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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Send date: 2013-03-18 10:18:45
Issue #: 173
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 : [18/03/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 18/03/2013 – 24/03/2013
  2. Video Guest: Kostas Stamoulis, FAO
  3. Celebrating 30 Brussels Briefings
  4. 30th Brussels Briefing: Agricultural resilience
  5. EU farm policy voted in Parliament
  6. New EU policy to improve nutrition
  7. Women writers celebrated at the ACP Secretariat
  8. Full EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics
  9. EU targets global WTO deal to cut red tape
  10. FLEGT Programme: Call for project proposals
  11. European GIs: worth €54 billion worldwide
  12. Fiji urges EU to conclude EPA
  13. Fiji wants 'Global sourcing' for fish
  14. Madagascar : Immediate humanitarian aid of €200 000
  15. Africa and the EU: implementing satellite navigation technologies
  16. EU, FAO: support for nutrition and food security in Malawi
  17. New rules to combat illegal logging in the EU
  18. Second Call for Proposals of the 2nd ACP-EU Energy Facility
  19. First European Innovation Partnership meeting
  20. New presidency for the ACP Group
  21. Studies shore up proof of indirect biofuels emissions
  22. MEPs : EU must raise its game in external policy
  23. Fiji's Fish, Sugar at risk after EU’s decisions
  24. EU citizens : more women in power in developing countries


  1. Main Events for the Week 18/03/2013 – 24/03/2013
    2013-03-18

    European Parliament:

    18-19 March: EP Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development; EP Committee on Development;
    20 March: EP Committee on International Trade
    21 March: EP Committee on Fisheries

    European Council:

    18-19 March: Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRI FISH)
    19-21 March: Meeting of Directors of Rural Development Agencies
    21 March: Meeting of the Environment Council (ENVI)
    21-22 March: General Affairs Working Group

    ACP:

    19 March: ACP Members of the Committee on Political Affairs; ACP Members of the Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment; ACP Members of the Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade; Bureau of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly
    20 march: 31st Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly
    21-22 March: Committee on Political Affairs; Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade; Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment

    You can also follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.




  2. Video Guest: Kostas Stamoulis, FAO
    2013-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 will certainly not be met by 2015. However, we have a lot of cases - close to 40 - of countries which approach to the goal.
    Africa unfortunately is the region with the fewer number of good performers, and overall is not set to meet the goal
    ’ (Kostas Stamoulis, director of the Agricultural Development Economics Division at FAO).

    On the occasion of the presentation of the recent FAO Report on the State of Food and Agriculture 2012, CTA Brussels met with Kostas Stamoulis, the director of the Agricultural Development Economics Division at FAO to discuss the changes needed to be implemented in order to meet the 1st Millennium Development Goal (MDG 1) of reducing by half the number of people suffering of hunger by 2015, and to improve the state of agriculture in developing countries.

    Main ideas:

    - MDG1 cannot be reached by 2015
    - There are almost 40 countries which approach to the MDG1
    - Africa overall is not set to meet the goal.
    - A revised and improved methodology presents new estimates of undernourishment, and a more pronounced decline in the prevalence of hunger from 1992 to the current period
    - In order to improve the state of agriculture in developing countries, it is not enough to increase productivity, but also be able to access markets, with lower transaction costs.


    Link Watch the Video
    Link The report: 'The State of Food and Agriculture 2012'
    Link More on the MDGs


  3. Celebrating 30 Brussels Briefings
    2013-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES :

    On 4th March 2013, CTA, the ACP Group, the European Commission and CONCORD, celebrated the 30th Brussels Briefing.
    Launched just over five years ago in November 2007, the Briefings have brought together noted experts and thought leaders from around the world to debate issues of key importance to agricultural and rural development in ACP countries. In that time participants including ACP-EU policy makers and development practitioners have gathered to join in the discussion on themes such as food security, environment and climate change, rural employment, trade and food governance.
    Over the years the Briefings have grown steadily in popularity. Today on average 170 people attend the bi-monthly briefings and the same number again tune in online via the live webstreaming.
    In recent times other international organisations such as IFPRI, African Union and NEPAD have joined as co-organisers at individual Briefings, bringing a unique perspective to the topic addressed. We look forward to welcoming new partners for future topics.
    The regional briefings are also as demanded as ever. Last year, these were held in Mauritius, St Lucia and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They allow for a more regional perspective on the themes addressed and would hopefully enable policy development to be more inclusive and pertinent.
    On 27 February 2013, the first national Briefing was held in Haiti. Providing a truly domestic focus, these ‘spin-off’ Briefings ensure agricultural and rural development is highlighted in the national agenda. We look forward to seeing these develop across the ACP regions.

