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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 351]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 351]
Send date: 2013-01-25 17:21:03
Issue #: 168
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 : [25/01/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week


  1. Main Events for the Week 28/01/2013 – 03/02/2013
  2. Next Brussels Development Briefing
  3. Our Video Guest: Francis Fay, EC
  4. CTA recruits a Research Assistant
  5. MEPs back a less green, more 'flexible' CAP
  6. Zambia: ‘Prickly’ issues to be solved before signing EPAs
  7. EU position on maritime piracy
  8. 10% of Financial Transaction tax for development?
  9. EU to promote women's education in Africa
  10. EP Agricultural Comitee first day of vote on CAP
  11. EU freezes approval of new GMO crop cultivation
  12. EU in Mali : additional €20m humanitarian aid
  13. MEPs call for better bee protection
  14. CAP: not a return to milk lakes and butter mountains
  15. France: decentralization of European Fisheries Fund
  16. UK’s interests at play in development aid
  17. EU: General fishing opportunities for 2013 adopted
  18. Fewer restrictions on cod fishing in the Baltic
  19. Madagascar: Beneficial effects of climate change on rice
  20. EU must act as carbon prices hit record low
  21. Scant funding for research facilities is hurting Africa
  22. EU eyes 'aid exit' for Africa's champions
  23. France launches €9 m tech transfer project in Africa
  24. EU to host an international meeting next month on Mali
  25. EU: Better prices on banana market
  26. Sowing the seeds of food security in South Sudan
  27. EU Carbon plan needs German backing
  28. EU action against illiteracy in developing countries
  29. EU and Save the Children fight against child hunger
  30. The EU should consider the global impact of its farm policy
  31. South African grapes producers get 18% of final retail price


  1. Main Events for the Week 28/01/2013 – 03/02/2013
    2013-01-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Council of the EU:
    - 28 January: Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRI FISH)
    - 29-30 January: COREPER II
    - 30 January, 1 February: COREPER I
    - 31 January: Meeting of Foreign Affairs Council (FAC)

    European Parliament:
    - 30 January: European Parliament committee meetings
    - 31 January: Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

    ACP Group:
    - 30-31 January: Steering Committee ACP-EU Natural disasters facility

    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. Next Brussels Development Briefing
    2013-01-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Environment

    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://brusselsbriefings.net/, 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 the Brussels Briefings
    Link Find out more about past briefings


  3. Our Video Guest: Francis Fay, EC
    2013-01-25
    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


  4. CTA recruits a Research Assistant
    2013-01-25

    The CTA is recruiting for the Brussels Office a trainee (Junior Research Assistant). It is open to ACP and EU nationals. A one six month’s contract will be offered from 1st March 2013. This contract can be renewed once for a maximum of 6 months. Read details on requirements and how to apply in the note attached.


    Link Job_description_Research_Assistant.pdf

  5. MEPs back a less green, more 'flexible' CAP
    2013-01-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy, Rural development

    In two days of voting on more than 7,000 amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014-2020, the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development backed the extension of protections for sugar producers and grape growers, defying Commission recommendations to extend liberalisation to nearly all agricultural sectors.
    The European Parliament’s agriculture committee has also voted to weaken key environmental proposals made by the European Commission while agreeing to reduce subsidies to big farms. The committee’s recommendations - which came during marathon voting sessions on 23 and 24 January - must now be voted on by the full Parliament at its 11-14 March plenary.
    The votes focused on the two main financial pillars of the CAP, direct payments to farmers and rural development; new environmental regulations; as well as proposals to phase out price supports for sugar and planting right for wine producers.
    The most important amendments registered in the second day of voting follows:
    - MEPs supported the EU executive’s plan to devote 2% of the CAP to encourage young people to get into farming. The committee recommended that farmers under age 40 get a 25% bonus on the direct payment in the first five years they farm. But they capped the payment at 50 hectares, replacing the Commission’s plan for a limit based on the average farm size in each member state.
    - The Committee backed the extension of protections for sugar producers and grape growers, defying Commission proposals to remove market support and eventually liberalise all agricultural markets. The quota system, dating to 1968, provides farmers a guaranteed minimum price aimed at ensuring stable supplies.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link The EP Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
    Link EP Agricultural Comitee first day of vote on CAP


