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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 348]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 348]
Send date: 2012-12-19 08:43:48
Issue #: 165
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 : [18/12/2012]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

 

  1. Happy Holidays from the CTA Brussels Office!
  2. Our Video Guest: Shadreck Mapfumo, GIIF
  3. Indian Ocean: better knowledge of tuna stocks
  4. Fisheries Committee votes for crucial overhaul of Common Fisheries Policy
  5. EU fisheries ministers fail to follow scientific advice
  6. EU support to Tanzanian horticulture
  7. Irish EU presidency: A breath of fresh Eire?
  8. Piebalgs presses EU nations to live up to aid promises
  9. Exporting water through food
  10. ACP countries sign strategic partnership deal
  11. Negotiation deadlock main challenge of summit in Malabo
  12. Aid - visualizing tools
  13. EU: €30m more for Sudan and South Sudan
  14. World donors urged to back social fund
  15. EU dismisses Polish warnings over carbon market fix
  16. EU aid programme ‘performs poorly’
  17. EU donors freeze aid to Uganda over corruption
  18. ACP leaders ahead of critical summit
  19. EU to 'rethink' its climate policy
  20. EU: €20m humanitarian response in Mali
  21. Kyoto Protocol extended
  22. Doha clears way for 'damage aid' to poor nations
  23. Environment technologies: EU-South Africa cooperation
  24. EU aid to Barbados


  1. Happy Holidays from the CTA Brussels Office!
    2012-12-19

    We hope you enjoy our last newsletter for 2012. We would like to wish our readers all the best for the holiday season and for 2013! We will return at the beginning of January to continue providing you with news.


    Your CTA Brussels team


    Link 2012: a year in review


  2. Our Video Guest: Shadreck Mapfumo, GIIF
    2012-12-19

    Shadreck Mapfumo presents the pilot program aimed at introducing the index insurance in the African market- The Global Index Insurance Facility program (GIIF).
    GIIF is managed by the World Bank and the International financial corporation (IFC), and was launched at the end of 2009 in Kenya, in order to address the scarcity of affordable insurance protection against natural disasters in developing countries.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Find out more about the GIIF


  3. Indian Ocean: better knowledge of tuna stocks
    2012-12-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    The European Commission has funded a large-scale scientific study on Indian Ocean tuna stocks, focused on the migratory habits of these species about which there are still relatively large knowledge gaps. The aim is also to improve knowledge of stocks vital to the European tuna fleet, so as to place their management on the best available scientific bases.

    In international waters and in its own, the European Union wants to base stock management on the best scientific knowledge. This requires political will, financing and listening to expressions of scientific curiosity. Since the 1980s scientists in charge of advising the IOTC had wished to learn more about the behaviour of Indian Ocean tuna stocks. Where do they go? Where do they reproduce? Where are their nurseries? And so on.

    The Regional Tuna Tagging Project in the Indian Ocean was therefore put in place. It is financed by the EU’s European Development Fund, steered by the IOTC Scientific Committee and is under the responsibility of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).


    Link Read More


  4. Fisheries Committee votes for crucial overhaul of Common Fisheries Policy
    2012-12-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Fisheries

    The European Parliament's Fisheries Committee voted today on major reforms to the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) calling for legally binding commitments by 2015 and 2020 to rebuild fish stocks, a ban on fish discards at seat, and devolved management of fisheries to regional bodies within the remit of the Treaty.
    Pat the Cope Gallagher (Ireland, Fianna Fáil), ALDE's spokesman on the Fisheries Committee, said:
    "Decisions about how best to manage fisheries need to be taken locally by the people who know their seas and understand the conditions. We must end micro-management from Brussels by cooperating more closely with regional stakeholders. There is no 'one-size fits all' solution when it comes to rebuilding fish stocks across Europe, but we need a standard control and enforcement regime throughout the EU.
    Chris Davies (UK, Lib Dem), who co-founded the cross-party "Fish for the Future" group, commented:
    "Most of the difficulties being faced by fishermen stem from the fact that Europe's fish stocks have too often become severely depleted. Rebuilding fish stocks is the way to give our fishing industry a successful long term future.
    Nils Torvalds (Svenska Folkpartiet, Finland), ALDE member of EP fisheries added:
    "It cannot be acceptable any longer to throw perfectly edible fish overboard, dead. But an obligation to land all catches must not penalise fishermen."