    To mark the 30th Brussels Briefing, participants were presented with a commemorative CD-Rom with updated Readers, as well as Highlights, presentations and Policy Briefs for 2007-2012. These and many other resources are now available to download online on our website (http://brusselsbriefings.net).


    Link Read more
    Link Brussels Briefings website


  4. 30th Brussels Briefing: Agricultural resilience
    2013-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security,

    On 4th of March took place the 30th edition of the Brussels Briefing on “Agricultural resilience in the face of crisis and shocks”, organized by CTA in collaboration with the ACP Secretariat, the EC/DEVCO, Concord, and IFPRI at the European Economic and Social Committee, in Brussels.
    During the two panels of the briefing, international experts and agriculturalists discussed the concept to resilience, and drawn attention to proven approaches and instruments around some key areas of special benefit to the small-scale farmers in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
    Highlights included a presentation of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Honourable Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria on the six policies that have been applied in Nigeria to increase resilience. He also stressed the importance of the integration of institutions, technologies, and tools, as well as of agro-ecological approaches to build resilient agricultural systems.
    Other presentations covered among others topics as: EU approach to resilience; Resilience in countries in protracted crises; the Regreening of the Sahel as a way of enhancing resilience; Drought-resilient crops at the benefit of small-scale farmers; and Building community resilience in front of disasters.
    The event gathered more than 200 participants. The Brussels Development Briefing is a bi-monthly event which has the aim of tackling key issues and challenges for rural development in the context of ACP-EU cooperation.


    On our website (http://brusselsbriefings.net) you can consult the speeches and presentations of the speakers.


    Link Read more
    Link Brussels Briefings website


  5. EU farm policy voted in Parliament
    2013-03-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture

    MEPs voted on Wednesday 13 March to adopt a controversial Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014-2020 that proved a setback for those who lobbied for stronger environmental measures and the death of farm subsidies, including those on sugar.
    During an afternoon of votes on four packages of legislation on the reform, the European Parliament:
    •   Narrowly approved, by a vote of 375 to 277, the extension of quotas
    •   Approved, by a margin of 427 to 224, direct payments rules for farmers, or Pillar 1.
    •   Voted 556 to 95 for rules on Pillar 2, the rural development programme that involves shared financing with national governments;
    •    Backed, by a margin of 472 to 172, rules for financing, management and monitoring.
    Thus, the full Parliament largely adopted the amendments voted by the European Parliament’s agricultural committee in late January. This translates in:
    Payments:
    •    Differences among EU member states in the levels of EU funding for farmers should be reduced slightly faster than the European Commission proposed. No member state's farmers should receive less than 65% of the EU average.
    •    Creation of a list of land-owners, such as airports and sports clubs, which should automatically be excluded from funding unless they prove that farming contributes a substantial share of their income.
    •    Direct payments cap to any one farm at €300,000, and substantially reduce payments to those receiving more than €150,000 (this would not apply to cooperatives which redistribute payments to their members).
    Young farmers:
    •    Young farmers (in the first five years they farm) should get a 25% top-up payments for a maximum of 100 ha (instead of 50 hectares, as voted by the Parliamentary agricultural commission earlier in January)
    Greening measures:
    •    30% of national budgets for direct payments should be made conditional upon compliance with mandatory greening measures, but stress that these measures must be made more flexible and gradual. The three key measures - crop diversification, maintaining permanent pasture and grassland and creating "ecologically-focused areas", would remain but with certain exceptions, e.g. to reflect the size of the farm.
    Quotas on milk, sugar and wine:
    •    To ensure that the expiry of milk quotas does not lead to a serious crisis in the milk sector, MEPs suggest granting aid for at least three months to milk producers who voluntarily cut their production by at least 5%. Amendments calling for prolongation of milk quotas, set to expire in 2015, were rejected by the House.
    •    Sugar quotas will be maintained until the end of 2019-2020. This mechanism should, at the same time, permit additional imports at zero duty to ensure sufficient raw materials are available on the EU sugar market
    •    Vine planting rights should also be prolonged until at least 2030.

