1 SDGs and small-scale fisheries: meeting commitments and realizing the right to adequate food

Organizers

  • FAO (Fisheries, LEGN, Right to Food)
  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • IFAD
  • IPC Fisheries Working Group (TBC)
  • ECOWAS
  • Norway

Abstract

Human rights permeate the 17 interrelated SDGs, notably those relating to ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture (SDG2), conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources (SDG 14), and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG 16). The side event will explore the linkages between small-scale fisheries and relevant SDGs for the realization of the right to food. The debate will also explore the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and   Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) as a tool that embraces the integrated approach of the SDGs to the protection of human rights and sustainable management of natural resources. The following questions will be explored:

  • How do small-scale fisheries, related SDGs, and the right to food interrelate?
  • How can various actors (at the international and national levels) build on the momentum of the SDGs to support the realization of the right to food?
  • How can progress in the implementation of the interrelated aspects of small-scale fisheries and the Right to Food within the SDGs achieving Agenda 2030 be monitored?

Key speakers/presenters

  • Karel Callens, Deputy Director, Strategic Programme 1 (FAO)
  • Anne Wetlesen, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)
  • Serena Pepino, Right to Food Officer (FAO)
  • Naseegh Jaffer, World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP)
  • Sidibe Aboubacar, Senior Fisheries Officer, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
  • Alison Graham, Human Rights Officer, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Summary

A cross-sectoral panel met to explore the linkages between small-scale fisheries and relevant SDGs for the realization of the right to food. The debate explored the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) as a tool that embraces the integrated approach of the SDGs to the protection of human rights and sustainable management of natural resources. The panel addressed three questions:

1. How do small-scale fisheries, the SDGs and the right to food inter-relate?

2. How can various actors at the international and national levels build on the momentum of the SDGs to support the realization of the right to food?

3. How can we monitor progress of small-scale fisheries development in the context of achieving the right to food and implementation of the Agenda 2030?

Summary of key points

The panel highlighted the importance of small-scale fishing communities in global and local efforts towards the realization of the right to adequate food. The sector is a source of nutritious food, employment, and livelihoods for an estimated 660-820 million people, employing over 90% of the worlds capture fisher folks, half of whom are women. The fact that 95% of small-scale landings in developing countries are destined for local consumption compounds the role of SSF as key to local food security and nutrition.

Despite the importance and size of the sector, the development of the small-scale fisheries sector remains a heavily under-utilized solution for achieving the SDG goals of eradicating hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty in the world. Acknowledging the interlinkages between the SDGs is therefore crucial as they offer important entry points to realize the right to food in the context of small-scale fisheries and avoid falling short on human rights obligations.

There are specific examples at regional level on more integrated approaches. For example, ECOWAS is strengthen linkages between fisheries and food security and nutrition through the development of a regional policy. Key outcomes/take away messages Participants stressed the need for participatory approaches, as the realization of the right to food and the achievement of the SDGs depends on action from a number of different actors, including small-scale fisheries actors. This however requires capacity development of these actors to perform their roles, as well as participatory monitoring systems to assess progress.

FAO actively supports the application of the principles of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4356e.pdf) which promote a human rights-based approach through its Strategic Programmes on Food Security and Nutrition (SP1) and on Rural Poverty (SP3). FAO’s small-scale fisheries activities are therefore to be guided by human rights principles from conception, over implementation to monitoring and evaluation, to ensure activities contribute to the realization of the right to adequate food.

Side Event - 1 - SDGs and small-scale fisheries: meeting commitments and realizing the right to adequate food