    Link Read more
    Link More about ALDE
    Link Brussels Briefing: IUU Fishing


  5. EU fisheries ministers fail to follow scientific advice
    2012-12-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    According to a recent analysis launched by WWF, fisheries ministers have only followed scientific advice in 13% of their decisions over the past nine years.

    The analysis, which was developed ahead of the EU fisheries reform process currently in progress, revealed that, on average, fishing quotas were set 45% higher than was scientifically recommended. To add to the problem, this does not include the quantity of fish that is thrown overboard and wasted.

    Tony Long, director of WWF’s European Policy Office, said: “The European Parliament needs to see what a bad job fisheries ministers have been doing over the past decade. MEPs now have a unique opportunity and the power to right a wrong – listen to science and let fish stocks recover.”   The study also suggests that EU governments have been legalising overfishing as ministers approved fishing of 6.2 million extra tonnes of fish. In Europe almost half the stocks in the northeast Atlantic are overfished with 80% overfished in the Mediterranean, resulting in two thirds of assessed stocks being overfished.

    Mr Long added: “By disregarding scientific advice, fisheries ministers are effectively not only making decisions that are depleting a ‘public good’ such as fish, but they are also wasting fish through discarding and wasting EU citizens’ money."   WWF says that the upcoming EU fisheries reform must ensure the sustainable management of fish stocks if profits and income for fishermen are to improve.


    Link Read more


  6. EU support to Tanzanian horticulture
    2012-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    The European Union has announced that it will spend Euro 4.5m ($5.88m) to support the Tanzanian horticultural sector in a bid to increase small farmers' income through better access to markets.

    EU and the government of Tanzania have recently signed a financing agreement for the 10th European Development Fund - Support to Trade and Agriculture in Tanzania.

    "This support aims at providing support on key commodities which offer opportunities for pro-poor trade, such as... horticulture," the EU Ambassador to Tanzania, Filiberto Sebregondi said.

    Mr. Sebregondi said; "The present support will contribute to the development of the horticultural industry, increasing production income generation and consumption of fresh horticultural produce in Tanzania.

    "The projects to be supported should be demand-driven from horticulture stakeholders to exploit the fast growing demand and market opportunities available at the national, regional and international markets but should also contribute to a long term goal of strengthening the capacity of the sector," he said.

    On his part the Deputy National Authorising Officer for European Development Fund (EDF), Mr. Samuel Marwa expressed the government's appreciation to the EU and its member States for the support.

    "The government appreciates the timely decision by the EU and its member states to allocate funds for financing the horticultural sub-sector in Tanzania...this support has come at the right time given the challenges being faced by the horticulture sub-sector," he said.