    The final shape of the new EU farm policy will be decided by the European Parliament, EU farm ministers and the European Commission, in three-way negotiations which should begin in late March/early April. Already, full implementation of the new CAP and rules for direct payments to farmers is unlikely until 2015 - one year after the new seven-year CAP is due to go into effect.
    Dacian Cioloş, the EU agricultural commissioner, said he hoped a final agreement could be reached by the end of the EU’s Irish presidency in June. “It’s our real ambition, but it will be hard work,” he said.
    The commissioner said he was displeased with some outcomes of the vote - including the six-year extension of sugar beet subsidies that were to end by 2016 under an earlier agreement.“We don’t think the sector needs more time for preparation,” Cioloş told a news conference. “The sugar sector in Europe is a competitive one.”
    The vote in Strasbourg marked the first time the European Parliament has had a direct say in shaping the farming policy under powers it acquired under the 2009 Lisbon Treaty.


    Source: European Parliament, Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Euractiv: 'After landmark CAP vote, the hard work begins'
    Link A less green CAP- ahead of Parliament’s final vote


  6. New EU policy to improve nutrition
    2013-03-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy, Development Policy

    A new policy, which aims to improve the nutrition of mothers and children in order to reduce mortality and diseases, was launched Wednesday March 13.
    The new policy is set out in the Communication “Enhancing Maternal and Child Nutrition in external assistance: an EU policy framework”, and aims to reduce the number of children under five years of age who are stunted (with a low height for their age and impaired mental development) by at least 10% (7 million) by 2025.
    This is to be made possible by allocating more funds for nutrition and food aid from the EU humanitarian and development budgets, as well as by targeting this aid more accountably.
    Both the consequences and the root causes of under-nutrition are to be addressed.
    For example, the EU intends to promote breastfeeding and other behaviour changes, provide essential micronutrients such as iron, and support activities such as deworming and supplementary and therapeutic feeding (like treatment of severely malnourished children). Under-nutrition will also be contained through investment in rural development, sustainable agriculture, public health, water and sanitation, social protection and education.
    The new policy also provides for more vigorous collaboration with the private sector which can contribute to activities such as product safety control, the fortification of food with minerals and
    The Communication on nutrition will complement the EU’s existing food security policy, in particular the 2010 policy on food security, the 2011 policy on food assistance and last year’s Communication on the EU Approach to Resilience. Nutrition and resilience are highly interlinked in areas such as the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions where resilience is the guiding principle of the AGIR (Alliance Globale pour l’Initiative Resilience) and SHARE (Supporting the Horn of Africa’s Resilience) multi-partner initiatives to address food and nutrition crises.
    Undernutrition is the biggest threat to people’s health in the developing world, causing at least one third of all child deaths, and a fifth of mothers. According to the World Health Organisation roughly 165 million children aged under 5 years old are suffering from stunting.
    The new policy was presented on 14 and 15 of March at the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement meeting in Brussels- a global platform to address the challenge of under- and malnutrition. It was created in 2010 with the active participation of the European Commission.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Consult the Communication
    Link More on EU action on nutrition


  7. Women writers celebrated at the ACP Secretariat
    2013-03-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Women writers from ACP countries were celebrated at ACP Secretariat in Brussels on 8th of March, the International Women’s Day.
    The day was marked by the launch of two exhibitions: “ACP Women of Literature”, which allows visitors to consult books authored by ACP women, respectively “Women of Africa”, presenting posters of important African women figures, who have distinguished themselves in the political, social and cultural circles.
    The event included also speeches from H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Secretary-General, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, and H.E. Mr. Samuel Outlule, Ambassador of Botswana, Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors.
    In  his talk, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas underlined the greatness of the role women play in educating and transmitting good habits and high values to the next generation, as well as in promoting democracy in politics. He also made a call for ceasing discriminations, intimidations, persecutions, and trials against women. Thus, he added his voice to the call by the UN from 25 November 2012 for mobilization to end violence against women.

    2013 also marks CTA’s 30 years of outreach on women in agriculture and rural development. In 1986 CTA organized the first relevant event on the topic, namely the seminar (in Brussels) on Food and Nutrition Strategies highlights the crucial role of women in food security. This year, the 3rd Edition of Africa Wide Women and Young Scientists Awards will take place. The event is scheduled between 15 and 20 July.
    The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) supported the event through a stand and publications written, or published by women.


    Source: ACP, CTA Brussels.


