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[CTA - Bulletin du Bureau de Bruxelles N° 198]
Subject: [CTA - Bulletin du Bureau de Bruxelles N° 198]
Send date: 2009-10-30 15:44:53
Issue #: 12
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 : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. Main ACP-EU events for next week (2 - 8 November)
  2. Our Video guest: Dr Paul Engel, Director of ECDPM
  3. Recruitment of a new CTA Director
  4. Global land acquisition: trends and challenges
  5. EU Council conclusions on Sahel
  6. Fisheries Tariff quotas for the period 2010 to 2012
  7. Convention on biological diversity - Access to genetic resources
  8. EU eco-label
  9. Official launch of the ACP Migration Facility
  10. European Development Report
  11. EU urged to link food and environmental security
  12. Bahamas closer to EPA services offer
  13. Toxic pollution in the Developing World
  14. Brussels plans 'major review' of EU spending priorities
  15. ACP-EU agreement: Observer status for Equatorial Guinea and South Africa
  16. 2nd EU Organic Congress: what can organic farming do for climate?
  17. Jamaica's future may be organic
  18. Problems of Nigeria’s energy sector are considered systemic by the EU
  19. Council Conclusions on Food security and policy coherence
  20. Haiti raises its voice at EDD
  21. Micronesia on the verge of drowning
  22. EU reinforces transport cooperation with Africa
  23. Development Youth Prize
  24. Financial crisis testing EU foundations
  25. Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities: new research projects
  26. Demand for Reappraisal of Common Agricultural Policy
  27. Replacing the hegemony of market forces with market regulation
  28. European approach to development aid


  1. Main ACP-EU events for next week (2 - 8 November)
    2009-10-30

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 3-5 November: Committee meetings

    EU Presidency (Brussels):
    - 3 November: ACP Working Party Africa Working Party (COAFR)
    - 4 November: Coreper I and II; Working Party on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA); Africa Working Party (COAFR)
    - 5 November: Working Party on External Fisheries Policy
    - 6 November: ACP Working Party Africa; Working Party on External Fisheries Policy

    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/


    Link European Parliament
    Link EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  2. Our Video guest: Dr Paul Engel, Director of ECDPM
    2009-10-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive, Food Security

    Dr Paul Engel, Director of ECDPM, is our guest. ECDPM is a Center established in 1986 as an independent foundation to promote ACP-EU cooperation, ECDPM facilitates improved international cooperation between the EU and its Southern partners in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, based in Maastricht (The Netherlands). On the occasion of his participation in the Brussels Development Briefing on opportunities for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries, Mr. Engel tells of ECDPM, particularly the role played by the Center on a series of arguments all very current: trade, regional integration, governance and research. Mr. Engel also expressed his views on a very important issue in the current policy agenda: the Policy Coherence for Development.
    Link More about ECDPM
    Link Policy Coherence for Development
    Link Watch the video


  3. Recruitment of a new CTA Director
    2009-10-29

    The post is restricted to nationals from the Eastern Africa Region of the ACP States. CTA is an ACP-EU organisation established under the Lomé Convention, now succeeded by the Cotonou Agreement, between the EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. CTA’s tasks are to develop and provide services that improve access to information for agricultural and rural development, and to strengthen the capacity of ACP countries to produce, acquire, exchange and utilise information in these areas. The Centre is based in Wageningen (The Netherlands). All information and details on the positions are to be found on CTA’s Website: http://www.cta.int
    Link Read more on the CTA
    Link Terms_of_reference.pdf

  4. Global land acquisition: trends and challenges
    2009-10-29

    CTA contributed to the 4th edition of the European Development Days (Stockholm, 22-24 October) by organizing a Roundtable on “Global Land Acquisition: trends and challenges”, held on 22nd October 2009. Speakers examined the new challenges posed by global agricultural land acquisitions and discussed the need to promote responsible international investments in agriculture by agreeing a minimum set of principles and measures to coordinate the large-scale transnational land deals. Around 300 people attended the Round table bringing different views, which ranged from multilateral organizations, to farmers organizations, NGOs and food net importer countries like Japan. CTA  also sponsored the participation of 30 ACP experts to the event. Furthermore CTA and ACP partner organisations had the opportunity to showcase their  products and services on 12 stands in the Development Village.
    Link Audio broadcast
    Link European Development Days
    Link CTA Briefing on Land Access


