The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a United Nations specialised agency responsible for regulating international shipping. Since 1959, when it met for the first time, the IMO's overarching objectives have been the improvement of maritime safety and the prevention of marine pollution, to which maritime security was added later. The organisation's functioning reflects the diverging interests of its 171 member states acting in diverse capacities as port, coastal and flag states on the one hand, and as developed, developing or least developed states, on the other.
The second Steering Committee of the programme of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) - regional / Indian Ocean strand met at the premises of the Conseil Départemental, Mayotte. In our region, the actions of this programme financed by the European Union focus on sustainable management of the natural assets of Mayotte and the îles Eparses, and are the fruit of a partnership between the Conseil Départemental de Mayotte, the regional authority of the Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises (TAAF) and the French Development Agency (FDA).
Representatives of Liberia and the EU have met to review progress towards implementation of their Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), which aims to ensure Liberia exports only legal timber products to the EU. The Liberia-EU VPA Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) met for the 3rd time on 20-22 January in Monrovia. The JIC is the body established to oversee the implementation of the agreement. “I am really encouraged by the progress we have made in the implementation of this agreement since our last meeting,” said Sister Mary Laurene Browne, Chair of the Board of Liberia’s Forest Development Authority (FDA) and Co-Chair of the JIC.
Tonga is one of four Pacific island countries chosen by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London for a study of small island states that looks at governance and levels of vulnerability and resilience to external shocks. Visiting Nuku’alofa this week a team of three researchers were building up a profile of Tonga’s strengths and weaknesses in its ability to govern itself and respond to challenges of many kinds. The information was gathered through consultation and surveys presented at a Resilience Profiling Workshop for different sectors held at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre on January 25, presented by Dr Denny Lewis-Bynoe, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Adviser and Head of Climate Finance and Small States Economic Policy, with Mr Wonderful Hope Khonje, Economic Officer, and Mr Jean Paul Fabri, a consultant.
During the climate negotiations in Paris, representatives of African governments announced the launch of the AFR100 initiative. This strategy aims to restore almost 100 million hectares of forest and woodland in Africa between now and 2030. The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) have contributed to the launch of AFR100.
A delegation from the European Union and European Commission and officials of Concern Universal Country Office last Friday visited the Waste Innovation Centre in Brikama. The occasion was also graced by ward councilors, senior staff of the Brikama Area Council, Women Initiative Gambia (WIG) and officials from The Global Climate Change Alliance Livelihood. The centre, located at the Brikama Area Council Annex, is part of a four-month pilot project funded by the European Union, Waste-Aid and Concern Universal, in partnership with the Brikama Area Council and Women Initiative Gambia (WIG).
An issue paper adopted by the ACP Group’s Sub-committee on Sustainable Development will serve as the basis of a common ACP position at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 in Paris this December. Essentially, the document reaffirms the view that climate change is the single greatest challenge to the sustainable livelihoods, security and well-being of African, Caribbean and Pacific peoples, posing immediate and long-term significant risks to sustainable development efforts. Climate change threatens the very survival of the 79 developing countries that make up the ACP Group.
On Thursday 5th November, the European External Cooperation Infopoint held a lunch time conferecen on ‘Services to face climate change: Making climate information available and pertinent for everyday decisions.’ Mr. Denis Salord, Head of Unit, DG Development Cooperation on Thematic intra-ACP prgorammes introduced the conference, alongside Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou , Assistant Secretary General of the ACP and Head of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade at the ACP Secretariat. Presentatioins were made by Mr. Jolly Wasambo, MESA Project Coordinator at the African Union Commission.
The Commission's international public consultation on how the EU could contribute to achieving better international governance of oceans and seas to the benefit of sustainable blue growth has been completed. The EU is a global frontrunner in the development of sustainable ocean-based economies through its robust set of environmental rules, reformed Common Fisheries Policy and its global fight against illegal fishing. The Commission shall analyse the contributions received and based on the views gathered, it will launch an initiative on international ocean governance next year. Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella remarked: "Governance gaps exist when it comes to managing our oceans sustainably. This puts our marine resources and environments at risk."
The Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations is well underway and the draft interim report has been published for comments until 24 October. The Trade SIA on the EGA negotiations are also known as the “Green Goods Initiative”. The Trade SIA uses qualitative and quantitative research to assess the potential environmental, economic and social impacts of the liberalisation of trade in environmental goods and services. In support of this analysis, the Trade SIA will employ the use of this questionnaire to gather stakeholder feedback on key issues. Stakeholders will have yet another opportunity to provide feedback when the SIA draft final report is published for comments during the month of November. A survey is being conducted to feed into the SIA analysis.