    Link Read more


  7. Irish EU presidency: A breath of fresh Eire?
    2012-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The upcoming Irish presidency of the EU Council of Ministers will be one of realism and optimism, Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore told reporters during a hand-over event in Brussels. Ireland, he said, hoped to become the first country to emerge from the EU/IMF bailout programme.
    Ireland's second in command, or Tánaiste in Gaelic, said at the Council yesterday (17 December) that the priorities for the Irish presidency were banking supervision, an agreement on the EU budget, and unemployment, especially amongst the youth.
    Areas of focus will include the Digital Agenda for Europe, the EU’s Single Market, multi- and bilateral trade agreements (such as EU-US Trade Agreement) and the banking union.
    With EU leaders failing to agree to an EU budget for 2014-2020 in November, the burden of pushing it through also falls on the Irish.
    “We will assist [Council President] Herman Van Rompuy in any way we can”, Gilmore said.
    The deputy prime minister said his country would take a “glass half full, not half empty” approach to its presidency, which begins on the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s accession to the European Union.
    The debt-ridden country, which received an €85 billion bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund in 2011, takes over the six-month rotating presidency from Cyprus on 1 January 2013.
    Irish Taoiseach Enda Kelly has called it a “recovery country driving a recovery agenda for Europe.”
    Ireland was a microcosm of the EU, attempting to boost economic growth and job creation while driving down its deficit, Gilmore said. He added that Ireland hoped to become the first country to emerge from the EU/IMF bailout programme.
    Irish officials said they would make sure to carry through the implementation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism for the eurozone's 6,000 banks, agreed on by finance ministers on 13 December. Gilmore said the banking union and deeper economic coordination were vital to the stability of the EU.
    The minister quoted the Gaelic phrase “Tús maith, leath na hoibre” - “a good start is half the work” - outlining his desire to carry on the momentum created by developments that took place under the Cypriot presidency, including the SSM.
    The SSM is viewed as a major step towards a full banking union and closer economic integration within the eurozone.
    “It is imperative to move quickly,” Gilmore said. “We need to coordinate economic policies in response to the crisis”, he added. He also expressed hopes an agreement on the EU budget would be agreed “early in the new year”, with the MFF fully signed and delivered by the end of 2013.
    Gilmore, also minister for foreign affairs and trade, said the Irish presidency would “target the sectors with the highest growth potential”, including trade with countries outside the EU, the EU’s enterprise competitiveness programme COSME, and the digital sector.
    To Lucinda Creighton, the Irish European affairs minister, the digital economy would be one of the key drivers of growth, citing government figures which estimate that for every one job lost, 2.6 new jobs could potentially be created online, as well as an EU GDP boost of some 2%.
    Creighton told reporters the Erasmus student exchange programme would be “key” to the presidency.
    The European Parliament recently voted for a deal on the 2013 budget which safeguards Erasmus funding, whose existence had been under threat as member states called for EU budget cuts.
    Rory Montgomery, Ireland’s permanent representative to the EU, has said the presidency would also make the controversial financial transaction tax a priority, though Ireland would not take part in it from the start.


    Link Read more


  8. Piebalgs presses EU nations to live up to aid promises
    2012-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    Europe's overseas aid commissioner urged rich nations not to renege on their commitments to help the world's poor people, even as EU capitals grapple with their own financing problems.
    "A number of member states, for very understandable but for regrettable reasons, have scaled back their ambitions," Andris Piebalgs, the development commissioner, said in a speech on Monday (17 December). "This will make meeting our 0.7% pledge more of a challenge."
    In 2000, the EU's 15 countries vowed to devote at least 0.7% of their gross national income to development aid by 2015, which coincides with pledges to help developing nations cut poverty by half under the UN Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs. A lower threshold, 0.33% of GNI, was set for the 12 countries that joined the EU since 2004.
    But today's economic and sovereign debt crises mean that few EU countries are on course to meet the goals. The EuropeAid budget also faces cuts after 2013 despite the EU's growing list of promises to help the least developed countries through improvements in health, education, nutrition and access to energy and water.
    Testifying before the European Parliament's foreign development committee, Piebalgs urged MEPs to join him in pressing national leaders to spend more overseas. "All the member [states], even in these challenging times, know that development cooperation can yield more and better results for those who need it most."
    Several countries, including debt-plagued Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland, have cut aid spending, data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show. Austerity measures could cost the EU’s aid budget nearly €10 billion for the seven-year period running from 2014 to 2020 under the latest proposals being discussed by EU leaders at their November summit in Brussels.
    Four nations - Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and Luxembourg - have exceeded the 0.7% target, OECD figures show. Europe’s two biggest economies - Germany (0.40%) and France (.046% ) - spent less of as a percentage of GNI on foreign aid than Ireland (0.52%) in 2011.
    Despite evidence that many European capitals are failing in their aid spending, Piebalgs said: "We cannot give up ... As soon as we lose the courage, it will be the end of the story."
    "Each country should have a credible plan to reach 0.7% because if GNI is smaller, then the amount is smaller."
    Several MEPs also criticised the failure of national governments to dig deeper into their pockets to help poor countries.
    "We need to have a go at the countries that are not doing their part," said Charles Goerens, a Liberal Democrat from Luxemboug, adding: "Everything needs to be done to eradicate poverty."
    "We can't put up with people saying, no can't do. It's the sort of thing that the commission has to react."
    Piebalgs outlined the commission's development priorities for 2013, including:
     • A plan for sustainable development and fighting poverty before a key international meeting on a successor to the MDGs. That meeting is to take place in New York under UN leadership in September.
     • Proposals to help the least development countries that are failing to meet MDGs on improving health, education as well as access to water, sanitation and energy.
     • A food security plan to address hunger and nutritional problems in developing countries.


