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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 350]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 350]
Send date: 2013-01-18 10:43:50
Issue #: 167
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 : [18/01/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week
  1. Main Events for the Week 21/01/2013 – 27/01/2013
  2. Our Video Guest: Francis Fay, EC
  3. ACP countries draw the line on EU sugar reforms
  4. AUC – EC Forum on Trade Facilitation
  5. In Mali, EU sees need for long-term aid
  6. St Vincent and the Grenadines to intensify its Banana Rehabilitation program
  7. Public consultation on the future of organic production
  8. EP backs EU’s EPA with Africa
  9. EP: EC must reconsider withdrawal of ‘Made in’ regulation
  10. Kenya: Dutch potato project to improve food security
  11. EP: Council risks derailing fisheries reform
  12. Nigeria: Cell Phones for two million farmers in 2013
  13. EFSA identifies risks to bees from neonicotinoids
  14. What Does the 'Doha Climate Gateway' Mean for Africa?
  15. Auditors raise doubts about EU road aid to Africa
  16. Action to improve soil for global food security
  17. EP protecting genetic resources in developing countries
  18. Greenpeace: EU to also set a good example in the fight against IUU
  19. Caribbean: Climate-Smart Agriculture Bolsters Farm Production
  20. Oxfam: Africa can produce the food it needs
  21. Proposal for a new EU Environment Action Programme to 2020
  22. New Protocol to EU – Ivory Coast Fisheries Partnership Agreement
  23. Next Brussels Development Briefing
  24. EU cautious about new Obama climate policy buzz
  25. St Vincent to benefit from EU funds
  26. EURAXESS: Global links in research
  27. CFP reform not yet a done deal
  28. Doha: a time of transition, not a failing of political will
  29. Mauritius ratifies Nagoya Protocol


  1. Main Events for the Week 21/01/2013 – 27/01/2013
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, ACP-EU Policy, Food Policy, ACP-EU Fisheries, Environment

    Council of the EU:
    - 21- 22 January: EUROGROUP Meeting
    - 23, 25 January: COREPER I
    - 23- 24 January: COREPER II

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
    - 24 January: Public presentation of EESC opinion "Maritime piracy: strengthening the EU response".

    European Parliament:
    - 21-24 January: European Parliament committee meetings

    ACP Group:
    - 23 January: Working Group on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group
    - 24 January: Committee of Ambassadors
    - 25 January: Information meeting with beneficiaires of the ACP-EU Microfinance Programme

     

    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.




  2. Our Video Guest: Francis Fay, EC
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy, Rural development

    In November last year, the European Commission signed a cooperation agreement with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to help improve the protection of traditional agricultural products (geographical indications or "GIs”) in the 18 ARIBO member countries- Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    In a conversation with CTA Brussels, Francis Fay, Deputy Head of Unit “ACP, South Africa, FAO, and G8/G20”, at the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission presented the objective of this agreement and the situation of GIs in Africa.
    Subjects:
    - The scope and purpose of an geographical indications (GIs) protection system (in Africa)
    - The different ways the protection of GIs is regulated in Africa
    - The details of the EC- ARIPO
    - The role of the EU and the EC in the protection of GIs in Africa


    Link Watch the Video
    Link EC supports protection of GIs in Africa


  3. ACP countries draw the line on EU sugar reforms
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    As the negotiations on yet another reform of the sugar policy of the European Union reach a critical point in Brussels, the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister of Swaziland met with the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş in Brussels on Monday 14 January, carrying a vital political message to the EU on behalf of all African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and Least Developed Countries whose economies and people are dependent on sugar exports to the EU market.
    In order for the modernization and expansion programmes to bear fruit and contribute to the development of the ACP economies, “we need an additional period of five years” of stability in the European policy and market; after 2020, we will be looking to develop other sectors of our economy on the basis of a sustainable and successful sugar cane industry”, the message of Deputy Prime Minister’s to the EU says.
    Highlighting the example of Swaziland, the Sugar Industry is of critical importance to Swaziland’s socio-economic development because it contributes about 18 percent to national output (GNP), employs over 35 percent of its agricultural workforce, and, like many other ACP countries, Swaziland is implementing EU part-funded expansion especially in the smallholder sugar cane production sector.  
    The EU market absorbs over 300,000 tonnes of the sugar production of Swaziland (around half of the total production of Swaziland), generating more than 50% of total industry revenue and 58% by value of Swazi exports of all products abroad.  The encouraging developments to date in the expansion and modernization of the Swazi sugar industry, and indeed all ACP countries, are now threatened by the European Commission proposals to reform the EU sugar policy.
    Since the reform of the sugar market regime, the EU has become a net importer of sugar. Imports are mainly in the form of cane sugar for refining, from the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) and Least Developed Countries (LDC) which benefit from quota-free, duty-free access to the EU market.
    For the ACP non-LDC countries a safeguard clause will remain in place until 2015.