  6. Zambia: ‘Prickly’ issues to be solved before signing EPAs
    2013-01-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Zambia has time until 2014 to resolve the contentious issues in the negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU), going on since September 2002.
    The EPA was supposed to be concluded in 2007, but the European Commission has set January 2014 as the new deadline for completion of EPA process for countries to maintain the current free access to the EU.
    The most important issues to be still agreed on are: how much to liberalise the markets, when to liberalise, export taxes, Most Favoured Nation and development benchmarks.
    Commerce Trade and Industry permanent secretary Stephen Mwansa said it is important that contentious issues are resolved before signing the agreement, as it would not be beneficial for Zambia to sign an agreement that would not respond to the priorities and support the development needs of the country.
    The benefits of signing an EPA are that Zambia would continue to export to Europe duty free and quota free even when Zambia graduates from the status of a least developed country (LDC) to developing country, Mwansa underlines
    Currently, Zambia as an LDC is exporting to Europe under the duty free and quota free basis through the Everything But Arms initiative, offered by the EU only to LDC countries.
    Four Eastern and Southern African states (ESA) Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe have already concluded an EPA with the EU, which was endorsed by the EP middle of January.


    Source: bilaterals.org


    Link Read more
    Link EP backs EU’s EPA with ESA
    Link Find out more about the EPAs


  7. EU position on maritime piracy
    2013-01-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Maritime piracy killed six EU seamen in 2012 and costs the Union around EUR 5.5-9.5 billion per annum, Commissioner Maria Damanaki estimated at the event organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) for the presentation of its opinion "Maritime piracy: strengthening the EU response", taking place yesterday 24 January.
    The key to solving the piracy problem may lie in tracing and clamping down the involved financial flows, according to EESC . In this sense a blacklist of financial institutions involved in piracy money laundering should be established in the EU.
    During the conference it was announced that the UN Security Council and EU naval force operation, named operation ‘Atalanta’- which has caught 117 pirates since the piracy raised off the coast of Somalia in 2008-  will be prolonged until December 2014, with an extension to the East and South in the Indian Ocean and in the Somali shoreline.
    EU Member States and states in accession process or having association agreements with the EU were requested to enforce legal actions against piracy and prosecution of pirates on the high seas. Also, the EESC expressed itself against the payment of ransoms- which is seen to have counter-productive effects and put hostages at even greater risk.


    Source: European Commission, EESC, vesselfinder.com


    Link Read more
    Link The speech of Commissioner Maria Damanaki
    Link European Union and maritime policy


  8. 10% of Financial Transaction tax for development?
    2013-01-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Development aid organisations call on the European Commission to allocate 10% of the revenue  from newly introduced financial transactions tax (FTT), “to the benefit of the poorest in the world".
    EU finance ministers gave the green light for the 11 countries- Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain- to move forward with a harmonised FTT, opening a tricky debate on how the money should be used.
    The European Commission now has to submit a proposal on how to allocate the money, with overseas development assistance and heavily indebted eurozone countries in pole position to receive the extra money.
    It is unclear however how the new revenue, estimated by a German institute at €37 billion per year if raised in the 11 countries, would be spent. France, which is one of the biggest promoters of the new tax, has indicated its openness to allocate up to 10% of this new income to overseas development.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the Financial Transaction Tax
    Link Georgieva vows to protect EU humanitarian aid funding


  9. EU to promote women's education in Africa
    2013-01-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive

    Education of women could be one of the most important driving forces for sustainable agriculture in Africa, a new study from Gothenburg University in Sweden shows.  
    The new research shows that more years of education a woman has, the more likely it is that her household will use sustainable farming practices – helping to combat food insecurity, poverty and degradation of ecosystems along the way.
    Women play a key role in most aspects of agricultural production of developing countries – including marketing, household food preparation and nutrition, says Hailemariam Teklewold, one of the researchers behind the study.
    Teklewold has studied the different factors that make small farmers in Ethiopia adopt cultivation methods that can increase productivity without destroying the environment. These include conservation tillage, bio-diversification (such as crop rotation), improved crop varieties, use of organic fertilisers, and soil and water conservation measures. The educational level of women in the household turned out to play an important part in how widely these methods are applied.
    The Ethiopian researcher said the EU could therefore help local governments invest in rural public education programmes, with a special focus on women.
    According to Teklewold's research, the resource constraints are important factors which prevent the adoption and dissemination of sustainable agricultural practices for poor farmers. A solution to the problem could be providing microfinancing to small entrepreneurs and businesses, which lack access to banking services. "Microfinancing poor women could relax such resource constraints and increase the adoption rate of sustainable agricultural practices by smallholder farmers," Teklewold said.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU: Development and cooperation
    Link CTA Briefing: Rural Transformation