    Link Read more


  9. Exporting water through food
    2012-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Environment, Food Policy

    Food production is water intensive. This ‘virtual water’ both represents a challenge and an opportunity, since it can be exported worldwide, writes Lars Hvidtfeldt. Lars Hvidtfeldt is Vice-President of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council.
    In comparison with other regions, the climatic changes will have limited effects on agricultural production in Northern Europe and Denmark, where we are expecting more water and a longer growing season as a result of the warmer climate.
    Moreover, in a global perspective, our farmers and agro-industries are resource efficient in terms of water use. Whilst it takes some 650 litters of water to produce a ton of wheat in Denmark, the world average is about 1800 litters, and within the EU, the amount of water to produce one litter of milk in Denmark is a third of what it takes in Spain.
    Exporting virtual water worldwide
    In the future, Denmark has the potential to play an even more central role in world food production than today, where the country is the world’s third largest food cluster. By producing and exporting more food, farmers and agro industries can play a pivotal role in securing a more sustainable water use within the EU and globally, by exporting the virtual water contained in our products to areas facing water scarcity.
    In view of the global food supply chain and the increased pressure on Earth’s water resources it is important that production takes place where there is water, and where water is used most efficiently. Therefore the notion of sustainable intensive production ought to play a pivotal role in the debate on the EU’s future water policy.


    Link Read more
    Link Brussels Briefing: The Water We Eat


  10. ACP countries sign strategic partnership deal
    2012-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Environment, Food Security

    The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is to work with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries under a new deal designed to fight global hunger and poverty and increase the sustainable management of natural resources.
    The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva and ACP secretary-general Mohamed Ibn Chambas yesterday at the 7th Summit of ACP Leaders in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

    Specific areas for collaboration under the FAO-ACP agreement will include promotion of food security; promotion of sustainable intensification of crop and livestock; promotion of fisheries and aquaculture production; food crisis early warning systems; detection and prevention of transboundary plant and animal diseases; disaster risk management; development of improved food products, standards and marketing; food and nutrition education; and promotion of sustainable forest management.

    Financial resources for projects under the agreement will be identified and mobilized through funding sources including the European Development Fund, Trust Funds, the Global Environment Facility and other international and national partners.

    Graziano da Silva reaffirmed FAO's support to national efforts to move towards more intensive, but sustainable production systems that are resilient to climate change."In many ACP countries, the processes of climate change are exacerbating the risks already facing people. We see this in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and other parts of Africa, for example," he said.

    "The Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean and South Pacific are particularly vulnerable to the rise of sea levels due to global warming. This is leading to a loss of productive land and reducing the resilience of coastal ecosystems," he added.


    Link Read more
    Link More about FAO


  11. Negotiation deadlock main challenge of summit in Malabo
    2012-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between countries of the Africa- Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) and the European Uion (EU), deadlocked in Central Africa, are seen as the main challenge of the ACP summit opened Thursday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

    “Clearly, the meeting aims at reaching an agreement or a common position on both sides, that’s to say, all ACP members as well as the European Union. Anyway, the EU is already united on this issue, ” Cameroonian political scientist Firmin Mbala told Xinhua on the eve of the 7th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government, preceded by the 96th Council of Ministers opened Tuesday.