    Link Read more
    Link Statement by the Secretary-General
    Link More about ACP
    Link Poster_of_the_event.pdf

  8. Full EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics
    2013-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Today the last deadline to phase out animal testing for cosmetic products in Europe enters into force. As of March 11, cosmetics tested on animals cannot be marketed any more in the EU.
    European Commissioner in charge of Health & Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, stated that the Commission wants to engage with third countries to follow the European approach.
    The quest to find alternative methods will continue as full replacement of animal testing by alternative methods is not yet possible. The Commission has made about EUR 238 million available between the years 2007 and 2011 for research into alternative methods.
    However, industry reacted furiously to the ban, saying it would "act as a brake on innovation" while doing little to improve animal welfare.
    Animal testing in the Union is already prohibited since 2004 for cosmetic products and since 2009 for cosmetic ingredients ('testing ban'). As from March 2009, it is also prohibited to market in the Union cosmetic products containing ingredients which have been tested on animals ('marketing ban'). For the most complex human health effects (repeated-dose toxicity, including skin sensitisation and carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics) the deadline for the marketing ban was extended to 11 March 2013.


    Source: European  Commission, Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Europe slaps full ban on animal testing for cosmetics
    Link More on animal testing and cosmetics


  9. EU targets global WTO deal to cut red tape
    2013-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission is pushing to secure a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement that would cut red tape in trade and increase worldwide income by over €30 billion. Two thirds of this would go to developing countries.
    Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht have joined forces to help secure a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement as part of global efforts to increase trade's contribution to development, the European Commission announced on 8 March.
    The EU's support follows demands from Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) for help with the deal, which could be agreed at the WTO's 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia on 3-6 December 2013.
    On average, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members demand five documents at customs and it takes them 10 days to clear goods, at a cost of about €735 per container. By contrast, African countries require on average twice as many documents, up to 35 days to clear exports and 44 days to clear imports, at an average cost per container of €1,285 for exports and €1,535 for imports. The OECD estimates that reducing global trade costs by 1% would increase world-wide income by more than US$40 billion, 65% of which would go to developing countries.
    "Trade facilitation is about better customs procedures, cutting red tape, fighting corruption, and cutting costs for business. Cutting the cost of trade by just 1% would increase worldwide income by over €30 billion and two thirds of this would go to developing countries,” De Gucht said.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link More on the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference
    Link More on Aid for Trade


  10. FLEGT Programme: Call for project proposals
    2013-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Archive

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has issued on 1 March 2013 a call for proposals for the second tranche of the European Union (EU)-supported programme on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
    The purpose of the programme is to support sustainable forest management in VPA countries- the countries that are negotiating or have concluded a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union to ensure that only legally harvested timber is imported into the EU-  by investing in governance and capacity building to ensure the legality of forestry operations exporting timber to the EU.
    The programme is available for countries that have completed or are in the process of negotiating a VPA with the EU, namely: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Liberia, Republic of Congo, Republic of Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam.
    Calls for proposals are opened to local stakeholders (government, civil society and private sector organizations) who play a role in the VPA implementation. Each project is limited to a maximum funding of 100 000 EUR, with a minimum beneficiary contribution of 20 per cent of the total amount required to complete the project. Proposals must address at least one of the country-specific thematic priorities identified in collaboration with VPA countries
    This is the second call for proposal of the programme, after the first one in 2012.
    The deadline for proposals is 31 May 2013.

    The VAP is a key part of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Support Program for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP-FLEGT Support Program)- a collaborative effort among the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the European Commission and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to address forest law enforcement, governance and trade issues in ACP member countries.

    Source: FAO


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the programme
    Link Logo on wood to track illegal products from Cameroon


  11. European GIs: worth €54 billion worldwide
    2013-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Agriculture

    "Our GIs are worth €54.3 billion worldwide, and they represent 15 % of our total food and drinks exports, ” Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said after the publishing of the results of a study on the value of the EU name protection scheme for all food and agricultural products ("geographic indications" or "GIs") on March 4.
    The study also reveals, that in average GI products were estimated to be sold 2.23 times more as compared to non-GI products.
    This is the first study of the kind, collecting and analyzing economic over the 2005-2010 period. The study took in account the 2768 EU names, out of which 1560 belonged to wines.
    Between 2005-2010, 20% of European GI were exported outside of the EU, with extra-EU exports representing some € 11.5 billion, the products being mainly destined to the US (30%), Switzerland and Singapore (7% each), Canada, China, Japan and Hong-Kong (6% each), the study shows. However, the majority of the sales of European GI products- 60%- took place in the country where these products originate, while other 20% to other EU countries.
    Over the same period, wines accounted for 56% of all sales of EU products with a protected name (€30.4 billion). Agricultural products and foodstuffs accounted for 29% (€15.8 billion).