  10. EP Agricultural Comitee first day of vote on CAP
    2013-01-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy, Environment

    The European Parliament’s agricultural committee adopted in its first day of plenary Wednesday (23 January) a dozens of amendments to the EU’s future farm policy, but approval remains far from certain when the full Parliament will vote on CAP reform in March. The committee will continue its voting today, 24 January.
    The two- days agricultural committee votes on the two main financial pillars of the CAP, direct payments to farmers and rural development, as well as proposals to phase out price supports for sugar and planting right for wine producers.
    Among the most important amendments adopted:
    - The committee included a list of entities, such as airports and sports clubs, which should be automatically excluded from EU funding unless they prove that farming contributes a substantial share of their income.
    - The committee has voted for a stronger redistribution of aid among member states, and no member state's farmers should receive less than 65% of the EU average The rate of payments to farmers within each member state could also be made equal by 2019.
    - MEPs endorsed Commission proposals to cap direct payments to any one farm at €300,000.
    - The three key measures of environment protection rules - crop diversification, maintaining permanent pasture and permanent grassland and creating "ecologically  focused areas" remain but with certain exceptions, e.g. to reflect the size of the farm. Farms with under 10 ha of arable land should be exempt and the rules should be relaxed for holdings of 10 - 30 ha.
    However, the stakes are seen to be high for the European Parliament, which for the first time has legislative powers over policies that will govern agriculture. As no agreement has been yet reached on the future budget of the EU, MEPs are under pressure to approve a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) without knowing how much they have to spend and with just 11 months to go before implementation (planned for 2014).
    In the same time, the environment panel met to discuss the CAP with Ireland’s farm minister, as the two panels have differed sharply over policies, including the environment committee’s support for tougher ‘greening’ requirements for farmers and for requiring the EU to monitor the impact of its farming subsidies have on food production in developing countries. Also a controversy exists also over the committee’s vote for double payment for farmers- receiving payments for agri-environmental schemes, and the direct payments (opposed by the Commission).
    The EU Council, representing the 27 member states, is due to finalise an overall budget for 2014-2020 at a 7-8 February summit in Brussels. The next budget is likely to deliver cuts to most EU programmes, including what has traditionally been its largest, the CAP.


    Source: Euractiv, EurpeanVoice, European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP Press Release
    Link MEPs and Commission on collision course over CAP


  11. EU freezes approval of new GMO crop cultivation
    2013-01-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Policy

    The European Commission  doesn't plan to give the green light to new genetically modified crops in the coming months, as it wants first an agreement on the draft legislation that would allow member governments to decide individually whether to grow or ban GM plants, a spokesperson said  on Tuesday 22 January.
    The draft rules proposed by the European Commission in 2010 were meant to unblock EU decision-making on genetically modified crops, by allowing some countries to use the technology while letting others impose cultivation bans. But opposition from France, Germany and Britain has prevented agreement on the proposals, which must be approved by a majority of governments and the European Parliament before becoming law.
    "We are going to discuss the issue with the three governments to see if we can reopen negotiations on the proposals," said Frederic Vincent, spokesman for EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg.
    Currently, EU rules state that any GM crop approved for cultivation can be grown anywhere inside the bloc, unless countries have specific scientific reasons for banning their cultivation.
    Only two GM crops are currently approved for cultivation in Europe, where opposition from sceptical consumers and environmental groups remains strong.
    Seven GM crops - six maize varieties and one soybean - are currently awaiting cultivation approval from the Commission, having received a positive risk evaluation from the EU's food safety watchdog.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU CJ confirms farmers’ right to cultivate GM crops
    Link EU register of GMOs


