading MEP calls for EU climate security envoy


  24. Leading MEP calls for EU climate security envoy
    2012-11-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Senior British MEP Graham Watson has called for the creation of an EU special representative on climate security.
    His demand comes after parliament last week debated what role the EU's security and defence policy should play in climate-driven natural disasters.
    Watson, who is chairman of a global parliamentary network called the Climate Parliament, warned of the "security implications" of climate change. "These climate impacts - whether they come with a bang or are a gradual drip-drip process - will have security implications. It could be water wars, drought-fuelled famines or flood refugees. We would be fools to not start thinking about the military implications now", the former ALDE group leader said,
    Watson, a British Liberal MEP, said the commission should ensure that climate security is "mainstreamed" in all areas of EU common security and defence policy reports, spending and strategy.
    He added, "that we need an EU special representative on climate security. I fear that without one very little would happen." His call for such as post was backed last week by parliament's foreign affairs committee.
    Meanwhile, following the collapse on Friday of negotiations on the EU budget, environment groups CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe have called on countries to focus their efforts on agreeing a deal in the new year that has "quality" EU spending at the top of the agenda. Markus Trilling, EU Funds coordinator for CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe, said a 25 per cent 'green' EU budget for 2014-2020 would "unlock substantial" investment money for projects like energy savings and renewables that would cut greenhouse gas emissions, create millions of new green jobs and reduce fuel poverty.

     

    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Resolution for EU commitment at Doha
    Link Doha: Climate cash debate rages


  25. Using nanotechnologies to boost crop yields?
    2012-11-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Policy, Food Security, Environment

    Nanotechnologies that deliver fertilisers to plants offer promising ways of improving farm productivity while reducing the risk of water contamination. But the scientists behind a new Swiss-funded study caution that while the technology is still evolving, potential risks must be considered.
    The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme proposes heavy investment in developing materials and machines that are built from an atomic or molecular scale, with the European Commission proposing some €6 billion in financing for nano and other advanced technologies. Even more, a UN Food and Agriculture Organization conference held earlier this year in Rome identified nanotechnology as potentially having “significant benefits” for food security in a world facing a population rise from 7 billion now to 9 billion in 2050.
    Clemens Breisinger, a German agricultural economist and senior researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), says the growth in consumption in the emerging world’s middle class also creates pressure for more production. “As incomes grow, people tend to eat richer food, more meat,” Breisinger said. “The only way to meet the demand is to significantly increase global food production,” Breisinger told EurActiv in a telephone interview. “The big question now is can this be done through productivity gains, or do we need more land.”
    But the scientists behind a new Swiss-funded study caution that while the technology is still evolving, potential risks must be considered. Researchers at Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station (ART) in Zurich and the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture in Berne say that direct application of plant protection products and fertilisers containing nanosubstances may pose potential hazards to microorganisms that flourish beneath the Earth’s surface. The scientists contend there is only limited research into the effects of man-made nanomaterials on soil health, and point out that “the potential improvement of plant protection products and fertilisers through nanomaterials is offset by their significantly higher flux into soils if nanomaterials are used.”


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Nanotechnologies in Food and Agriculture
    Link Read the report about the use of nanotechnologies


  26. Doha: Climate cash debate rages
    2012-11-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The EU will not commit to renew climate funding which runs out at the year's end ahead of talks at the Doha climate summit, which opens on Monday 26 November. But new climate aid may be announced in the conference’s second week.  
    Development NGOs reacted angrily to an EU statement on 23 November which said only that in Doha, the EU would “discuss with its developing country partners how major flows of EU climate finance can continue in 2013-2014”. "If the EU and other developed countries are serious about making climate action a reality for the period 2013-2020, they can't afford to come to Doha empty handed,” Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU policy adviser told EurActiv.
    Senior EU officials believe that most member states have factored climate aid into their medium term financial plans and leaders are likely to announce commitments at the conference itself.  “It will probably happen in the [conference’s] second week,” the EU’s chief climate negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger said, “and I don’t think this will be a pledging exercise, just what is in the drawer at the present point in time and what has been agreed to in the next year and maybe the year after”.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Resolution for EU commitment at Doha
    Link EU reaffirms its commitment to FSF



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