    A "geographical indication" (GI) is the name of a product where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. It is a type of intellectual property right that can apply in the EU to different types of products.
    A new regulation on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs in the EU entered into force on January, 3 2013 and brings among others a new legal basis for inserting third country GI protected through bilateral agreements into the EU register.
    The European Commission signed on Monday 26 November in Zanzibar (Tanzania) a cooperation agreement with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to improve the protection of traditional agricultural products (geographical indications or "GIs") in Africa.

    The next Brussels Briefing on 17th April will deal with Food, geography, local traditions: Protecting traditional food products which will include Geographical Indications.
    You can register at: http://brusselsbriefings.net

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Consult teh study
    Link EC supports protection of GIs in Africa [VIDEO]


  12. Fiji urges EU to conclude EPA
    2013-03-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Fiji has called on the European Union to meet the June deadline established by the Pacific ACP to conclude its comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.
    Speaking at a Pacific African Caribbean and Pacific countries (PACP) - EU Technical Working Group meeting in Nadi on last Friday, 8th of March, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum asked for a firm commitment from the EU to ensure that an agreement is reached: “My message to this group is that we have a small window of opportunity to unlock the development benefits that the EPA has promised. The PACP leaders have already extended the deadlines for the conclusion of the EPA twice. We need a firm commitment and cooperation from the EU to ensure that negotiations are concluded in June 2013”, he said.
    The Attorney-General says Fiji is committed to the PACP’s effort to negotiate an Economic Partnership Agreement as a single region. Pacific nations would be able to pool their fisheries resources and enter into joint ventures, which are not possible under the present arrangements.

    Pacific nations announced recently that they are especially keen to include global sourcing for fisheries as a key component of the agreement. Global sourcing would allow a PACP country to purchase fish from approved sources – including non-PACP vessels – process it and export it to the EU. This would benefit Pacific countries that lack their own fishing fleets.
    Fiji have signed an interim EPAs in 2009 which allows them to access markets in the sugar and fisheries sector, but a comprehensive agreement for all other Pacific ACP countries (PACP) is yet to be agreed on.

    Source: Fiji Government Online Portal


    Link Read more
    Link Fiji looks at EU fisheries market
    Link Fiji: promising future in EPA negotiations?


  13. Fiji wants 'Global sourcing' for fish
    2013-03-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade

    The rules of origin for fisheries export is one of the key areas being discussed under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the EU and the Pacific African Caribbean and Pacific countries (PACP).
    "Fiji and the Pacific ACP States are seeking favorable rules of origin for fisheries products, especially, for fresh, frozen and chilled fish. This is commonly referred to as global sourcing provisions," Ministry of Industries and Trade permanent secretary of Fiji, Shaheen Ali said.
    In other words, Fiji is seeking derogation from the rules to allow fish from foreign vessels (as well as local vessels) to be processed in Pacific factories and exported to the EU, at preferential tariff rates. The derogation would enable Fiji to source fish from approved sources, process it and export it to the EU.
    While the Pacific ACP States may have fisheries resources, he said many of them, particularly the smaller island states, lacked the infrastructure and the capacity to process and canned fish. He added many PACP States also lacked their own fishing fleet, which was a key requirement in order for their fish to qualify for duty free entry into the EU market.
    "Global sourcing will enable Pacific ACP states to source fish caught in PACP waters and export it to the EU, regardless of who catches it, as long as it is landed in the region for processing," Ali said.

    The currents rules do not allow PACP countries to buy fish for export to the EU from foreign owned and foreign flagged vessels, even if the fish was caught within PACP waters.
    Under an interim agreement, the EU has agreed to grant global sourcing for canned fish from the Pacific. But the PACP wanted global sourcing to be extended to fresh fish and frozen fish.

    Source: The Fiji Times Online


    Link Read more
    Link Fiji's Fish, Sugar at risk after EU’s decisions
    Link Fiji urges EU to conclude the EPA


  14. Madagascar : Immediate humanitarian aid of €200 000
    2013-03-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    European Commission has allocated €200 000 to provide an immediate assistance to Madagascar  after the strongest tropical cyclone in the country so far-  Haruna- hit the south-west coast of the island on 22 February.
    The sum comes from the World-Wide Decision on Humanitarian Aid - the financial backbone of the Commission's humanitarian aid operational strategy for 2013. The EC is also looking for further possibilities to increase the funding.
    Madagascar is the world’s fourth biggest island which is prone to cyclones and tropical storms, particularly during the rainy season between January and April. This year Haruna killed more than 24 people, affecting around 23,000 more, that are in direct need of humanitarian assistance.
    In 2012 the European Commission assisted Madagascar with €1 million in emergency aid in response to the cyclone "Giovanna" and tropical storm "Irina", which killed more than 100 people and severely affected close to 310,000 people. Madagascar also benefits from the European Commission disaster preparedness programme for Southern Africa known as "DIPECHO". Since 2010 the Commission has allocated €5 million from this programme.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link €1 million emergency aid decision for Magadascar
    Link Madagascar: Beneficial effects of climate change on rice