    Proposed by the EU to replace obsolete trade agreements of Yaounde, Lome and Cotonou, the EPAs showcase the will of the old continent to gear up its trade relations with traditional partners in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific for the global economy shaken by the emergence of new actors, but face strong opposition in the ACP countries.


    Link Read more
    Link More about the Summit


  12. Aid - visualizing tools
    2012-12-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Humanitarian Aid

    For those interested in how much aid the EU and Member States spend in a developing country or who are the biggest donors, the European Commission has developed an interactive tool- the EU Donor Atlas- that provides an overview of development aid distribution across the world.
    The Donor Atlas provides a quick way to look at global trends in matters of development aid (who, where was done the most). Here, one can search by specific donor country, areas of activity, regions, or developing countries.
    However, those who are searching for more in-depth information on individual projects can find tools as AidData and Aidflows (developed by the World Bank) more useful.
    The Donor Atlas has been presented on Tuesday 11th December by European Commission representatives at a conference organized by the Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid DG in Brussels.


    Source: CTA Brussels


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about AidData
    Link Find out more about AidFlows


  13. EU: €30m more for Sudan and South Sudan
    2012-12-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    Due to the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan and South Sudan, the European Commission is boosting its humanitarian assistance by €30 million for both countries.
    The main concern is the ever increasing number of refugees and displaced people fleeing the conflict area of South Kordofan and Blue Nile State in Sudan, mainly to South Sudan and Ethiopia. The new funding brings the Commission's relief aid in Sudan and South Sudan to €157 million for this year. It will support immediate life-saving activities such as distributing essential food and non-food items, as well as providing shelter, health, protection, water, hygiene and sanitation.
    “The conflict in the border region has turned more than 210,000 people into refugees. Another 650,000 are internally displaced. These numbers keep rising. On top, food prospects are dire for more than half of the population, as floods and war have damaged the harvest” said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
    In Sudan, the delivery of aid is extremely difficult due to restricted access. In South Kordofan and Blue Nile, humanitarian workers are not allowed to reach hundreds of thousands victims of conflict. After nine years of conflict in Darfur, there are still 3.5 million people dependent on humanitarian assistance, including 1.7 million internally displaced.

     

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More EU aid in Sudan
    Link EU action in Sudan


  14. World donors urged to back social fund
    2012-12-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid, Aid effectiveness

    A global fund for the development of a social insurance scheme in developing countries appears as the next natural step in the development effort of world donors.  “Donors have begun to recognise social protection is one of the important of things that should be done … as part of their development aid,” Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur for food rights said, noting that the EU has recognised in its Agenda for Change.
    The EU’s proposal for a revamped foreign aid plan, the Agenda for Change, calls for European investment in social insurance for the world’s poorest nations. And the 184-member nations of the International Labour Organization (ILO), including the 27 EU states, in June adopted a resolution urging all countries to provide minimal social protections in the build-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
    De Schutter, and his colleague Magdalena Sepúlveda, a lawyer from Chile who serves as the UN special rapporteur for extreme poverty, have urged advanced countries to pay into the Global Fund for Social Protection that developing nations can tap to co-finance insurance schemes. The two said the need for social protections is amplified during a time of economic problems that has hurt the economies of the least-developed nations and taken a bite out of foreign aid. “When the global financial crisis struck, governments stepped in to prop up banks that were deemed too important to fail,” they said in a joint statement in October. “The same logic must now be applied to basic social protection, which is too crucial to be denied.”
    De Schutter added that many poorer nations cannot afford unemployment, disability and healthcare insurance of basic food support.“The governments of these countries do no dare to take the risk of establishing standing social protection schemes because they fear that it may not be fiscally sustainable for them to do so. So the global fund for social protection is a mechanism by which the international community would support these poor countries, the least developed countries, to allow them to move towards the establishment of social protection floors.”