    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the reform of the sugar policy
    Link Sugar funds cuts: damage to Fiji not so sweet


  4. AUC – EC Forum on Trade Facilitation
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Commission (EC) organised the first Joint Customs and Trade Facilitation Forum titled "A Customs Strategy for the Continental Free Trade Area" in Brussels from 11 to 13 December 2012 .
    Customs and Trade Facilitation is one of the actions jointly implemented by the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) in the framework of the Joint Africa EU Strategy to foster cooperation between both EU and African customs administrations and amongst African customs administrations.
    The objective of the Forum was to contribute to the identification of concrete measures to be taken by the AU, its RECs and Member States' customs authorities in their area of competence for the implementation of the customs aspects related to the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). It follows the decision taken by Heads of States at the African Union Summits of January and July 2012 to move toward a CFTA by 2017.
    Overall, the final recommendations of the forum urge the AUC "to address continental challenges in the area of trade facilitation, customs procedures and legislation, in particular origin, valuation, nomenclature, transit and interconnectivity, working in partnership with the RECs to prepare for the start of the negotiations."


    Source: Africa and Europe in Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the joint EU - Africa strategy
    Link Find out more about the Continental Free Trade Are


  5. In Mali, EU sees need for long-term aid
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    While France is engaged in a war with jihadists in Mali, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday 17 January are insisted on the bloc's longer-term role, saying they will unfreeze development aid money as soon as the country commits to an election roadmap. Also, the European Union announced an extra € 50 milions to support the deployment of international military action in Mali.
    Some €150 million of EU development aid funds were frozen when the jihadists seized control of the northern part of the country in March 2012. Another €90 million was earmarked for direct support to the state but was also frozen. These sums could be released gradually if there is commitment to a democratic reform process towards elections, diplomats said.
    "If you want the EU to step in with considerable sums of money, then you need to show some commitment to that democratic reform process towards elections. And the difficult decision for us would be how much risk we're prepared to bear in supporting a state which has dying humanitarian needs but doesn't really meet the benchmarks in terms of democratisation", said a senior British official in Brussels.
    Separately, the EU has pledged €82 million in humanitarian aid for Mali in 2013.
    The meeting was also attended the EU's development aid commissioner Andris Piebalgs and his colleague in charge of humanitarian aid, Kristalina Georgieva.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU Development aid in Mali
    Link EU: € 50m to international support actions in Mali [FR]


  6. St Vincent and the Grenadines to intensify its Banana Rehabilitation program
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    This year St Vincent and the Grenadines will intensify its Banana Rehabilitation program, its government announced.
    This comes as the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation and Industry continues its already successful program to control the spread of the Black Sigatoka Leaf Spot Disease. This statement was made by the Minister, Hon. Saboto Caesar, who said that they have scheduled the first Aerial Spray Cycle for 2013 at the end of this month.
    Source: St Vincent and the Grenadines Government


    Link Read more
    Link Caribbean: Climate-Smart Agriculture Bolsters Farm Production
    Link Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - EU relations


  7. Public consultation on the future of organic production
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Policy

    The European Commission launched on Tuesday 15 January  an online consultation aimed at all citizens interested in organic production in Europe. The consultation will feed the reflexion on a new framework regulation.
    European organic production rules cover the whole production chain from farm to fork. Operators respecting these rules have the right to label their products "organic" and to put the European green leaf logo on the packaging.
    After having consulted and worked together with stakeholders in the organic sector to identify issues at stake for the future, the Commission is now turning to citizens. The consultation will cover possible simplifications to be brought to the existing scheme, while maintaining high standards, as well as the issues of control and international trade.
    Once all the aspects have been addressed and examined, the European Commission will be in a position to elaborate proposals for a renewed political and legal framework for organic agriculture in Europe, to be proposed by the Commission by the end of 2013.
    Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "Today, resource management and sustainable agricultural production are becoming more and more important politically, and consumers are looking closely at how their food is produced. This is therefore a good moment to underline our commitment to the highest standards for organic production and to review our organic rules where necessary in order to see how to create the best possible conditions to encourage the development of organic production in Europe."
    The consultation will run from 15 January to 10 April 2013.
    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Take part in the consultation
    Link Report on the implementation of the current reglulation