  5. EU Council conclusions on Sahel
    2009-10-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The 2971st External Relations Council meeting held in Luxembourg on 27 October 2009 expressed its concern over the security situation in parts of the Sahel region, in particular in Mauritania, Mali and Niger. The Council recognized the serious challenges that the governments of the region face and the need for: strengthening the presence of the State, fostering development and good governance, combating trafficking of arms, drugs and persons and addressing the impact of climate change. Recent events indicate that the region runs the risk of becoming a safe haven for terrorist networks and activities. This situation constitutes first and foremost a serious threat to the Sahel region and its population, but also to other regions, including Europe.  In close coordination with the governments of the region and in support of the Sahel States’ efforts to step up their engagement and cooperation to meet these challenges, the EU is developing a comprehensive, regional approach focusing on development, security, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law. In this context, the EU encourages a strengthened intra-regional dialogue. The Council stressed the need for urgent action, aimed at reinforcing the capacities of the Sahel States.

    Source: European Council 


    Link Read more
    Link DG Development


  6. Fisheries Tariff quotas for the period 2010 to 2012
    2009-10-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade

    The 2970th Council meeting on General Affairs and External Relations held in Luxembourg on 26 October 2009 adopted a regulation opening and providing for the management of Community tariff quotas for imports of certain fishery products for the period 2010 to 2012. The regulation continues a similar regime to that established by regulation 824/2007 for the period 2007 to 2009, which expires on 31 December 2009, in order to guarantee the appropriate supply conditions for the EU's processing industry for the period 2010 to 2012.

    Source: European Council


    Link Read more
    Link CTA Briefing on IUU Fishing
    Link CTA Reader on IUU Fishing


  7. Convention on biological diversity - Access to genetic resources
    2009-10-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Environment

    The 2970th Council meeting on General Affairs and External Relations held in Luxembourg on 26 October 2009 adopted a decision authorising the Commission to participate in negotiations on an international regime on access to genetic resources in the framework of the convention on biological diversity (CBD). The CBD is the main international framework for measures to conserve biological diversity and for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. It provides a general framework for access to genetic resources. In 2002 at the world summit on sustainable development, it was agreed to launch negotiations on an international regime on access and benefit sharing in the framework of the CBD.

    Source: European Council 


    Link Read more
    Link Convention on Biological Diversity


  8. EU eco-label
    2009-10-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Security

    The 2970th Council meeting on General Affairs and External Relations held in Luxembourg on 26 October 2009 adopted a regulation revising the EU's eco-label scheme, replacing regulation 1980/2000/EC. The EU eco-label is designed to help consumers choose "green" products and services and can be awarded to the 10-20% most ecological products in each category. The revised eco-label regulation covers more items so as to increase its visibility. Only medical and veterinary products are excluded, while a Commission study will examine whether food and feed could be included in the future. Fees and administrative procedures have been reduced for SMEs in order to facilitate their participation in the scheme.

    Source: European Council 


    Link Read more
    Link Read more on Ecolabel


  9. Official launch of the ACP Migration Facility
    2009-10-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Aid effectiveness

    The ACP Migration Facility aiming to support the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to better understand and manage the flow of migration within their borders, was officially launched on the 27th and 28th October in Brussels. This took place during a workshop organised by the ACP Secretariat in collaboration with the European Commission’s EuropeAid Cooperation Office (AIDCO).

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link CTA Briefing on Migration and Development
    Link CTA Reader on Migration and Development


  10. European Development Report
    2009-10-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The first ever European Report on Development (ERD) was launched at European Development Days in Stockholm. Europe’s top experts put the focus on the challenges faced by fragile African countries in an unstable global economic context. Their report highlights the destabilising effect of the global economic downturn, and makes recommendations for the way forward. It calls on donors to keep their aid promises.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the entire report
    Link DG Development


  11. EU urged to link food and environmental security
    2009-10-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Security, Environment, Aid effectiveness

    The EU should make payment of farm subsidies conditional on delivering good soil and water quality and encouraging farmers to diversify their output to include fuel and fibre products. The reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should consider food and environmental security together, argued Thierry de l'Escaille, secretary-general of the European Landowners Organisation. Speaking on Europe's role in world food security, de l'Escaille said CAP subsidies are necessary, but should be used as an incentive for farmers to deliver public goods, such as quality soil, water and air. He also argued that a combined food and environmental security policy would help justify the CAP and its budget to the public at large. The debate took place in the European Parliament, with the support of agri-business firm Syngenta. Maive Rute, director of the European Commission's research department, argued that "food security is not a poverty issue, but a knowledge and supply issue" and that more needs to be done to help farmers access technology and become more productive.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU dealing with food security
    Link CTA Briefing on Food Security