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the Agenda for Change
    Link ILO Recommendation for Social Protection Floor


  15. EU dismisses Polish warnings over carbon market fix
    2012-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission denies Polish data contending that plans to ‘backload’ 900 million carbon allowances from auction on the Emissions Trading System (ETS) will diminish the revenues of new EU member states.
    According to this analysis Poland stands to lose over a billion euros and 16% of its allowance revenues, under the proposed backload plan, put forward by Brussels last month to shore up Europe's battered carbon market.
    Hungary would forego €189 million and almost a quarter of its revenues, while the Czech Republic would lose €375 million and 13.6% of its revenues, according to the analysis by Poland, which opposes the EU plan.
    Warsaw says that the numbers are an aggregate of figures from Annex 6 of the impact assessment accompanying the European Commission's carbon market reform proposal.
    However, the Commission insists that backloading will produce positive effects for Member States budgets. Overall, the Commission estimates that between 2013 and 2015 member states auctioning revenues would increase by 59% with backloading.
    A Commission ‘Fiscal impacts of backloading’ analysis, seen by EurActiv and sent to all 27 EU states last week, projects an increase in the carbon price from €10 in 2013 to €12 in 2015 as a result of backloading – compared to a steady €5 price without the measure. The higher the carbon price goes, the higher the incentive for industries to invest in less polluting technologies, which was Europe's ultimate objective when it launched its carbon market to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission´s low carbon Roadmap
    Link Find out more about EU ETS


  16. EU aid programme ‘performs poorly’
    2012-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    EU aid programme ‘performs poorly’ on value for money and effectiveness, and needs ‘significant improvements’, according a report published on Tuesday 11 December by the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI).
    The report which focusses on the impact of EU aid on the ground in low-income countries through three case studies: Mozambique, Tajikistan and Uganda highlights several cases in which EU aid money has been inappropriately used.
    In Mozambique, the EU set aside £60million to build a 60-mile stretch of road which would provide a missing link between the major port of Quelimane and the Malawian border; also, in Uganda where the EU has now built so many roads that the network is ‘well beyond the size and standard the country can afford to maintain’.
    The report expresses surprise that the EU ‘does not have a specific definition of value for money’, with the result that it does not bother to keep track of the issue. It also warns that neither the EU, nor the UK Department for International Development (Dfid) are doing enough to clamp down on corruption.
    However, even if weaknesses in the EU’s own performance management and results framework make an overall view of the impact of EU programmes difficult to achieve, researchers admit that there are some positive results but long-term impact and sustainability have not been demonstrated.


    Source: DailyMail Online, ICAI


    Link Read more
    Link About the report
    Link Poor quality in European aid programs


  17. EU donors freeze aid to Uganda over corruption
    2012-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    More Western donors, among which the EU, Germany and the UK are freezing aid to Uganda after a scam in which $13 million of donor funds was embezzled by the office of the prime minister.
    According to the latest scandal - brought to light by the country's auditor general in October, more than $220 000 was spent on gas in four days, millions of dollars were diverted to buy luxury vehicles for top officials, and millions were deposited into individuals' private accounts.
    Because the money was for the rehabilitation of parts of northern Uganda devastated by decades of warlord Joseph Kony's brutal insurgency, the scandal has provoked a lasting rage around the country and inspired aid cuts that foreign donors had been reluctant to inflict on this East African country.
    Roberto Ridolfi, the head of the European Union delegation to Uganda, said in a statement that the scandal and those before it amounted to "a breach of trust" on the part of Ugandan authorities. Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Britain and Denmark have already cut or cancelled all aid to Uganda over the scam, saying they have lost faith in the government's capacity to spend money responsibly. Western donors fund up to 25% of Uganda's budget. Ridolfi said the EU and its development partners in Uganda "will withhold pending budget support disbursements and any further commitments for an initial period of up to [six] months".