  8. EP backs EU’s EPA with Africa
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    A majority of MEPs today endorsed the trade and development agreement concluded by the EU and four Eastern and Southern African states (ESA) Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. The deal has already been provisionally applied since 14 May 2012. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament is required to give its consent on the EU's trade agreements. Today’s vote (494 in favour) paves the way for the official entry into force of this interim Economic Partnership Agreement, which will be possible as soon as EU Member States and ESA countries will have ratified it.
    Exporters of tuna, textiles and horticultural products in Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe are among those likely to benefit from the agreement.


    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EU's first EPA with an Africa
    Link State of the interim EPA


  9. EP: EC must reconsider withdrawal of ‘Made in’ regulation
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Parliament urged the European Commission to reconsider its decision to withdraw its proposal for a regulation on origin marking, called "made in". The European Parliament has itself lent firm support to this text at the October 2010 first reading, and considers that the Commission should have consulted MEPs before taking such an initiative of withdrawal. The resolution urges the Council to finally address this issue which arouses great expectation on the part of European industry.
    Niccolo Rinaldi (IdV, Italy), ALDE spokesman on this regulation, said: "The EU must give a strong and concrete signal to consumers as well as businesses that have not relocated and continue to produce in Europe. The Commission's justification to withdraw its proposal is at the very least questionable. Relying on a recent adverse WTO (World Trade Organisation) judgment against cattle tagging in a dispute between the United States and Canada is not a credible argument because the regulation "made in" rightly excludes agriculture. This legislation rather is in line with the WTO and resembles many origin marking devices already in force in all major trading powers.”


    Source: ALDE


    Link Read more
    Link EU regulation on origin marking ("made in")
    Link EU Trade policy


  10. Kenya: Dutch potato project to improve food security
    2013-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Kenya has concluded a bilateral agreement with the government of the Netherlands to produce new varieties of potatoes and boost potato growing in the country. Kenya is expected to highly benefit from this agreement, given that currently a constant low production is registered due to poor seeds used in harvesting.
    Kenya lacks good quality seed potatoes and there is tendency to use those from previous harvests, a bad practice that can lead to pest and disease problems. Farmers use the traditional method of borrowing seed potatoes from neighbours and some have never bought potato seed.
    Potatoes are the second most important crop in Kenya, coming in just behind maize. In the region 2.5 million people are employed across the potato supply chain. According to the National Potato Council of Kenya, there are 800,000 potato growers in the country, planting an estimated 158,000 hectares.
    "For long we have been looking at sectors where we could partner and contribute to food security in Kenya and we thought that there is a gap in potato farming. We hope the Kenya-Dutch project will further contribute to high nutrition and economic stability in the country," Hans Wolff, agricultural counselor, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation in the Netherlands said.


    Source: allafrica.com


    Link Read more
    Link Brussels Briefing: Nutrition Security
    Link Brussels Briefing: Rural transformation


  11. EP: Council risks derailing fisheries reform
    2013-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    The the European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to postpone a report on Technical Conservation Measures in order to put political pressure on the Council to move forward with the issue of Long Term Management Plans which are currently blocked, and which are vitally important in terms of protecting fisheries resources and ensuring the livelihood of communities dependent on fisheries.
    No progress has been made on these important plans since the introduction of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 by successive Council Presidencies.
    "We are now calling on the Irish Presidency to deal with this issue in a pragmatic and realistic manner. Unfortunately, if the Irish Presidency is unable to map an acceptable way forward, this Parliament may have no alternative but to delay the adoption of future reports including the Basic Regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy and the Regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.", Pat the Cope Gallagher, ALDE MEP said.
    Source: ALDE


    Link Read more
    Link CFP reform not yet a done deal
    Link Crucial vote for Common Fisheries Policy


  12. Nigeria: Cell Phones for two million farmers in 2013
    2013-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Gender and development, New Technologies

