Gildo Pivetta, Development Counselor, Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines, and Daniel Plas, Senior Programme Officer, Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines
Overview of the main policies of the European Commission on Rural Development and Fisheries, including Rural Development interventions in the Philippines as an example
Main instruments of the European Commission
Development cooperation: Article 177 of the Treaty establishing the European Community
The sustainable economic and social development of developing countries, particularly the most disadvantaged
The smooth and gradual integration of the developing countries into the world economy
The campaign against poverty in developing countries
Six pillars of development policies (Statement on Development Policy in 2001)
Macro-economic support and access to social services
Food security and rural development
Trade and development
Rural development policies (policy and approach to rural development 15 June 2000)
Progressing toward more peaceful, equitable, open and democratic societies
Establishing more effective and accountable rural institutions
Supporting economic policies which enable rural growth
Enhance the individual asset of rural dwellers
Promoting more sustainable management of natural resources
Improving the coherence between EC development policies and other EU policies such as trade, agriculture, environment and immigration
Rural development in the Philippines
In the Philippines this is done through Area Development Projects with main elements: strengthening of peoples' organisations, local government institutions and rural finance institutions, providing rural infrastructure, natural resource management and technology transfer on agriculture (including fisheries and aquaculture based) and non-agricultural fields.
Support in the area of fisheries and aquatic resources included:
support for seaweed farming and fish cages, establishing a management council for marine resources (e.g. Maceda Bay in Samar), and Barangay/community level coastal management plans, including establishing protection zones and controlling destructive fishing methods.
Problems with the adoption of technologies by beneficiaries included:
Limited technical know-how and extension capacity of local governments and NGOs
Capital requirements for investments
Technical problems with aquaculture technologies, such as seaweed farming
High cost of inputs (e.g. feed)
Insufficient availability of inputs (e.g. fingerlings)
A general trend in designing development cooperation interventions is towards a lesser dependence on project-focused interventions and toward sector programmes where possible. Another trend is to provide more support to the social sectors such as health and education. The Philippines is a case in point where the National Indicative Programme (2002-2004) has programmed about half of the development cooperation resources to a health sector support programme.
Fisheries development policies
The EC Fisheries Development Policies are derived from the Council Resolution on Fisheries and Poverty Reduction 14 November 2001.
Political dialogue is increasingly important and therefore should be taken up in the formulation of the Country Strategy Papers and National Indicative Programming documents. It is recognized that this has not yet sufficiently taken place. [This approach] assists countries in drawing-up and implementing a strategy for sustainable development in the fishery sector.
The Commission will adhere to the principles formulated in various international agreements, such as Montego Bay 1982, Rio de Janeiro 1992, Rome 1995, Kyoto 1995 and the 28th FAO Conference on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries:
Optimal use of biological resources in the countries Exclusive Economic Zones
Coastal states to determine the capacity of exploiting biological resources and can allow other states exploit the surplus of admissible catch
Environmental concerns shall be integrated in all development processes
Local communities must be made responsible
Fishing levels must be in proportion to production capacity
Joint management of resources at sub-regional, regional and world levels
Importance small-scale fishing
International trade in fish must not have adverse effects on the environment
Improving governance of sustainable management and strengthening civil society
Support implementation of National Sector Programmes, including scientific knowledge, management of fishing activities, protection of aquatic ecosystems, improvement of production, marketing and food security
Support for sub-regional and regional cooperation conservation and management of resources (ARCBC [ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation] is an example in relation to biodiversity)
Support national and regional efforts to combat non-controlled and non-recorded fishing
Interventions related to economic development
Improve fishing fleet and processing, infrastructures and training
Support in reaching sanitary standards for aquaculture products in European markets
Seeking complementarity and coherence (especially with the Common Fisheries Policy)
Main instruments of the European Commission
Development cooperation instruments
The majority of assistance is bilateral assistance, which is programmed through Country Strategy Papers and related National Indicative Programming for both Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries and the Asia and Latin American countries.
Country Strategy Papers are part of the political dialogue between the EC and the Partner Countries and cover all aspects of their relationship including political, trade and development issues. When available, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) adopted by partner governments are important elements in planning development interventions.
Horizontal budget lines
Horizontal budget lines are global thematic instruments and are implemented through calls for tenders which are available at the website of the European Commission Co-operation Office. There is no separate budget line for fisheries or aquatic resources, but interventions in these areas have been supported through the environment budget line and the NGO co-financing budget line.
Regional indicative programmes
A Regional Indicative Programme with the Pacific Forum for 29 million Euro and a duration of five years, which was signed in October 2002 as part of the ACP programme. On Sustainable Natural Resource and Environmental Planning and Policy:
Information and data collection to determine optimal level of resource extraction
Development of common policies and regulations
Sustainability of the natural heritage through
- Conservation of biodiversity
- Common protection strategies
- Integrated coastal zone management
- Prevention of pollution and protection fresh water habitats
- Natural disaster mitigation
There is no regional Indicative Programme for Asia countries.
The FISHBASE programme (implemented by ICLARM) was co-funded by the EC under ACP funding.
The EC supports the CGIAR Consultative Group for International Agricultural for Research Activities.
Research framework programmes
The funding cycles of the Research Framework Programmes numbers one through five have been complete. The sixth framework programme 2002 to 2006 will be implemented in three phases in 2003-2004 and 2005. Main themes related to environment will include:
Food security provided by coastal ecosystems
Integrated framework for interpretation and analysis
Rehabilitation of degraded systems (protected areas)
Methods and approaches for economic valuation of coastal ecosystems