    Source: The Monitor


    Link Read more
    Link EU work in Uganda
    Link UK stops aid to Rwanda


  18. ACP leaders ahead of critical summit
    2012-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    National heads from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific will convene this week in the Central African Republic of Equatorial Guinea for the 7th Summit for ACP Heads of State and Government.
     Under the theme “The Future of the ACP Group in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities”, the summit is set to be a milestone for the 79-member bloc, which includes 40 Least Developed Countries and 36 Small Island Developing States.
    “The world has gone through major economic and political shifts since the last ACP summit in 2008 in Accra, Ghana. We therefore need to re-evaluate the role of our Group and how to best serve the interests of our member states and the 930 million people that inhabit them,” said ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas. “There is certainly great potential and solidarity in the ACP’s alliance of developing countries, and we need to capitalise on this to have a stronger and more unified voice on the global stage.”
    Discussions on the future of the ACP Group will focus on trade issues, including the Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union, as well as the nature of ACP-EU relations in general. They will also cover peace, security, and good governance in ACP states and regions; the future of development finance (including the European Development Fund) and post-Busan partnerships; improved intra-ACP cooperation; and diversified partnerships such bodies such as the BRICS countries. A session on environment, climate change and food security, along with a high level dialogue on energy and sustainable development are also on the agenda.
    Envoys from key international bodies such as the European Commission, the African Union, various United Nations agencies, as well as partner governments are also expected.
    The summit will also include preliminary ministerial meetings from the 10th to 12th December.


    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Importance of major ACP summit
    Link ACP parliamentary sessions


  19. EU to 'rethink' its climate policy
    2012-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The EU has been urged to "rethink" its energy and climate policy in the wake of disappointing UN climate change negotiations in Doha.
    "We remain committed to the fight against climate change but in light of the lacklustre results from UN climate negotiations, the EU must rethink its own energy and climate policies", BusinessEurope director general Markus Beyrer said after the conference. He went on "Technology should be the driving force to deliver on energy cost-competitiveness, security of supply and climate action with the ambition of maintaining a strong industrial base in Europe."
    Further reaction came from Stephanie Pfeifer, of the institutional investors group on climate change, which represents European investors with over €7.7 trillion in assets. She said, "The failure of climate negotiators in Doha to agree levels of finance to combat climate change and to delay a decision on this issue until 2013 is disappointing."
    Meanwhile, NGOs in Brussels said developing countries had left Doha "with little more than they arrived with".
    At the 2009 Copenhagen negotiations, developed countries committed to pay €77bn per year by 2020 to help developing countries adapt to climate change and lower their emissions. But the Doha agreement on Sunday failed to commit nations to scaling up their climate finance from next year.

     

    Source: the Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Kyoto Protocol extended
    Link Doha clears way for 'damage aid'


  20. EU: €20m humanitarian response in Mali
    2012-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    The European Commission will be increasing its humanitarian response to the crisis in Mali by €20 million. The additional funding will bring the EU's humanitarian support to Mali to a total of €101 million for 2012.
    With the new funding the Commission aims to boost the relief effort in all parts of Mali, particularly in the North, as well as in neighbouring countries to which Malian refugees have fled as a result of the conflict.
    The conflict in Mali has forced 400,000 people to flee their homes while 4.6 million Malians are affected by the ongoing food crisis. Those Malians in need of humanitarian assistance include 200,000 forced from their homes inside northern Mali and another 200,000 who are now refugees in neighbouring countries.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about aid programmes in Mali
    Link General Strategy for Mali [FR]