  12. Bahamas closer to EPA services offer
    2009-10-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The Bahamas' services offer attached to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is moving "closer" to being fully accepted by the European Union. "It is not yet concluded," confirmed a source close to the ongoing negotiations last Friday. "But they say we are very close." It's good news for The Bahamas, given the offer was expected to have already been accepted by now. It follows both a spring and subsequent summer delay. Ongoing negotiations relative to finalizing a services offer are critical to The Bahamas' total EPA agreement. As it stands now, the government's services offer, as part of the reciprocal trade pact, throws a protective blanket around a select number of industries, almost entirely insulating them from the direct competition of European counterparts. It's this projectionist stance that many are concerned precludes the European Union from signing off on the services offer. Still, other experts have suggested it's because The Bahamas is still in the early stages of the negotiations that is contributing to the holdups. In July, Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing said he expected the services offer to be finalized and accepted by the end of the summer, confirming that suggestions have been made for certain changes to the offer. Those alterations remain undisclosed to this day.

    Source: The Nassau Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Bahamas
    Link EU-Bahamas relations


  13. Toxic pollution in the Developing World
    2009-10-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    On the 19th of October, CTA attended the conference on “Toxic pollution in the Developing World” at Aidco Infopoint, European Commission. The presentation was given by the founder of Blacksmith Institute, an entity taking action to eradicate toxic pollution in the developing world. The above mentioned institute is currently undertaking an inventory project on the worst toxic hotspots around the world, supported by the European Commission, and aims further at creating a “Health and Pollution Fund” ($500 million), composed of contributions from governments and multi-lateral donors, to fight legacy pollution in developing countries.
    Link Read more on the Blacksmith Institute
    Link Read more on “Health and Pollution Fund”
    Link DG Environment


  14. Brussels plans 'major review' of EU spending priorities
    2009-10-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    A draft review of the European Union's budget has shocked contributors such as France as spending priorities are shifted from farm policy to the EU's economic renewal, climate change and energy as well as foreign relations. The European Commission's draft budget review is raising eyebrows in EU circles. The proposal seeks a "root and branch reform" of the 130 billion euro annual budget, which currently devotes 45% of spending to agricultural policies. It proposes redirecting funds to policies which address key challenges such as globalisation and suggests more flexibility in allocating funds, with the current system considered to be too "rigid" and seen as leading to "inertia".

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Read more on the CAP
    Link DG Agriculture


  15. ACP-EU agreement: Observer status for Equatorial Guinea and South Africa
    2009-10-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The 2966th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg, 19 October 2009 approved the sending of letters to the authorities of Equatorial Guinea and South Africa, confirming the EU's support for these countries to be granted with an observer status within the ACP/EU joint institutions. In accordance with the ACP/EU council's rules of procedure, observer status can be granted to a country from the moment it files its application for accession to the ACP/UE agreement.

    Source: European Council


    Link Read more
    Link More on South Africa/Cotonou Agreement
    Link More on Equatorial Guinea/Cotonou Agreement


  16. 2nd EU Organic Congress: what can organic farming do for climate?
    2009-10-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    Just a week before the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, the 2nd European Organic Congress organized by the IFOAM EU Group will take place in Brussels on December 1 2009. The main topic will be "Organic Food and Farming in times of Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss and Global Food Crisis". According to the "Millennium Ecosystems Assessment", initiated by UN organizations, the World Bank, many civil society organizations and private and public donors,  "a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth" can be observed as a consequence of the "growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel": a development which will "substantially diminish the benefits that future generations obtain from ecosystems." In particular climate change and biodiversity loss imposes a complete new challenge on agriculture, the food industry and therefore the whole food supply chain, with regard to both mitigation and adaptation. At the same time the debate on CAP after 2013, and thus on the agriculture model of tomorrow, has started.