  12. EU in Mali : additional €20m humanitarian aid
    2013-01-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The EU announced the mobilisation of €20 million for Mali as relief for the people fleeing the conflict and for the approximately 100.000 malnourished refugees children.
    The Commissioner had already announced a €20 million allocation last December as the population had been severely affected by a drought and subsequent crop failure, followed by a political crisis. Also, following the meeting last week of the Foreign Affairs, the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs announced the European Commission decision to allocate €50 million from the Peace Facility for Africa to support the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA). On the same date, EU foreign ministers agreed a number of other concrete measures to assist the Malian authorities: the launch of the EU Training Mission to train and reorganise the Malian Armed Forces; political support for the development of a Roadmap for the restoration of democracy and constitutional order; the appointment of an EU Special Representative for the Sahel. On February 5, the EU will host in Brussels a ministerial meeting of the international Support and Follow-up Group on the situation in Mali.  
    The European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva was on the ground in Mali, assessing the needs of Malians affected by the crisis.
    Since last year, 350,000 people have fled from northern and central Mali to the south and neighbouring countries causing massive humanitarian needs.

    Sourec: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Factsheet: The humanitarian situation in Mali
    Link In Mali, EU sees need for long-term aid


  13. MEPs call for better bee protection
    2013-01-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Archive, Food Policy

    Parliaments Greens have launched on Tuesday 22 January a campaign aimed at preventing the negative impacts of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on bees, food products and the livelihood of beekeepers, asking for an “urgent transition to bee friendly and sustainable farming" (Belgian deputy Bart Staes).
    Greens are also calling for an immediate ban on the toxic bee killers and a ban on GMO crops and GMO contaminated honey, according to Staes.
    A recent report by the European food safety authority (EFSA) directly links the decline in bee population to the use of pesticides, in particular neonicotinoids.


    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EFSA identifies risks to bees from neonicotinoids
    Link 'Give Bees a chance' Greens' campaign


  14. CAP: not a return to milk lakes and butter mountains
    2013-01-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Policy

    Ahead of today (23 January) vote in the agriculture Parliamentary committee on a series of reform proposals of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), MEPs have warned against a return to the past of market interventions.
    It is a matter of concern whether the amendments on the sCMO on public intervention and private storage aid threaten a potential return of 'milk lakes' and 'butter mountains'.
    The Agricultural Committee will this week vote only on compromise amendments and not the final vote. The Parliament's plenary (March 2013 tbc) will have to approve the Agricultural committee vote as a negotiating mandate for subsequent talks with the Council.

    Source: ALDE


    Link Read more
    Link ALDE position paper of CAP reform
    Link EU should consider the global impact of its farm policy


  15. France: decentralization of European Fisheries Fund
    2013-01-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The Association of French Regions asks the European fund for fisheries and maritime affairs to be managed by regional councils.
    The new act of decentralization desired by François Hollande plans to transfer the management of EU funds to the regions. The measure is part of the campaign promises of President. While the details are still under discussion between the different ministries, the Association of Regions of France (ARF) has launched a call for the European fund for Ocean Affairs (EMFF) to be part of the reform. "Why would it remain the only European fund not to be regionalized? " ask politicians.
    Managing the fund by paying closer attention to the needs and specificities of each region is the main argument put forward by advocates of the reform.
    The issue is currently discussed in the European Parliament as part of the reform of the common fisheries policy for 2014-2020. According to the actual text, the regionalization of the management of the EMFF should remain at the discretion of the States.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link More about European Fisheries Fund
    Link EP: Council risks derailing fisheries reform


  16. UK’s interests at play in development aid
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Despite uncertainties on UK’s membership future in the EU, the country is likely to remain an important player in Europe’s overseas development policies, participating in donor policy debates, as does non-EU member Switzerland.
    Britain has had significant influence in shaping EU overseas policy, having played a central role in reshaping aid policies and in pressing other advanced countries to target world poverty. “A key priority for the UK [was] really about results and accountability and transparency and value for money,” said Mikaela Gavas, a researcher at the Overseas Development Institute think tank in London.
    However, Gavas admitts that a Britain outside of Europe “would stand to lose on the global reach of the EU, [and] the fact is that the EU reaches some very strategic and important countries for the UK which UK aid doesn’t,” Gavas said. These include a number of Commonwealth countries, the Caribbean, North Africa, the Middle East “and other areas that are important to the Foreign Office.”
    Britain spends a higher percentage of its gross national income (0.56%) on aid than Germany (0.40%) and two other former colonial powers in Africa, Belgium (0.53%) and France (0.46%). Britain and Europe’s economic powerhouse Germany provided nearly the same amount of development aid in 2011 - €10.5 billion and €11 billion respectively.
    Prime Minister David Cameron is to lay out his vision of the nation’s future in the EU in a speech on Wednesday (23 January) after months of cross-Channel combat over how to manage Europe’s financial and economic challenges.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Four countries exceed EU targets for international aid
    Link Poor quality in European aid programs