  21. Kyoto Protocol extended
    2012-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    On the last day of the Doha climate change conference, Saturday December 8, the Kyoto Protocol was amended to continue as of 1 January 2013 with a second period of another 8 years.
    Countries have agreed to review their emission reduction commitments at the latest by 2014, with a view to increasing their respective levels of ambition.
    Developed countries have reiterated their commitment to deliver on promises to continue long- term climate finance support to developing nations, with a view to mobilizing 100 billion USD both for adaptation and mitigation by 2020. Germany, the UK, France, Denmark, Sweden and the EU Commission announced concrete finance pledges in Doha for the period up to 2015, totaling approximately 6 billion USD.
    Also, a timetable for the adoption of  an universal climate agreement by 2015, and the completion of new institutions and ways to deliver scaled-up climate finance and technology to developing countries was agreed
    The last-minute adoption of the protocol has been attributed to a reversal of Poland’s stance regarding excess carbon credits, which is shared by Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. A huddle of European Union delegates followed. Also, a number of EU countries and Australia appear to have forgotten to submit their paperwork. Qatar itself may have been instrumental in brokering the deal.
    The next major UN Climate Change Conference - COP19/ CMP9 - will take place in Warsaw, Poland, at the end of 2013.

     

    Source: Clean Technica, UNEP


    Link Read more
    Link Kyoto Protocol Extended
    Link video on ACP's expectations from Doha


  22. Doha clears way for 'damage aid' to poor nations
    2012-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Poor countries have won historic recognition of the plight they face from the ravages of climate change, wringing a pledge from rich nations that they will receive funds to repair the "loss and damage" incurred. This is the first time developing countries have received such assurances, and the first time the phrase "loss and damage from climate change" has been enshrined in an international legal document.
    However, the pledges stopped well short of any admission of legal liability or the need to pay compensation on the part of the rich world. Ruth Davis, political adviser at Greenpeace said: "This [text] is just the beginning of the process – you need to have a finalised mechanism. But it will concentrate minds on the fact that it is in the best interest of countries all over the world to start cutting their emissions quickly."
    The US had strongly opposed the initial "loss and damage" proposals, which would have set up a new international institution to collect and disperse funds to vulnerable countries. US negotiators also made certain that neither the word "compensation", nor any other term connoting legal liability, was used, to avoid opening the floodgates to litigation – instead, the money will be judged as aid.
    Key questions remain unanswered, including whether funds devoted to "loss and damage" will come from existing humanitarian aid and disaster relief budgets. Another question is how the funds will be disbursed. Developing countries wanted a new institution, like a bank, but the US is set against that, preferring to use existing international institutions. These issues will have to be sorted out at next year's climate conference, in Warsaw, where they will be bitterly contested.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Video on ACP's expectations from Doha
    Link Doha: On the edge of collapse


  23. Environment technologies: EU-South Africa cooperation
    2012-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, New Technologies

    The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and South Africa’s National Space Agency (SANSA) signed on 6 December a cooperation agreement to better exploit remote sensing technologies for monitoring atmospheric, terrestrial and marine environments.
    The objective of the JRC-SANSA agreement is to work together on a better understanding of the dynamics and evolution of the natural environment through optimal exploitation of  Earth observation data and to develop technologies and services that support not only national policies but also international issues and policies for disaster risk reduction, early warning and emergency management.
    The signature took place in the context of a high-level meeting on scientific collaboration to improve disaster anticipation and resilience organised at the initiative of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and attended by senior officials of the Commission, the Carnegie group countries (G8+5 sience ministers), the World Bank and the United Nations.

     

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link  Role of the Commission's in-house science service
    Link Find out more about SANSA


  24. EU aid to Barbados
    2012-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    The European Union will provide €40 million, as part of a new financial grant assistance to Barbados that is aimed at developing for human and investments in renewable energy initiatives.
    The new funds will bring Barbados' current active portfolio with the EU to Euro 55 million.
    Barbados’ Human Resource Development programme is to benefit from a further injection of Euro 34 million by the end of 2013, while Euro 5.8 million has been set aside for renewable energy, according to a statement from the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
    Also, a significant amount of EU grant aid provided to Barbados represents support to countries affected by the reform of the EU sugar regime in 2006 which led to a 36 per cent reduction in the price of sugar.

     

    Source: caribbean360






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Editor: Cristina Dobos (dobos@cta.int)

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Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
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