    Nigeria's agriculture minister today responded to a barrage of criticism about the planned distribution of cell phones for two million poor farmers this year, gradually scaling up to a level of tenmillion phones.
    "We found that 71% of farmers sampled did not have cell phones. This shows that many of our farmers in rural areas are quite poor and are excluded from the benefits of the mobile phone revolution going on in Nigeria.", Agriculture Minister Akinwumi Adesina said, contesting the perception that "any farmer that is worth the name can afford to own one, and most likely has one already ".
    The minister said 1.2 million farmers received their subsidized fertilizers and seeds through cell phone vouchers in the past year, resulting in the addition of 8.1 million metric tons to Nigeria's domestic food supply.  He said the increased production helped to avoid a predicted food crisis when the worst floods in 50 years, beginning in July, displaced over two million people and took the lives of over 350, according to Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency.
    Now the pilot programme will be extended to reach farmers who don't already have cell phones by working out ways for them to obtain the devices. Ministry officials say the phones could eventually be used for multiple purposes, from communicating weather and climate information to accessing market data. Experiences in other African countries show such uses can deliver higher prices to farmers who sell their excess production to earn needed income.
    Estimates by the country's bureau of statistics and the Food and Agricultural Organization suggest that the country has some 14 million farmers.

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link Nigeria to Distribute 10 MIllion Phones to Farmers
    Link Digital Africa


  13. EFSA identifies risks to bees from neonicotinoids
    2013-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has identified a number of risks posed to bees by three neonicotinoid insecticides.
    Risks associated with the use of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam as seed treatment or as granules, with particular regard to: their acute and chronic effects on bee colony survival and development; their effects on bee larvae and bee behaviour; and the risks posed by sub-lethal doses[2] of the three substances were identified.
    Given the importance of bees in the ecosystem and the food chain and given the multiple services they provide to humans, their protection is essential.


    Source: EFSA


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about EFSA
    Link Find out more about EU Framework on pesticides


  14. What Does the 'Doha Climate Gateway' Mean for Africa?
    2013-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The UN climate change conference in Doha, Qatar, concluded in December 2012 with a new agreement called the "Doha Climate Gateway." Its major achievements include the further extension until 2020 of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a work plan for negotiating a new global climate pact by 2015, to be implemented from 2020.
    Despite these commitments, the Doha conference made only limited progress in advancing international talks on climate change and failed to set more ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also, only Germany, the UK, France, Denmark, Sweden and the EU Commission announced financial pledges for the period up to 2015 totaling approximately $6 billion. Most developed countries did not make pledges.
    Despite the limited advances on financing, African countries registered five positive developments from the Doha conference:
    The formal extension of the Kyoto Protocol, with continued access to carbon-trading market mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism; financing for the formulation and implementation of national adaptation plans for all particularly vulnerable countries, not just the small-island developing states and least developed countries, as previously.
    Agreement to develop an international mechanism to address loss and damage, which would support countries affected by slow-onset events such as droughts, glacial melting and rising sea levels.
    A programme for climate change education and training and the creation of public awareness to enable the public to participate better in climate change decision-making.
    Agreement to assess developing countries' needs for green technology, as well as a pledge that no unilateral measures will be taken on the development and transfer of technologies.
    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link Doha: a time of transition, not a failing of political will
    Link Kyoto Protocol extended


  15. Auditors raise doubts about EU road aid to Africa
    2013-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    A review of the European Development Fund (EDF) by the European Court of Auditors shows that aid-recipient countries do not do enough to ensure the sustainability of road infrastructure, in all partner countries visited by the Court, roads being affected to varying degrees by premature deterioration. Moreover, the auditors cited areas where the European Commission failed to hold beneficiary governments accountable once the highways were completed.
    Consequently, the Court recommended that the Commission should better focus EDF resources and make better use of conditions attached to these programmes, of policy dialogue with the partner countries' governments and technical cooperation.
    The audit focused on the technical, financial and institutional sustainability of road transport infrastructure and looked at 48 programmes financed since 1995 under the 8th, 9th and 10th EDFs in six partner countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Tanzania and Zambia where EU auditors inspected about 2400 km of EDF funded roads.
    Road transport is a focal sector for EDF cooperation strategy with most Sub-Saharan African countries, with about € 7.4 billion in EDF commitments made in this region over the period from 1995 to 2011. Improper road maintenance and vehicle overloading is putting the sustainability of Sub-Saharan road network into danger.
    Road transport handles more than 80% of cargo movement in sub-Saharan Africa, and good regional and national transportation links are seen as vital in the fight to reduce poverty and hunger, with 230 million people or one-quarter of Africans classified as undernourished.
    Commission officials, in a response to the audit, vowed to improve oversight, Euractiv notes.