    Source: Greenplanet


    Link Read more
    Link Organic farming
    Link EU organic farming


  17. Jamaica's future may be organic
    2009-10-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    During the opening session of a two-day workshop on business opportunities in the European natural and organic products market held in New Kingston, Jamaica, on October 15, Head of the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries' Agro-Investment Corporation, Dr. David Lowe stressed that organic farming may grow significantly in Jamaica in the next few years. "There is scope for the development and growth of natural and organic agriculture in Jamaica, through a national policy framework for the sector" Lowe said. According to Lowe, there is need in Jamaica to further refine previous strategies and implementation plans for organic and natural agriculture, by reviewing existing policies and current standards, as well as regulation for branding and labelling of organic produce for domestic and international trade.

    Source:  Greenplanet


    Link Read more
    Link CTA Briefing on agricultural SMEs
    Link EC Delegation to Jamaica


  18. Problems of Nigeria’s energy sector are considered systemic by the EU
    2009-10-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Union has blamed the Nigerian system for the country’s inability to generate enough energy to meet local demand as well as help propel industrial and economic growth and development. This was the position of the body as contained in a pre-feasibility study for the EU-Nigeria Dialogue on Energy, released on Thursday, during a workshop in Abuja, by the Delegation of European Communities to Nigeria . According to the document, the EU says it believes that “the problem facing the energy sector in Nigeria are systemic, meaning that solutions have to cover the whole system and not isolated parts of it. Systemic failure needs systemic solutions.” It further noted that, “In terms of energy issues, Nigeria could be said to be in a series of downward spirals. There are a number of loops with each activity negatively impacting on the next.

     Source: Vanguard


    Link Read more
    Link Access to energy in developing countries
    Link EC Delegation to Nigeria


  19. Council Conclusions on Food security and policy coherence
    2009-10-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Regional Fisheries

    At the 2966th Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting held in Luxembourg on 19 and 20 October, the European Community and its Member States recognize that while agricultural commodity prices have decreased globally since their peak in mid-2008, they remain relatively high, especially in many developing countries, compared to the situation before 2005. The food crisis has had devastating effects on the poor and vulnerable, many of whom have been unable to secure access to adequate amounts of food. The EU will strive for a pro-active role of the development partners. Progress in sustainable development requires integrated national policies that are conducive to agriculture and rural development. Increased resources for agricultural development will in themselves not be sufficient to resolve the food security situation in many parts of the world. What is needed is a truly coherent and integrated approach where the development, humanitarian and food security consequences of policy decisions, in all policy areas, are duly taken into account. In such an approach, partners from the public and private sector and civil society should work together. The Council recognizes that such an ambition requires action on the part of the EU, especially in the following areas: the Common Agricultural Policy, the Doha-Round of WTO negotiations, climate change. The Council stresses the urgent need for decisive and coordinated action to ensure that developing countries are adequately assisted in their efforts to strengthen adaptation and mitigation capacities.

    Source: European Council


    Link Read more
    Link World Summit on Food Security
    Link CTA Briefing on Food prices


  20. Haiti raises its voice at EDD
    2009-10-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    Saturday was the final day of European Development Days. The theme was climate change.
    “My message to the climate change conference in Copenhagen is that our voices, the voices of the poor, the vulnerable, those who have no capacity to face the challenges of climate change, must be heard.” This was what Prime Minister of Haiti Michèle Duvivier said at the meeting in Stockholm.

    Source: EU Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Haiti
    Link EU relations with Haiti


  21. Micronesia on the verge of drowning
    2009-10-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    “If you fail to understand the plight of my people, you will lead your own nations down a parallel course.”
    President of Micronesia Emanuel Mori held an impassioned speech on the final day of European Development Days. He drew attention to the fact that his country will disappear beneath the sea if nothing is done about climate change.

    Source: EU Presidency


    Link Read More
    Link CTA Briefing on Climate Change
    Link CTA Reader on Climate Change


  22. EU reinforces transport cooperation with Africa
    2009-10-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission will be setting up an action plan with its African partners to discuss ways to improve and strengthen transport links between the two continents on an ongoing basis. The action plan has been announced today during the Euro-African Transport Forum that was held in the framework of the “TEN-T days” conference taking place in Naples on 21 and 22 October. The Forum is attended by representatives of EU Member States, the Commission as well as those from African countries and regional organisations. This Forum is directly linked to the recent communication on “Partnership between the European Union and Africa Connecting. Africa and Europe: working towards strengthening transport cooperation”. This Communication is a tool that aims to reinforce cooperation in this key sector by putting at the disposal of the African continent Europe's experience in this area and by launching a first thought in the view of developing a concrete action plan aiming at strengthening the interconnections between the EU an the African networks. Further cooperation is expected to lead to increased trade, improved safety and security as well as a transport system that is better equipped to deal with the challenges of climate change.