  17. EU: General fishing opportunities for 2013 adopted
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The Council of the EU adopted on Tuesday 22 January the regulations providing fishing opportunities in 2013 to EU vessels in Union and certain non-Union waters. These regulations establish the total allowable catches (TACs) and member states' fishing quotas for 2013 in the areas covered by the regulations.
    A political agreement had been reached on these regulations previously at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in December 2012.
    One of the regulations concerns fish stocks which are not subject to international negotiations or agreements, whilst the other concerns stocks subject to international negotiations or agreements.
    Each year, on the basis of a Commission proposal, the Council has to take a decision on fishing opportunities for the stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate. These are the main fishing opportunities regulations in terms of the number of regulated stocks. Along with the regulations fixing the fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the deep sea stocks (the latter every two years), these regulations regulate the harvesting of the stocks to levels which must be consistent with the overall objectives of the common fisheries policy (CFP).


    Source: The Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Read the regulations
    Link Fewer restrictions on cod fishing in the Baltic


  18. Fewer restrictions on cod fishing in the Baltic
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Small-scale fishermen will be able to catch Baltic cod in coastal areas during closed-season summer, after restrictions were removed by a vote in the European Parliament on January 16.
    Statistics show that Baltic Sea cod stocks are gradually recovering. It was argued that allowing coastal fishing in summer will not harm them, as cod spawn in deeper waters.
    The Baltic cod proposal still needs a green light from member states, possibly after a second reading. However, as this is a multi-annual management plan, Fisheries Committee MEPs fear that the Council could halt the file due to a dispute with Parliament over the Long Term Management Plans.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Fishing in the Baltic Sea
    Link EP: Council risks derailing fisheries reform


  19. Madagascar: Beneficial effects of climate change on rice
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    Unlike in other world regions, the upland rice grown in Madagascar should benefit from the effects of global warming. This is the surprising result obtained by a team of researchers from CIRAD and FOFIFA who simulated a century of rice production depending on the extent of climate change in the highlands of Madagascar.
    In this cold region, upland rice is grown at the lower limit of its temperature tolerance. In this case, increased temperatures would speed up flowering and grain maturity, in such a way that the demand for water and nutrients from the plant would tally better with their availability in the soil, ensuring a marked increase in yields. This is the opposite of what is expected in southern Asia, where rice is grown at the upper limit of its temperature tolerance, and where yields are likely to fall overall.
    The team of researchers looked into the impact of global warming on upland rice productivity in the highlands of Madagascar, where the crop has developed recently. Their study covered a ninety-year period, from 2010 to 2099, depending on the cropping system adopted.


    Source: CIRAD


    Link Read more
    Link €9 m tech transfer project in Africa
    Link Brussels Briefing: Climate Smart Agriculture


  20. EU must act as carbon prices hit record low
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The EU is urged to remove an oversupply in permits in its carbon market as prices fell below €5 per tonne on Monday January 21.
    According to the FT, the session low of €4.79 per tonne has triggered a crisis of confidence in the EU's eight year-old emissions trading scheme.
    Since 2011, carbon prices have decreased by 70 per cent, a result of economic weakness which has led to an oversupply of permits, the paper says.
    Meanwhile, BBC News reports that critics of the EU's emissions trading system argue that there were too many permits in the first place.

    Source: the Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EU Carbon plan needs German backing
    Link EU dismisses Polish warnings over carbon market fix