    Source: European Commission, Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Euractiv: Doubts about EU road aid to Africa
    Link EU aid programme ‘performs poorly’


  16. Action to improve soil for global food security
    2013-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The Global Soil Forum (GSF) calls attention to soil having recently launched the first Global Soil Week, during which more than 400 representatives of governments, scientists, international organisations, business and civil society met in Berlin, Germany, to consider the theme 'Soils for Life'. The event took place within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and served as a platform to follow-up on the land- and soil-related decisions from the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
    Discussions at the event concluded that urgent and consolidated action was needed to strengthen science and technology, build partnerships for change and raise awareness about the issue. To accomplish this, key actions were proposed including, facilitating the science policy–public interface; and making the Global Soil Week a continuous process. In addition, developing an agenda for action also focused on multilevel governance for zero net land and soil degradation, sustainable land and soil management, and communication for change.
    Every minute, 23 hectares of land face desertification, 5.5 hectares of land are transformed by urban encroachment (severely disturbing soil functions), and 10 hectares of soil are degraded, causing the soil to lose the capacity to support ecosystem functions.
    The GSF also acts as a voice in the national and international policy debate, advocating for soil management approaches that contribute to achieving sustainable development and equitable access to this finite resource.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the Global Soil Partnership
    Link Read the report of the Event


  17. EP protecting genetic resources in developing countries
    2013-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Food Security, New Technologies

    The European Parliament voted this week on a report which proposes several measures for the protection of the rights of indigenous people in developing countries who first identify the benefits of plants with medicinal properties, and that are later used in the pharmaceutical industry.  
    Pharmaceutical companies regularly draw on traditional knowledge to identify plants or substances with medicinal properties. Companies can patent the composition and process that arise from the research and development inspired by traditional knowledge. Often the local communities that called attention to the plants' useful properties do not benefit from this and in some cases it can even make it difficult for them to make use of their own discoveries. It can also apply to firms developing new varieties of fruit and vegetables. The problem is often referred to as biopiracy. There are concerns that biopiracy could impede developing countries' economic progress. Current legislation favours companies while traditional knowledge is offered little protection.
    The report was presented to MEPs on Monday the 14th of January  and voted on the next day during this week's plenary session in Strasbourg.
    According to the report,  the EU should adopt a number of measures to fight against biopiracy: Adopt the UN Nagoya protocol, which aims to promote fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources; introduce a new legal framework for granting patents, which would involve applicants having to disclose where ingredients for a product come from, and assist developing countries in establishing the institutions required to benefit from genetic resources and traditional knowledge.


    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link Mauritius ratifies Nagoya Protocol


  18. Greenpeace: EU to also set a good example in the fight against IUU
    2013-01-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    As the European Union (EU) takes Fiji and Vanuatu to task for having weak laws to tackle illegal fishing, international environmental campaigner Greenpeace has urged the EU to also set a good example and support local fish conservation efforts while fishing in the Pacific.
    Fiji and Vanuatu are part of eight third countries cited by the EU last November for having weak laws to tackle Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and they’ve been given six months to improve weak areas or be deemed “non-cooperating” third countries in EU’s fight against IUU.
    Greenpeace, an organisation opposed to illegal fishing, said while it commends the EU’s move, it believes the EU should also respect regional agreements and conservation measures when their fishing fleets come to the Pacific to fish. “when the EU comes to the Pacific and wants to fish here, they need to ensure they too respect our regional agreements and conservation measures” Greenpeace Australia Pacific said.
    For example, said Greenpeace, “the EU has blocked certain regulations such as ‘flick the switch’ proposal by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) countries that would allow, for example, EU flagged tuna fishing vessels to be tracked throughout the Western and Central Pacific ocean.
    This pragmatic proposal would effectively tackle IUU fishing in the Pacific. The EU has blocked this and we are calling on the EU to support the Pacific Islands countries and accept this proposal.
    Furthermore, the EU also blocked proposals by Pacific states calling for the closure of certain areas of international waters, dubbed the high seas pockets, which are known hotspots for IUU fishing in the region.

