October 2015
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Wednesday, 07 October 2015

While food production, consumption and ironically food waste is high in Europe, for some stakeholders the answer to sustainably transform Europe’s food industry is not more export to third countries but reduced consumption all together. Contrary to EU farmers request for more aid for better export marketing strategies, some lobby groups advocate for reducing the level of EU meat consumption in particular.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

European Union ambassador for the Pacific Andrew Jacobs said that the EU is working with the Fijian Government and also with governments in the Pacific where the Secretariat of the Pacific Community implemented agricultural programs. Mr Jacobs said they were trying to assist agriculture and finance ministries from across the Pacific to work together to ensure income from agriculture played an important role in sustainable development. Jacobs indicated that the program carried about €8.5million ($F20.64m) where it covered different countries in the Pacific to ensure agriculture played its part in generating income for a better future for everyone.

This study on Blue growth Potential outlines how the Horizon 2020 research is embedded in the wider context of Food Security, sustainable agriculture and forestry , marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy. The report highlights one of the main purposes of this societal challenge, namely to sustainably optimize biological resources. The Framework Programme provide a number of bilateral agreements and dialogues, as well as international cooperation initiatives such as the EU-Africa dialogue on research and innovation (R&I).

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture by Barloworld Handling Limited of the United Kingdom and BayWa Aktiengesellschaft of Germany.  Barloworld Handling belongs to the South African Barloword group which produces earthmoving, power systems, materials handling and agricultural equipment, automotive and logistics services. BayWa is a German group active in agriculture, building materials and energy. The joint venture will distribute agricultural machinery and parts and provide related services in Zambia at first, and may become active in other Sub-Saharan areas.

The EU believes in promoting better opportunities, security, development and better migration management in African countries of origin, such as Kenya. In fact, as announced by President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker on 9 September 2015, the EU is preparing to launch an Emergency Trust Fund of about €1.8 billion to address the root causes of instability in the countries of origin as well as to tackle illegal migration and displacement. One such project from this Emergency Trust Fund, with a budget of around €30 million, could be to provide socio-economic opportunities in Coastal Kenya (such as in the fisheries sector) where high poverty rates of up to 80% persist.

This video shows the main outcomes of the joint Stakeholders' Conference for ACP-EU Programmes: EDULINK II, ACP Science & Technology (S&T II) and Caribbean & Pacific Research Programme for Sustainable Development. Speakers explain the benefit of the various research programmes, namely enhanced cooperation for shared methodologies and information. One fo the key benefits recognized was in the field of agricultural education.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

In a recent report entitled Hunger, just another business, the NGOs CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Oxfam France and Action Against Hunger are critical of the new drive for GMO crops in Africa puched by third country development partners.  While GM crops are authorised in only a handful of African countries today, they appear to be gaining in popularity. So far, the only three Africna countries that have commercial GMO crops include South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan are the only three African countries that currently commercialise genetically modified crops. However, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda and Egypt have recently carried out field tests.

The Fairtrade Foundation has accused the UK in particular, and the EU in general of “policy incoherence.” In the run up to the UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In its opinion the UK and the EU supports “damaging changes to trade rules on sugar” that will undermine those efforts. The Fairtrade Foundation makes reference to a recent Department for International Development (DfID) study found that removing the cap on EU beet sugar – a measure set to be introduced in October 2017 – is likely to push 200,000 sugar producers in ACP countries into poverty by 2020.

The EU as a major aid donor, will be challenged in its continued to support development in other parts of the world, especially vis-à-vis the negative implications of its other policies e.g.  trade, agriculture, energy. Despite negotiating long and hard the forthcoming adoption of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the activities of EU companies abroad - including investments in extractive industries such as logging, mining and fisheries - should also be consistent with sustainability criteria and human rights to ensure coherence. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to provide an integrated and interlinked package of goals and targets covering the economic, social and environmental dimensions on aspects from people, planet, prosperity and peace.

The Committee on Fisheries have resumed parliamentary activities and shall continue work on: (i) negotiations with the Council on the multiannual management plan for the Baltic Sea, which is expected to be a prototype for future plans; (ii) review of technical measures and control regulations to implement the landing obligation; (iii) preparation of several multiannual fisheries management plans.