  21. Scant funding for research facilities is hurting Africa
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Africa gets plenty of financial support for science but suffers from 'brain drain' and low research output. The main reason is inadequate brick-and-mortar facilities needed for research.
    The European Union provides more funding to the continent than it gives to Asia and Latin America combined and there is additional support from Australian, North American and UK research agencies.
    As a result, Africa should have a thriving research community. However, this is not the case.
    This is reflected, in part, in brain drain figures. The exodus of skilled labour has averaged about 20,000 professionals a year since 1990. Various data also reveal the reality that Africa's contributions to the world's research and development (R&D) remain very low — totalling less than 1 per cent of global investment in R&D and a mere 1.5 per cent of total scientific publications — and has been so consistently over the past decade.
    The central reason for the discrepancy between the availability of research funds and the small scale of African scientific output is the lack of adequate research infrastructure: laboratories, data processing centres, biobanks and other brick-and-mortar facilities needed for research, especially near universities.
    In most African countries, support for research infrastructure lags far behind that for other types of infrastructure projects, such as transport, water and power. It is certainly politically and socially difficult to justify spending money on a research laboratory or a data centre at the expense of a water sanitation treatment plant, for example.
    The appropriate solution has two dimensions: intra-African and international. On the intra-African side, African governments need to develop long-term strategic roadmaps for R&D investment that include infrastructure development.
    Internationally, the diplomatic community inside and outside Africa, together with scientists and researchers, needs to encourage donor governments and agencies that provide Africa with development assistance and science funding to allow for, and promote, the use of some of this money for research infrastructure development.

    Source: SciDev.Net.


    Link Read more
    Link France: €9 m tech transfer project in Africa
    Link Auditors raise doubts about EU road aid to Africa


  22. EU eyes 'aid exit' for Africa's champions
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Africa still needs massive international development assistance but it also has its success stories, with countries such as Ghana heading towards a possible ‘aid exit’, European Commission claim.
    Erica Gerretsen, in charge of Western Africa at the Commission’s directorate for development and cooperation said that “the Commission starts to think about an 'exit strategy', about the time when the authorities of Ghana would tell Brussels: 'Thank you very much, but it is no longer necessary that you bring assistance under the form of projects or budget support'.”
    Some data reveal obvious successes. In Ghana the percentage of children attending primary school is close to 100%. In 2009, more than a million children in the West African country of 24 million didn’t attend school. In Burkina Faso, the number of girls attending school rose from 61% to 75% between 2007 and 2010 and the proportion of children completing primary school rose from 36% to 52%.
    Among the key indicators measuring progress in development are the percentages of children attending primary school, child mortality, the number of births attended by skilled health staff, the number of people vaccinated against measles and the number of people living under poverty line.
    But Oxfam's Kaboré warned that foreign experts should not “fool themselves” with positive aid numbers. “When we talk about achieving great success on people’s access to education, we need to be sure that success in quantity is followed by a better quality on education," he said. "To say it in a simple way, it is not a success to have thousands more students at school if teachers are absent or classes too overcrowded […] The same happens with water access. Many water points, which have been installed without the community involvement in water chain management for sustainability, are broken down,” Kaboré said.
    Along with the aid champions, there appears to be a category of countries ‘returning from far’ – those that have improved a lot despite a situation which was seen as desperate only recently. One such country is Liberia, which has been prey to civil wars from the 1980s that killed approximately 250,000 people and devastated its economy. Also, in Niger and Togo, political progress has allowed the Commission to start important development projects.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU Donor Atlas
    Link Auditors raise doubts about EU road aid to Africa


  23. France launches €9 m tech transfer project in Africa
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    A French research initiative has been launched with the aim of transferring technology and practical knowledge to developing countries in the global South.
    The scheme has a budget of €9 million (US$12 million) for a period of ten years from 2013–2023. A funding agreement was signed last month (17 December), and work on the project began this month.
    According to Stéphane Raud, director of technology transfer at IRD "This initiative should facilitate the economic development of technologies stemming from French research for boosting development in southern countries”.  
    It will help developing countries manage intellectual property. It will also work to build a portfolio of 800-1000 technology patents and contribute to the marketing, promotion, and pre-industrial development of products and technologies.
    The initiative, known as Valorisation Sud (southern development) is spearheaded by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the Pasteur Institute, the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and four universities in the French overseas regions.

    Source: SciDev.Net.


    Link Read more
    Link EURAXESS: Global links in research
    Link Scant funding for research facilities is hurting Africa


  24. EU to host an international meeting next month on Mali
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The EU will be hosting on February 5 an international support ministerial meeting on the situation in Mali, according to a spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton. The meeting is to be organized in Brussels, with the participation of the African Union, ECOWAS and the United Nations
    Meanwhile, Oxfam says the recent intensification of fighting in Mali could worsen restrictions on humanitarian access. Some 30,000 people are already reported to have been displaced by recent combat, adding to the 345,000 Malians who have been displaced already over the last year.
    Speaking on the issue last week, EU development commissioner Andris Piebalgs said, "Our aid package to support Mali is designed to help the Malian population which has been hard hit by this multifaceted crisis."

