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52. The Secretariat informed the Executive Committee on a draft strategic plan for APFIC, as outlined in document APFIC:ExCo/07/06. This task has been undertaken to develop and monitor APFIC's role in the region and as a response to requests by member and donor countries.

53. The Secretariat informed the Executive Committee that over the period 2007_2012, APFIC will continue to act in its role as mandated by the Commission as a Regional Consultative Forum. The forum mechanism works at a number of levels aimed at promoting regional cooperation and addressing two key themes per biennium. These themes are suggested by the Executive Committee and approved and chosen by the members at the APFIC session.

54. The Secretariat asked the Executive Committee to provide guidance and suggestions as to the future or emerging themes which need to be considered for the biennium 2009_2010 (These are listed in Appendix F).

55. The Committee endorsed APFIC to continue to work as a Regional Consultative Forum and recognized the work of the Commission in this respect.

56. It was reported to the Executive Committee that APFIC also functions as a regular coordination between RFB's and regional organizations liaising with BOB-IGO, WorldFish, NACA, SEAFDEC, COBSEA, MRC, MFF, ASEAN WGFi, BIMSTEC FiWG. It was mentioned that this was an effective, low cost way to communicate between different regional organizations. This is done by a number of yearly telephone link-ups.

57. The Executive Committee commented that APFIC should continue in its coordination role. It was suggested that contact was also made with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to include them in the networking activities. The committee recommended APFIC to continue the telephone link-ups in the form of phone/e-conference's and work as an umbrella organization for the regional organizations.

58. APFIC has a capacity building function as well in supporting member countries in addressing the global normative expectations for responsible fisheries as laid out in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the other relevant global norms. APFIC can assist in identifying technical assistance capacity building with members.

59. APFIC has a clear mandate to support and encourage the emergence of bilateral, trilateral and other arrangements for the effective management of fisheries amongst its member countries, and particularly within its geographical area of competence. The Executive Committee supported APFIC's role in the promotion of regional arrangements and working with regional processes aimed at improving responsible fisheries in the region.

60. The Executive Committee recommended APFIC to continue its work and collaborate with SEAFDEC on the Regional Scientific Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management in Southeast Asia. The foreseen role for APFIC is to identify common issues and assist in the coordination of these.

61. It was suggested that APFIC's strategy will be to work on aquaculture issues that have a clear interface with fisheries or where there may be common issues. APFIC will be working closely with its members and NACA, specifically working on aquaculture statistics, promotion of better management practices and specific projects on improving feeds for marine fish culture.

62. The Executive Committee advised the Secretariat to seek Regional Technical Cooperation Programme support to capacity building efforts in member countries. The focus of such requests should be identified and approved by the APFIC session.

63. The Executive Committee emphasised the role of APFIC in identifying new priorities and creating awareness of emerging issues in the APFIC region. When these issues/projects are well underway and ongoing with support by member countries, the APFIC Secretariat may no longer need to be directly involved in the implementation at local level of projects or initiatives.

64. The Executive Committee suggested that the APFIC Secretariat should develop a "Strategic plan" type document that clearly states the objective, goals and activities of APFIC. This should be
a short and concise document that would help donors, members and partners to see where they can help and benefit from APFIC. It was suggested that the Secretariat would develop the document, circulate to members of the Executive Committee, and after including comments prepare the document for the APFIC session.

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