  15. Africa and the EU: implementing satellite navigation technologies
    2013-03-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    In the context of the collaboration between Africa and the EU on the implementation of satellite navigation technologies that could make a major impact on economic development, the GSA (the European GNSS Agency) has launched the project ‘Awareness in Africa’ (AiA) with the aim of organising workshops to bring together relevant stakeholders from public institutions and the private sector and highlight the benefits of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) in African countries.
    It is assessed that applications using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in areas such as transport, land management, maritime safety and the oil and mining industries can make a rapid impact with potential benefits estimated at several hundred million euros in the next few years.
    Under this project three events have already been organized: two events took place in 2012-  from 2 to 3 November in Libreville, Gabon and from 14 to 15 November in Dakar, Senegal. The third event was held from 7 to 8 February this year in Yaounde, Cameroon. Their aim was to promote the capabilities of GNSS and its applications, in particular to demonstrate the intrinsic value of these technologies in the context of sustainable development and the fight against poverty.
    As an official European Union regulatory authority, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) manages public interests related to European GNSS programmes. The Agency's strategic objectives include the achievement of a fully operational GALILEO system- a European-controlled global satellite navigation system.


    Source: GSA, European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the project - Awareness in Africa
    Link More on Galileo


  16. EU, FAO: support for nutrition and food security in Malawi
    2013-03-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, ACP-EU Policy

    "The EU and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) share the same vision on nutrition and food security, and we will work together to help Malawi, and all of sub-Saharan Africa, tackle this problem”, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said ahead of a level visit to Malawi on 5th of March.
    During the visit, Andris Piebalgs, and José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), met with President Joyce Banda to discuss the country's challenges on nutrition and food security, and are expected to stress the importance of efficient and effective coordination mechanisms between the different ministries in order to ensure food security.
    Graziano da Silva belives that Malawi is on the good track to meet the Millennium Development hunger target ('Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger'), mainly due to its investments of more than 10% of its national budget in agriculture.
    In Malawi at present over 47 percent of children are suffering from stunting (when growth is held back due to a lack of access to nutritious food).

    In 2012, Commissioner Piebalgs and President Banda signed two agreements. The first, on agriculture, for an amount of €63 million, was designed to strengthen agricultural productivity and expand the area of land under irrigation, doubling household incomes in agriculture and contributing to 6 percent annual growth in Malawi. The second EU contribution of €35 million funds cash transfers to extremely poor households.
    The EU is a major donor in Malawi, having allocated €605 million under the current European Development Fund (EDF) 2008-2013.
    FAO’s collaboration with Malawi includes the design and implementation of policies and programmes to improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

    Source: FAO, European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Development Work in Malawi
    Link EU/Malawi cooperation to improve agricultural production


  17. New rules to combat illegal logging in the EU
    2013-03-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Policy

    European rules to combat the trade of illegal timber, by requiring operators importing or producing wood to identify its country of origin and legality, have come into force on March 4, but NGOs and think tanks doubt the readiness of EU countries to carry out the legislation.
    The regulation also prohibits the sale of illegally harvested timber on the European market to cut profits from the trade worldwide, which analysts link to deforestation and desertification, rising CO2 emissions, corruption, armed conflict and the destruction of vulnerable communities.
    The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) was laid down by the European Parliament and the Council on 20 October 2010.
    The law requires member states to lay down "effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties". However, despite two years of preparation, EU countries have so far failed to apply the legislation or impose credible penalties and sanctions, said analysis by the WWF-  “The introduction of the EUTR [EU Timber Regulation] was a landmark decision by the EU institutions, but it is meaningless unless it becomes a strong national law”, said WWF's EU forest policy advisor Anke Schulmeister.
    In some member states illegal timber trading can result in criminal sanctions and in others it may only lead to a fine, the WWF said, adding that it doubted that all EU countries would apply the law with the same rigour.
    The EU is also pursuing bilateral agreements to tackle illegal logging with six major timber-producing countries - Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia and Indonesia. These agreements include commitments to halt trade in illegal timber, notably with a license scheme to verify the legality of timber exported to the EU.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link More on Timber regulation in the EU
    Link Logo on wood to track illegal products from Cameroon


