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Annex III - Consultation prospectus

(as sent to the countries in June 1998)

Consultation on Application of Article 9 of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in the Mediterranean Region

1. Scope of the Meeting

At its XXII session, held in 1997, the Committee of Fisheries (COFI) highlighted the importance of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which should be in a central position to guide in the identification of solutions to the problems of world fisheries. At the same meeting it was requested to FAO, other organisations and donors, to obtain assistance to facilitate the application of the Code at national, regional and sub-regional level.

Matters related to responsible development of aquaculture are dealt wife in Article 9 of the Code for which also Technical Guidelines have been prepared by the FAO Fisheries Department. Following the instructions of the XXII Session of COFI, the FAO Fisheries Department has prepared and distributed an experimental questionnaire to enquire to what extent the principles of the various articles of the Code are being applied in the member countries.

1.1 Regional Adaptation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries

In order to meet the specific needs of different regions and fisheries, sub-regional, regional and sectoral adaptation of the Code is considered desirable. This adaptation is likely to foster greater national acceptance of the Code and further facilitate the implementation of the policy changes necessary to secure sustainable practices and responsible fisheries. For these reasons, adaptation should be encouraged as far as it is consistent wife the objectives and principles of the Code.

A useful starting point to commence the process of regionalisation of the Code is the organisation of sub-regional and regional consultations. These consultations might be organised under the aegis of regional fishery bodies, FAO projects, non-FAO bodies, and other FAO partners, as appropriate, to identify priorities, areas of relevance and constraints. The consultations should also provide commentary notes on each of the provisions of the Code so as to ensure feat the intent of the provisions are correctly and properly reflected in the respective regionalised provisions. Through such a process adaptation of the Code will not compromise its spirit and intent, thereby preventing erroneous interpretation of provisions.

Regional adaptation of the Code is likely to yield the following benefits:

· a sense of direct participation in the Code process will be fostered, thus facilitating a greater commitment to local and national implementation;

· specific national, sub-regional, and regional problems will be identified, including those relating to different fisheries, gear, and management practice;

· additional areas which are not specifically nor sufficiently covered in the Code but which are important for a sub-region or region will be identified;

· major 'local' constraints to the implementation of the Code and the estimation of approaches needed to address those constraints will be identified;

· sub-regional and regional strategies (including the preparation of technical guidelines) to assist wife the national implementation of the Code will be elaborated;

· sub-regional and regional advantages will be fully utilised, including the coordination and elaboration of research and training requirements (national initiatives and experience in particular countries can be applied to other countries) together wife the use of TCDC expertise.

Responding to the request for assistance, the Italian Government, through its Directorate of Fisheries, has offered assistance to the FAO to initiate the work of adaptation of the Code in what refers to Article 9 on Aquaculture Development in the countries belonging to the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). This assistance is linked to the period of Chairmanship of Italy in the Committee on Aquaculture of the GFCM.

2. Objectives of the Consultation

The meeting will have three main objectives:

(i) to review the level of understanding and the status of application of the principles contained in the Article 9 of the Code in the GFCM member countries, and to examine the mechanisms which have been put in practice by member countries to utilise the Code as general guidelines to ensure a responsible development of aquaculture,

(ii) to discuss identified gaps and difficulties encountered in the application in a Mediterranean context of the principles of the Code contained in Article 9, at national and regional level,

(iii) on the basis of the above points to propose an action plan at national and regional level which would support the application of Article 9 of the Code.

3. Preparatory Work for the Meeting

The preparatory work to be carried out to comply with the objectives indicated above includes several activities. In first place the writing of national reports, which should follow a common outline and which will assist in the discussion related to the first two objectives of the meeting. These national reports would be prepared by selected national authors. As second step a synthesis document to be prepared, based on the national reports, with the assistance of consultants, which through comparative analysis of the sections of the national reports would permit the identification of common gaps and constraints on which to base future actions. Third, the elaboration of an annotated outline of the main elements of an action plan to support at national and regional level the application of Article 9 of the Code in the Mediterranean.

This approach will be implemented with the assistance of consultants, which will prepare an outline for the national reports to be prepared by the countries. After the outline is finalised and approved by a joint Italy/FAO Steering Committee (SC), the consultants will visit the countries, to brief the national teams and discuss the document outline and contents with them. Authors contracts will be provided by the FAO to selected countries for the preparation of the national reports, and will be funded by the Italian donor. The existing documentation in support of the application of Article 9 of the Code, in particular the technical guidelines for the various elements related to the principles of the Article 9 of the Code will be compiled and distributed to the teams in charge of the preparation of the national reports.

A verification mission to make sure that the documentation requested is prepared according to established standards, and to clarify doubts which the national teams may have in the preparation of the national report, will follow before the conclusion of the preparation of the national reports.

Upon reception of the national reports, the consultants will prepare a synthesis of the national documents and a document in which the main elements of a strategy will be outlined. These two documents will be distributed to the countries prior to the holding of the meeting and will be key documents for the discussion.

The GFCM countries will be invited by FAO to participate in the meeting, and are requested to provide support for the preparation of the information required for the elaboration of the national report. Some selected GFCM countries will also be invited to attend the meeting, and the cost of their participation will be covered by me Italian donor.

4. Chronogram of Activities

· Establishment of the Steering Committee

Month 1

· Contact by GFCM Secretariat to countries to explain the project

Month 1

· Recruitment of consultants

Month 1

· Preparation of: - outlines for national reports

Month 2

- outlines for elements of an action plan

Month 2

· Compilation of material relevant to meeting

Month 2

· First mission: briefing/distribution of outline to national groups

Month 2-3

· Preparation of author's contracts for national groups

Month 2-3

· Elaboration of national reports

Month 3-4

· Second mission: verification of progress

Month 4

· Compilation of synthesis and preparation of elements of strategy

Month 5

· Distribution of documents for internal clearance

Month 5-6

· Distribution of documents to countries

Month 7

· Holding of the meeting

Month 7-8

· Report preparation and distribution

Month 9

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