Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure to be here today at this final meeting of the Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia.
This programme has been funded by the Kingdom of Spain and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. RFLP has been a very ambitious and wide ranging initiative. For the last four years it has successfully strengthened capacity among small-scale fishing communities and their supporting institutions in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam.
Just because many small-scale fishing communities are poor and vulnerable they are still important. It is widely acknowledged that they can contribute significantly to the achievement of several Millennium Development Goals. Especially those related to poverty reduction, food security and environmental protection.
Through its wide and varied actions RFLP has helped reduce the vulnerability and improve the livelihoods of small-scale fishers and their families. It has also helped foster more sustainable fisheries management practices.
Today we will learn about some of RFLP’s major achievements as well as discuss lessons the programme has learned.
Through its regional approach RFLP has been able to draw upon the knowledge and experience of a wide range of those committed to supporting small-scale fisheries. I am very pleased to see so many participants here today representing participating countries as well as other projects, donors and organisations. Your input will be most important when we consider RFLP’s results and experiences as well as further action to take in support of small-scale fisheries.
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
I firmly believe that RFLP is an excellent example of FAO’s ability to deliver practical and well targeted interventions in the field. This programme reflects local context and needs. It has been implemented in very close collaboration with national authorities and fisher communities. It has delivered tangible benefits for all involved. And it also represents excellent value for money for the donor.
Allow me to finish by thanking all involved with RFLP for their support over the years.
I am confident that the actions you have contributed to will benefit the lives of fishers and their families across the region. I am equally confident that RFLP’s achievements will make a major contribution to the sustainable management of the region’s fisheries resources for years to come.
I thank you all for your participation and wish you a most productive meeting.