  18. Second Call for Proposals of the 2nd ACP-EU Energy Facility
    2013-03-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Environment, ACP-EU Policy

    The Second Call for Proposals of the second ACP-EU Energy Facility has been launched on 4th of March, and is opened until 3rd of June 2013. The aim is to provide grants for investments for provision of modern energy services for the rural poor through rural electrification. The focus shall be the local impact of the action and on utilizing renewable sources of energy. The total budget is of 55 million EUR.
    The Energy Facility is a co-financing instrument which was established in 2005 in order to support projects on increasing access to sustainable and affordable energy services for the poor living in rural and peri-urban areas in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
    The total Energy Facility is financed from the European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2006-2013 with EUR 420 million. The first ACP-EU Energy Facility was financed with EUR 220 million for the period 2006 – 2009. The second ACP-EU Energy Facility received EUR 200 million for the period 2009 – 2013. It is one of the instruments implementing the Africa-EU Energy Partnership, which is part of the 2011 – 2013 Joint Africa-EU Strategy.

    For more information on eligibility criteria and application procedures please see the following websites and material in annexes.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the ACP-EU Energy Facility
    Link More on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy
    Link Guidelines_for_grant_applications.pdf

  19. First European Innovation Partnership meeting
    2013-03-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture

    A first meeting of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability", which was set up to help meet the challenges of food security, sustainable resource management and environment preservation, was organized by the European Commission on February 21.
    It brought together 42 members, including Member State representatives at ministerial level, farm and forestry organisations, environmental and consumer organisations, advisory services, agri-business, and scientists, in order to ensure faster transfer of innovative research results from science into practice, encourages the sharing of knowledge and experience, and will help provide more systematic feedback to the scientific community about what research is needed.
    The High Level Steering Board was co-chaired by Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş and Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.
    This first meeting got the EIP underway by establishing a strategic implementation plan and providing orientation on its main areas of work.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Agenda of the meeting


  20. New presidency for the ACP Group
    2013-03-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    On Thursday 21st February, the ACP Committee of Ambassadors officially ushered in the new presidency of the Group for the period February to July 2013- the Foreign Affairs Minister of Botswana, Mr. Phandu T. SKELEMANI.
    Also, the Chairman of the Committee of Ambassadors in Brussels is Mr. Samuel O. OUTLULE.
    In outlining the priorities for his 6-month term, Ambassador OUTLULE highlighted a process he considers crucial: defining perspectives for the future of the ACP Group (as recommended by the last Summit of Heads of State and Government (Equatorial Guinea, December 2012), but also the implementation of the decisions of the governing organs of the ACP, eliminating duplication in the work of the Sub-Committees, the Secretariat and the Committee of Ambassadors.
    Other priorities of the new ACP presidency include talks with the European Union authorities on the 11th EDF (European Development Fund 2014-2020). As regards the signing of new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU, addressing the supply-side and trade-related infrastructure constraints of the ACP countries, with a view to increasing their export capacities, is also considered a priority by the Group’s new presidency.
    The inaugural meeting of the Group be held in Brussels on 25 March 2013.


    The Council of Ministers scheduled to meet on March 26th will also need to take a decision on the appointment of the future ACP Secretary-General since the incumbent, Dr. Mohamed IBN Chambas, was recently appointed UN-AU Joint Special Representative and Chief Mediator for Darfur.

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link More about the ACP
    Link About the ACP Secretary General


  21. Studies shore up proof of indirect biofuels emissions
    2013-03-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Projections that feedstock-based biofuels will indirectly cause net greenhouse gas emissions in the future have been confirmed by preliminary results from two new studies of past land use change.
    This may strengthen the case for bringing forward a review into whether indirect land use change (ILUC) - net carbon loss that occurs when forests and grasslands are cleared for food production that has been displaced by biofuels plantations elsewhere- factors should be included in EU legislation.
    In October 2012, the European Commission presented a proposal which sets out indirect land-use change (ILUC) factors for different crop groups. These factors represent the estimated land use change emissions that are taking place globally as a result of the crops being used for biofuels in the EU, rather than for food and feed. In March, the Environment Council will discuss biofuels.
    The two studies, due to be published in the Spring, were co-authored by the EU's Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency (PBL) and Koen Overmars, an independent Dutch consultancy.
    “ILUC is a reality,” Luisa Marelli, the JRC’s lead alternative fuels scientist, said- “All of the models and studies now show that there is an ILUC impact and that this is above zero [greenhouse gas emissions].”


