August 2015
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EDITO
Saturday, 01 August 2015

Spain and Curaçao have signed a framework agreement for technical cooperation to strengthen the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The agreement provides that both sides shall share data relevant to combating IUU fishing, including on tools used for control and inspection of fishing activities. There is also a training component to the agreement, whereby fisheries inspectors will receive both theoretical and practical training. Spain is one of the leading countries taking active steps to combat IUU fishing and has been involved in a number of international cooperation activities (e.g. Operation Sparrow).

At the Sub-regional Workshop on Branding and the Use of Geographical Indications (GIs) in the Development of Management Strategies for Origin-Linked Products in Jamaica, Caribbean experts highlighted the importance of  protecting intellectual property(IP), and the links this had for the region's economic development. The European Union (EU) – as a major advocate of the use of GI, such as Cognac, Roquefort cheese, Parma ham - provided financial assistance to the Caribbean Export Development Agency, as well as support through the programmes linked to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and CARIFORUM to develop the use of GI's across the Caribbean. Promising GI's include Grenada Nutmeg and “Toledo cacao”, Trinidad and Tobago Cocoa and Antigua Black Pineapple and Jamaican Jerk.

The 4th meeting of ACP Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture was held at ACP House in Brussels, from 22 to 23 July 2015. The roadmap highlights, inter alia, the points raised in the meeting: (i) adequate financial resources and collaboration with key partner institutions to support CAP fisheries, notably EU, FAO, IFAD, UNIDO and the World Bank; (ii) ambitious goals at COP21 in order to mitigate the negative effects that climate change has on the fisheries sector; (iii)  enhanced coordinated action to fight both Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and piracy; (iv) development of aquaculture and fisheries sector as a means for creating decent jobs, especially for youth and women, as well as the preservation of aquatic biodiversity; (v)  coherence and appropriate policies among regional economic integration organisations and regional fisheries organisations to achieve this aim.

Monday, 27 July 2015

The next Brussels Development Briefings no. 42 on Women entrepreneurs – key players in ACP agribusiness development  shall be held on 17th September 2015. Women make essential contributions to agriculture and rural economic activities in ACP countries but still face limitations in integrating the agribusiness sector and upscaling their businesses. This briefing will look at successful business cases led by women entrepreneurs and analysing the drivers of success. Register, follow live and find out more at:http://brusselsbriefing.net

Friday, 24 July 2015

The final outcome  of the Third International Financing for Development Conference which took place in Addis Ababa has been published. The Heads of State and Government and High Representatives expressed their support for sustainable agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and pastoralism, as well as the importance of action to fight malnutrition and hunger among the urban poor. The document notes of encouragement for increased public and private investments. Many international organizations received recognition for their work in the field of agriculture, including the Committee on World Food Security, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme, the World Bank and other multilateral development banks, as well as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme.

The 2015 edition of the regional fisherfolk mentor programme was held in Antigua, , from July 6 to 9, and brought together over 21 mentors and resource persons from 16 Caribbean countries. The programme was established in 2013 to provide support and encourage the active participation of fisherfolk organizations in fisheries governance and management. The key objectives of the workshop include: (i) strengthen the mentors’ capabilities in mentoring and facilitation and project cycle management; (ii) familiarization with the positions of fisherfolk on key fisheries and related policies for small scale fisheries development in the Caribbean. Fisherfolk were also able to share common challenges, such as, inadequate facilities for landing, storage, processing and marketing of fish and fish products; limited capacity to maintain the quality of fish from harvesting to marketing.

The 32nd edition of the Luanda International Fair (Filda/FIL) got underway this week with the participation of  40 countries and territories and 930 national and international exhibitors. Participants of the four day long fair have come from Brazil, Japan, Spain, France, India, Turkey, Zambia, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, China, Indonesia and Macau. The Germany/Angola and Angola/Italy economic forums on Agriculture and Food Industry are expected to be among the main highlights. Salvador Cardoso, director of institutional relations for the fair explained, “Germany is this year’s special guest country and has strengthened its participation, with 28 companies of international renown, some of which already operate in the country.”

The PACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers met in Suva, Fiji on 17 July 2015 and called for the EU’s commitment to EPA negotiations.  The key issued raised included: (i) concern following the EU’s proposal to defer the EPA negotiations; (ii) the pacific-EU relationship is important even beyond the expiry of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2020; (iii) a comprehensive EPA must be a development-oriented, with flexible rules of origin; (iv) there has been a strong commitment and efforts to maintain sound fisheries management and conservation, including on combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing, but ongoing cooperation and assistance is also needed from Distant Water Fishing Nations, including the EU; (v) there are no development benefits in the current interim EPA, especially for smaller island states.

The European Union and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have launched a new partnership agreement to boost food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and resilience in at least 35 countries. The new initiative consists of two linked five-year programmes: (i) The Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) facility, which will enhance the capacities of governments and regional administrations to improve food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture policies and better implement them. This will be done by providing policy assistance and capacity development support. (ii)  The Information for Nutrition Food Security and Resilience for Decision Making (INFORMED) programme will contribute to strengthening resilience to withstand food crises as a result of human-induced and natural disasters.

At the recent 14th regional seminar of the Africa Caribbean Pacific - European Union economic and social interest groups, experts were resoundingly in favour of conducting sustainable impact assessments for the EU-Central African  Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). These assessment, in their opinion, were crucial for addressing the reality of economies, especially consumer interests, the size of businesses, the job market, poverty eradication, women, young people and vulnerable groups. They raised the need to remove technical and economic obstacles which prevent enhanced trade relations and undermine the endogenous process of African regional integration, as well as the issues pertaining to the loss of tax income income resulting from the implementation of the EPA.