     

    Source: islandsbusiness.com


    Link Read more
    Link EU warns eight countries
    Link Find out more about IUU


  19. Caribbean: Climate-Smart Agriculture Bolsters Farm Production
    2013-01-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    A new initiative is catching on in the Caribbean that aims to increase and sustain agricultural productivity by incorporating information about weather and climate into the farming process, all under the umbrella of climate-smart agriculture.
    The Barbados-based Caribbean Agrometeorological Initiative (CAMI) has been encouraging this initiative and hopes to forecast the weather as accurately as possible so that the information can factored into decisions about agricultural production.
    Ten national meteorological services - Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica and Belize - make up CAMI, which is funded by the European Union's African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Science and Technology Programme.
    CAMI was designed to assist the farming community in the Caribbean by providing information about rainy season predictors and about the development of pest and disease forecasting systems to help improve decision-making on farms.
    Its mandate also includes the creation of a user-friendly weather and climate information newsletter as well as forums for the farming community and agricultural extension agencies to help improve understanding of the applications of weather and climate information. The group is also supposed to obtain feedback from the farming community about products offered by meteorological services.
    In order to reduce the trajectory of greenhouse gases, Indra Haraksingh, solar energy expert and University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer said Caribbean countries must redesign their entire agricultural system. She pointed out that climate change would have an impact on agriculture through forests, livestock, food and food security.
    Promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), climate-smart agriculture seeks to sustainably increase productivity, resilience (also known as adaptation) and reduce or remove greenhouse gases (mitigation) while enhancing the achievement of national food security and development goals.


    Source: AlertNet


    Link Read more
    Link Brussels Briefing: Climate Smart Agriculture
    Link Chad’s herdspeople map out their climate futures


  20. Oxfam: Africa can produce the food it needs
    2013-01-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security, Aid effectiveness

    The number of people who go hungry in Africa’s poorest countries is growing despite advances in food production, say Oxfam researchers who urge European donors and African governments to invest more in small farms and give rural people a bigger stake in decision-making.
    A new report by the global anti-poverty group says more than 230 million people – or one-in-four Africans living south of the Sahara – are undernourished, up 38% from 20 years ago. In the same time, it contends that Africa can produce the food it needs to reduce hunger and improve nutrition, if the farm sector gets the right help through national and international policies.
    But studies show that underinvestment in research, training, irrigation and storage hinder farm productivity in the African sub-continent. Poor roads mean farmers can’t get goods to markets, undermining the fight against hunger and the livelihoods of growers. Though Africa is rich in ecosystem diversity, only about 10% of the continent has naturally fertile soils for growing food crops but poor management practices threaten even those areas.
    Just 4.9% of the overall €100 billion in global development aid went to support agricultural production in 2011, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
    Meanwhile, researchers fear that more and more African land is being shifted from cultivation for local consumption to production for export crops.Investors from the Middle East, Asia and Europe are tapping Africa’s cheap land and labour to supplement their own commodity production while giving governments of poor nations lucrative export revenue. The EU alone imports 40% of sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural exports.
    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Trade Agreements pose ‘tricky balance’ for African countries
    Link EU members keen on development aid cuts


  21. Proposal for a new EU Environment Action Programme to 2020
    2013-01-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission has proposed a new Environment Action Programme for the EU. Entitled "Living well, within the limits of our planet", it will guide environment policy up to 2020.
    Protecting natural capital, encouraging more resource efficiency and accelerating the transition to the low-carbon economy are key features of the programme, which also seeks to tackle environmental causes of disease. The results should help stimulate sustainable growth and create new jobs to set the Union on a path to becoming a better and healthier place to live.
    "We cannot wait until the economic crisis is over before we tackle the resources, environmental and climate crises. We must address all these at the same time and so include climate and environmental concerns into all our policies. This strategy gives businesses and politicians the long-term view we very much need for making the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon society in Europe", Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.
    The Commission's proposal will be considered through the ordinary legislative procedure by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Once agreed, the new EAP will become EU law.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Ministers to agree on the cornerstones of 7TH EAP
    Link EP in urgent call for an EC proposal on the 7th EAP