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link More on Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC)
    Link More on the Indirect Land Use Change [VIDEO]


  22. MEPs : EU must raise its game in external policy
    2013-03-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Development Policy

    If it is to avoid a further loss of global influence, the EU must use its existing foreign policy tools much more efficiently and it must devise a new security strategy, said MEPs during the last PE committee on development cooperation and external relations, hold on 21 February in Brussels.

    The discussion centred on the formulation of a European global strategy, which should help frame a clearer mandate for the EU foreign policy chief. The initiative, launched by the foreign ministers of Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden, will also feed into the discussion on defence by EU heads of state and government at their December summit.
    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Watch the press conference after the event
    Link 'Towards an European Global strategy' briefing


  23. Fiji's Fish, Sugar at risk after EU’s decisions
    2013-03-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    A red alert is on for two of Fiji’s major export commodities—fish, which earns around $200 million in foreign exchange annually—and sugar, which rakes in around $100 million a year.
    This follows the possible blacklisting of Fiji by the European Union (EU) for having weak laws to tackle illegal fishing, and  the possible increase in duty for sugar exports, in case the country does not ratify the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA).
    In November last year a decision by the European Commission named eight countries that export to the EU—Fiji and Vanuatu from the Pacific region were among them—as possible non-cooperating third countries to EU’s fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
    The pressure is now on these eight countries to update their laws so they can tackle weak areas that have been identified by the EU; they are given a six-month window for dialogue and drawing up a plan of action. The worst-case scenario if they don’t comply is a loss of EU market access for their fish. Fiji, one of the ‘flagrant cases’, is being cited, among other things, for having no laws to punish Fiji-flagged vessels and Fijian nationals illegally fishing beyond Fiji waters, especially in the high seas; for not reporting on the number of vessels fishing for swordfish;
    This latest announcement on fish by the EU is on the heels of a decision it made on sugar which ‘somewhat twists Fiji’s arm to ratify the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) it has with the EU’, Island Business notes. In that decision made in September last year, the Fiji was a list of 18 countries from the African Caribbean and Pacific trade bloc (ACP) who will lose preferential market access for their sugar (under the current sugar protocol) if they don’t ratify the iEPA by January 1, 2014.
    Fiji is looking at going from zero duty (according to the current sugar protocol) at entry to forking out up to €339 (F$769) in import duty per tonne of raw cane sugar it exports to the EU if it does not ratify the iEPA by January 1, 2014. That is considered to render Fiji’s sugar business not feasible.
    Moreover, unlike fish, which had only recently been allowed back into the EU market after Fiji was blacklisted in 2008 for failing EU's phytosanitary standards, sugar has consistently been Fiji’s main export to the EU. Island Business further says  that the importance of it sugar sector was the main reason that Fiji went ahead to sign an iEPA in 2009 for, unlike fish, where local fish exporters diversified to other markets after the 2008 ban, getting sugar a new market at the prevailing world price against the cost of production locally was going to mean the collapse of Fiji’s sugar industry.
    In addition, almost 25 percent of Fiji's labour force is dependent on Fiji's trade with the EU.
    Officials of the Fijian Government assured earlier this year that despite the long process of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations, mutual beneficial outcomes could be reached soon.

    Source: Islands Business


    Link Read more
    Link EU warns eight countries over insufficient action to fight illegal fishing
    Link Fiji: promising future in EPA negotiations?


  24. EU citizens : more women in power in developing countries
    2013-03-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    More than three quarters of Europeans think that having more women in positions of political power in developing countries would ‘make things better’, a new Eurobarometer published on the eve of International Women’s Day 2013.
    Over nine in 10 EU respondents thought that gender equality improves the way societies function and that all aid programmes should take specific account of women’s rights. In fact, over three quarters of respondents said that getting more women into leading roles in developing countries would improve respect for human rights, with 72% saying it would also improve living conditions and 65% believing it would prevent conflict and war.
    EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs commented: “We put women at the heart of everything we do; making sure that our aid programmes take women into account in everything from education and healthcare, to agriculture and energy, so I am delighted to see that the majority of Europeans agree with this approach."
    On International Women's Day, the European Commission presents a Eurobarometer survey with the views of European citizens on gender equality and the need to empower women in developing countries. Over 25,000 citizens of the 27 Member States were consulted for this survey.
    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Consult the results of the Eurobarometer
    Link More on EU’s work with women in developing countries


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Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
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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/
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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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