    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link In Mali, EU sees need for long-term aid
    Link 'Clearing House' mechanism to support AFISMA mission in Mali


  25. EU: Better prices on banana market
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The banana market has improved since the first week of the new year, with a price level of green bananas of around 14 to 15 Euro, which is slightly higher than last year.
    "There are fewer bananas coming in and it will stay like that for the coming months. This has had an immediate impact on prices. It is not that the demand is 'hot' right away, but there is an upward trend, an European importer said.
    According to the importer, snow and the frost have had little influence on banana sales in the supermarkets. Also, he considers it a good thing that the banana trade is more regulated nowadays. Ecuador has disposed of some plantations for example, in order to counter overproduction. "It is getting more difficult to control the bananas on the free market. That was also much needed. Over the last few years we were only receiving cost price plus a bit on top for a few weeks a year and working at cost price for the remainder."

    Source: freshplaza.com


    Link Read more
    Link St Vincent and the Grenadines to intensify its Banana Rehabilitation program
    Link Fears of a drop in banana exports


  26. Sowing the seeds of food security in South Sudan
    2013-01-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Food Policy, Food Security

    FAO and France will establish a programme in the Republic of South Sudan to boost the quality of the seeds used in the production of  key crops.
    The project will include seed fairs, capacity development for seed enterprises, input distribution and Farmer Field Schools. It will also increase the amount of land dedicated to quality-seed multiplication.
    The year-long programme, valued at $612 000 (EUR 0,5m) will be implemented in several states and will help to train farmers in the production, storage and marketing of quality seeds and cuttings for staple crops like sorghum, maize, cassava and cowpeas.
    Decades of conflict and displacement have taken their toll on farmers' access to quality seeds and other planting materials, and eroded their knowledge of seed production techniques. Together, these factors have severely undermined crop productivity and farmers' livelihoods.
    The programme aims to help an estimated 30 000 people from more than 5 000 vulnerable farming households, in addition to 400 seed producers. The beneficiaries, half of whom are women, live in the states of Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Lakes, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
    More than 90 percent of South Sudanese farmers still depend on the informal seed system, which is based primarily on saved seeds (42 percent), social networks (26 percent), and local markets (22 percent). Typically, farmers repeatedly use saved seeds from one season to the next, which tends to lessen the genetic purity of the seed.


    Source: FAO


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about FAO
    Link Brussels Briefing: Financing agriculture


  27. EU Carbon plan needs German backing
    2013-01-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    A European Commission plan to reduce a glut of carbon emissions allowances, which are trading close to record lows, can pass provided it gets German support, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.
    The European Commission proposal, known as backloading, would remove permits from the first three years of the new phase of the carbon market (2013-2015) and put them back on the market at the end of it (2019-2020).
    Coal-dependent Poland strongly opposes price-raising moves on the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), where a surplus generated mostly by recession has plunged the price to less than €6 per tonne, compared with around €30 in 2008.
    But the backloading plan, which many say is urgently needed to restore faith in the ETS, can still pass, Hedegaard said. "Yes, if the Germans back it. And then I hope the UK would also come out in favour of that because obviously they have said they want to be even more ambitious, but in politics sometimes you have to take what you can get when you can get it," Hedegaard said in an interview with Reuters.
    "If that changes after the elections in Germany, yes then I think we will get them," she said at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.
    "During the Irish presidency, we will be seeking a mandate that we can start the very formal negotiations," Hedegaard said of the talks with Australia.
    "It is just one part of the bigger vision that in the end - not tomorrow, not next year, not in the very foreseeable future - but in the end, the aim should be to have a global price on carbon."


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU dismisses Polish warnings over carbon market fix
    Link No new EU climate targets until 2015 at earliest


  28. EU action against illiteracy in developing countries
    2013-01-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Since 2007, the European Commission has invested €4 billion in 48 developing countries in the effort to improve levels of illiteracy, enabling 9 million pupils to enrol in school and 720 000 primary teachers to receive training.
    Literacy is crucial for economic development and fighting poverty. Literacy has been found to have a positive effect on GDP per capita. If all children in low-income countries could read, it is estimated that poverty could drop by 12%. 775 million adults, two-thirds of whom are women, still lack basic reading and writing skills.
    Illiteracy tends to prevail in low-income countries where severe poverty is widespread. Literacy is poorest in sub-Saharan Africa and in South and West Asia. Adult literacy rates were below 50% in several countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone), with even less than 30%, such as Niger.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about Millenenium Development Goals
    Link Goal 2MDG: Achieve Universal Edication