  22. New Protocol to EU – Ivory Coast Fisheries Partnership Agreement
    2013-01-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    The European Union and Ivory Coast agreed on 9 January on a new Protocol to implement the EU/ Ivory Coast Fisheries Partnership Agreement, which will provide the EU with fishing opportunities for tuna and other highly migratory species, based on a reference tonnage of 6 500 tons. In return, the EU will pay Ivory Coast an annual compensation of € 680 000, out of which € 257 500 is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of Ivory Coast. European vessel owners will pay increased advance payments to fish in Ivory Coast waters.
    Sectoral support has been significantly increased to take into account the situation of the fishing administration in Ivory Coast after the civil war and help it to take on its international obligations in term of port sate control. Control of fishing activities will be improved thanks to the use of vessel monitoring system (VMS) and electronic logbooks.
    The Protocol will be valid for 5 years and will replace the current one, which expires on 30 June 2013. The Member States with an interest in it are mainly France and Spain.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU- Côte d'Ivoire Fisheries partnership agreement
    Link The text of the agreement


  23. Next Brussels Development Briefing
    2013-01-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    The 30th Brussels Development Briefing will take place on 4th March 2013 (8h30-13h00) on the important issue of Agricultural resilience in the face of crisis and shocks, highlighting proven approaches and successes in key areas of agriculture and rural development of ACP countries and other parts of the world.
    We will organise it in in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington.
    For registrations: fill the form on http://ctaint.wufoo.com/forms/registration-for-the-brussels-briefing/, or send an email to boto@cta.int
    Further information will be made available on http://brusselsbriefings.net/ in the coming weeks.


    Source: CTA Brussels


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about Brussels Development Briefings
    Link Find out more about past briefings


  24. EU cautious about new Obama climate policy buzz
    2013-01-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The EU has reacted coolly to speculation about a potential new direction in US climate policy during President Barack Obama’s second term.
    European policymakers are cautious about Obama’s intentions after limited progress at a United Nations climate summit in Doha in December, and the president’s dismissive reaction to an EU suspension of plans to include international airlines in its Emissions Trading System (ETS).
    Climate change barely figured in the recent US election, but Obama raised some expectations of policy movement with a poll-night victory speech, signaling a desire to protect future generations from “the destructive power of a warming planet".
    On 5 January, Washington’s chief climate change negotiator, Todd Stern, said that Obama was looking to build a broad-based political coalition capable of mobilising the environmental sentiment created by Hurricane Sandy’s traumatic path through New York last October. An early spring conference is reportedly planned to explore ways of using "limited public funds" to leverage hundreds of billions of private sector dollars for climate aid.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Doha: a time of transition, not a failing of political will
    Link Decisions of the Doha Conference


  25. St Vincent to benefit from EU funds
    2013-01-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Policy

    The St Vincent and the Grenadines government says it will use the EC$34 million being made available to the island by the European Union for continued development of the agricultural sector.
    Agriculture Minister Saboto Caesar in a message to farmers and other stakeholders said that the funds are being provided under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) that is supporting African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries adjust to new global trade realities.“We have continued the stabilisation of the banana industry through Operations Cutback, Operations Flag back and control of the Black Stigatoka disease.”
    He said that while there may have been several setbacks, “my request is that we look forward towards 2013 and beyond with optimism since the $34 million under the Banana Accompanying Measures will become available to start assisting crops and livestock farmers, fishermen and women of St Vincent and the Grenadines, agro processors, marketers and farming institutions and organisations.”


    Source: Jamaica Observer


    Link Read more
    Link St Vincent and the Grenadines - EU cooperation
    Link Consult the country Strategy Paper


  26. EURAXESS: Global links in research
    2013-01-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : New Technologies

    The European Commission has launched the EURAXESS Links project, which aims to maintain the link between Europe and European researchers, scientists and scholars working abroad, as they are an important resource for European research and for stimulating scientific cooperation between Europe and their host countries.
    If the EU wants to reach its target of spending 3 % of GDP on research and development it will need to create at least 1 million new research jobs. As global competition for the best research talent continues to grow, a significant number of European researchers are choosing to work outside Europe.
    EURAXESS Links provides information about European research and research policy, and opportunities for research funding, international collaboration and transnational mobility. It is becoming a vital networking tool for European researchers working outside Europe, and non-Europeans hoping to pursue a research career within Europe. It has so far been launched in China, India, Japan, Singapore and the United States, and membership is free.
    Members of the network are kept informed about EU research policies and made aware of career and collaboration opportunities in Europe. The multidisciplinary network involves researchers at all stages of their careers: it allows them to stay connected amongst themselves and with Europe, ensuring that they are recognised as an important resource for the European Research Area (ERA), whether they remain abroad or choose to return.
    EURAXESS is a pan-European initiative, supported by 40 participating countries across Europe. Through its portal it provides a single access point to information across all countries, and personalised assistance is on offer from more than 500 staff working in the 200 service centres.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about Euraxess
    Link Find out more about R&D in the EU