    Source: European Commission

     

     


    Link Read more
    Link Read more on the Transport Forum


  23. Development Youth Prize
    2009-10-26

    The Development Youth Prize 2008/9 was awarded in Stockholm, during the European Development Days 2009. The high quality of entrants to the poster and video competition shows just how commited young Europeans are in the fight against poverty.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Development Youth Prize 2008/2009
    Link DG Development


  24. Financial crisis testing EU foundations
    2009-10-26

    Nobel prize winner in economics, Joseph Stiglitz, says the financial crisis is forcing the EU to re-examine its cornerstone policy area – the single market. "The crisis has brought home a couple of fundamental questions for the single market concept of Europe that have not really been adequately discussed," said the star economist at a conference on banking regulation in Brussels. Referring to the banking collapses in Ireland and Iceland late last year, Mr Stiglitz said financial regulation in one country clearly presented problems for depositors in other countries. "And we need to get a grasp on that," he said. But the former World Bank economist, turned critic of its sister organisation the International Monetary Fund, questioned whether Europe was now dealing with such economies correctly. "The current solution which is to put undue burdens on those particular countries that followed the model of deregulation is one that we might want to question," he said. Since member states pumped billions into banks facing meltdown last year, the European Commission has increasingly said that governments need to stem ballooning budget deficits in order not to saddle future generations with mountains of debt. But member states have shown varying degrees of enthusiasm when it comes to reigning in deficits, with all agreeing a solid economic recovery must be secured first.

    Source: EU Observer


    Link Read more
    Link MEPs and the financial crisis
    Link EU briefing paper


  25. Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities: new research projects
    2009-10-26

    The European Commission has allocated €70 million to 31 research projects in the field of socio-economic sciences and humanities. These projects will involve 260 different research institutions from Europe and beyond. The results from these projects will help us understand how major societal issues evolve. The subjects include: the impact of the service economy on growth and welfare; the social, cultural and political factors behind social inequality; and the impact of hydro-climatic hazards on social tensions and conflicts in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Sahel regions. The results from projects selected will feed into future policy-making.

     Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read more on SSH research
    Link DG Research


  26. Demand for Reappraisal of Common Agricultural Policy
    2009-10-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    With over a billion of the Earth’s inhabitants going hungry and European agriculture in an unprecedented crisis, many French farmers used World Food Day to voice their discontent and their alarm. France Nature Environnement (FNE) believes that the two phenomena are interlinked and that the dairy crisis exposes the absurdity of the global situation. It took the opportunity to present its analysis and call for a thorough reappraisal of the CAP. The European Union has to abandon its export-oriented ambitions because it simply does not have enough farmland to attempt to feed the world. Exporting subsidized farm produce to ACP countries on a huge scale does indeed cause economic distortions leading to the decline of subsistence farming in those countries. As part of its support for such countries the EU must gradually reduce its exports while continuing to import sustainable, tropical products. Exports of basic foodstuffs should cease, except when these are temporarily needed to cope with emergencies (extreme weather, social crises, etc). This would allow the ACP countries to adjust their course, develop subsistence farming and significantly increase their food sovereignty. There is no other way to address the world food challenge.

     

    Source: durable.info


    Link Read more
    Link EPAs and CAP reform
    Link Read more on the CAP


  27. Replacing the hegemony of market forces with market regulation
    2009-10-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Archive, Aid effectiveness

    In his book «Vaincre la faim. Pour en finir avec l'inacceptable...» (Eradicating Hunger, Ending the Unacceptable) former Agriculture minister François Guillaume attacks the outrage of world hunger and presents a plan to mend the North-South divide. As an alternative to the free reign of market forces he advocates market regulation and organisation.

    Source: pleinchamp.com


    Link Read more
    Link World Summit on Food Security
    Link CTA Briefing Food Prices


  28. European approach to development aid
    2009-10-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    A study released during European Development Days in Stockholm, entitled “Aid Effectiveness: benefits of a European Approach”, reveals that European donors could make efficiency gains of billions of euros each year if they worked better together.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Days 2009



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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Copyright © 2009 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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