  29. EU and Save the Children fight against child hunger
    2013-01-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Commission and Save the Children agreed to join forces and speed up the fight against child hunger and under-nutrition, with the purpose of reducing the number of children who are stunted by at least 7 million by 2025.
    Thus, the European Commission joins and supports the Save the Children’s EVERY ONE Campaign on child survival. EVERY ONE is Save the Children’s biggest ever global campaign, campaigning to make stopping children and mothers dying a political. The overall aim for the campaign is to have helped achieve Millennium Development Goal 4 on new-born and child survival. This means also addressing the health and wellbeing of mothers and accelerating progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5.
    Also, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs announced that in 2013 the EU will launch a new policy paper to present its approach to addressing under-nutrition and gain the support of all EU Member States in what he names the ‘fight against the biggest scourge of the 21st century – child hunger’.
    Around 170 million children in the world suffer from stunting and 3 million children die every year due to food insecurity, poor health and inappropriate child care.


    Source: European Commission, Save the Children


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about Save the Children
    Link Find out more about Millenenium Development Goals


  30. The EU should consider the global impact of its farm policy
    2013-01-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy

    A UN rights official is urging the European Parliament to require that the EU monitor how Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies and other support for growers affect farmers in developing nations.
    Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food called for MEPs to restore proposed amendments to the CAP that were left out of a compromise document to be considered next week by the Parliaments’ agricultural committee: “Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy means high stakes not only for European farmers, but for millions of others worldwide who are affected by EU policies [..] In order for the CAP to work for farmers inside and outside the EU, we must undertake detailed monitoring of the impacts of EU farm exports and imports on developing countries, consult developing world farmer organizations, and conduct a proper assessment of the impacts on the right to food”, said De Schutter.
    The EP agricultural committee is due to consider CAP amendments at meetings on 23-24 January. Last year, the Parliament’s development panel called for the EU to assess the impact of its farm support programme on other nations amid criticism that European subsidies harm farmers in poor nations. In June, the development committee adopted recommendations that also urge an end to export subsidies and that direct payments to farmers be decoupled from production “to create a level playing field between EU and developing countries’ agricultural production.”
    However, the amendment was later dropped in the compromise proposals on the CAP.
    “The Common Agricultural Policy is something that affects everyone,” Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, an Oxfam researcher in Britain, told EurActiv. “These huge national subsidies are distorting international markets, so that something that is definitely affecting [poor countries].”
    De Schutter also underlined that the EU is bound by law – Article 21 of the EU treaty - to weigh the impact of its policies abroad.He also said the EU’s Policy Coherence for Development calls for ensuring “that all EU policy areas with an external impact be designed to support and not contradict the fight against poverty and the achievement of the [UN] Millennium Development Goals, as well as the fulfilment of human rights, including gender equality and social, economic and environmental rights.”


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link see the Agenda of the EP Ciomitee on Agriculture
    Link Find out more abou De Schutter


  31. South African grapes producers get 18% of final retail price
    2013-01-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Only 18 percent of the final retail price of South African grapes sold in the UK found its way back to farmers and farmworkers’ pockets, according to latest research published. Of every £4.50 (or R63) a British person pays for a kilogram of green seedless grapes in a UK supermarket, only R11.37 will reach the farm gates in South Africa. Half or R5.91 of that will go to farmworkers, while the farmer has to pay for fertilisers, pesticides and other expenses with the remaining R5.46, before taking his share. These are just some of the findings of a research report on South Africa’s horticulture industry.
    The biggest share of the final price consumers pay goes to retailers- altogether 42 percent or R26 of the R63 retail price. More than 32 % of the retail price goes to getting the grapes to shops in the UK and includes freight, insurance and port fees, and 8 % goes to packaging.
    On average, 90% of South African grapes are exported. Almost half of grapes exported make it to Europe and almost 21%  to UK supermarkets. The remaining exports go to Asia, the Middle East and the rest of Africa.
    Source: iol.co.za


    Link Read more
    Link Promotion of fair trade [Video]
    Link Brussels Briefing: Fair Trade


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Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
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Editor: Cristina Dobos (dobos@cta.int)

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