  27. CFP reform not yet a done deal
    2013-01-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    Several hurdles still remain on the way to effective  reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), says the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations this week.
    As negotiators enter the final stretch (which may turn out to be a long haul) the Federation warns that the principle dangers at lie in two areas and they are: the polarisation of the CFP debate into simplistic adversarial politics, especially in the European Parliament, with the danger that subtleties of policy are lost in wild overstatement, respectively the need for the main European institutions, the Commission, the Council and the Parliament to relinquish some of their detailed legislative role in order to secure a more effective CFP .
    The Federation adds: "How this inherent rigidity at the centre will articulate with the need for a flexible, responsive and adaptable system for developing relevant fisheries policy, and one which ensures the close involvement of stakeholders at regional level, will determine the fate of fishing within the CFP for the next decade or more.


    Source: fishupdate.com


    Link Read more
    Link Crucial vote for overhaul of CFP
    Link  Link Brussels Briefing: IUU Fishing


  28. Doha: a time of transition, not a failing of political will
    2013-01-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The outcome of the Doha Climate Summit disappointed observers and activists alike, but it was in fact another step towards creating the enabling conditions for civilisational change and moves to addressing global injustice, argues Bo Kjellén, senior research fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the former chief climate negotiator for Sweden.
    It is clear that modest but real progress was made at COP18. The EU decision to accept a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol allows for a continuation of the Kyoto provisions until 2020. There was no backsliding on the Durban Platform, and the conclusion of the Bali Action Plan will focus the Parties’ attention on a single track from now until 2015. Decisions were confirmed on mechanisms and institutions dealing with technology, adaptation, and financing. The road was cleared for serious negotiation on loss and damage, in particular for small island states. These Conventions are mostly process instruments: they contain only limited binding commitments, but are designed to help the Parties reach more substantive commitments.
    Prospects for the Durban Platform are still uncertain, but the present transitional period should be used to explore the concepts of equity, fairness and justice in the North-South relationship and in view of the increasing heterogeneity of the Group of 77. At various events outside the negotiations in 2012, Parties were able to discuss these highly political concepts in a quieter and more constructive atmosphere. However, progress is far from guaranteed, and there is no doubt that the positions to be taken by Annex I countries on financing will have a decisive impact on the talks.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Kyoto Protocol extended
    Link Doha: On the edge of collapse


  29. Mauritius ratifies Nagoya Protocol
    2013-01-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Panama and Mauritius have become the 10th and 11th countries respectively to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
    Panama deposited its instrument of ratification on 12 December 2012; Mauritius acceded to the Protocol on 17 December 2012. They join the following list of countries that have ratified the ground breaking treaty: Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, India, Jordan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mexico, Rwanda and the Seychelles. This makes a total of 11 ratifications and it is envisaged that others will follow suit in the coming months.
    Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools,
    incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community.
    The Nagoya Protocol significantly advances the objective of the Convention on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources by providing greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources. Specific obligations to support compliance with domestic legislation or regulatory requirements of the Party providing genetic resources and contractual obligations reflected in mutually agreed terms are a significant innovation of the Nagoya Protocol.


    Source: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more abou the Nagoya protocol
    Link Find out more about the CBD



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Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other interested colleagues.

Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
39 rue Montoyer
1000 Brussels - Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 513 74 36 (direct); Fax +32 (0) 2 511 38 68
E-mail: boto@cta.int
Website: http://www.cta.int/
Brussels weblog: http://brussels.cta.int/
Brussels Briefings: http://brusselsbriefings.net/

Editor: Cristina Dobos (dobos@cta.int)

NOTE
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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
More information on CTA activities in Brussels at : http://brussels.cta.int/
CTA is an institution of the ACP Group of States (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) and the EU (European Union), in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is financed by the EU.
Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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