138. It is recalled that FAO’s Programme of Work is presented in a "unified" manner in the MTP and PWB documents. The constituent entities under the established programme structure are designed to address the problems and issues faced by Members and hence contributing to the corporate objectives reflected in the Strategic Framework as evidenced in the preceding section. Substantive programmes are in most cases jointly executed by Headquarters departments and the corresponding outposted teams in Regional or Sub-regional Offices. Many activities involve, therefore, participation of both Headquarters staff and those in decentralized offices.
139. Within this unified approach, there are clearly activities which are of direct benefit to each region. Accordingly, this section of the PIR seeks to provide illustrative cross-cutting views of activities implemented in the 2002-03 biennium of particular interest to individual regions. It covers substantive activities within Chapter 2, Technical and Economic Programmes and Major Programme 3.1, Policy Assistance, irrespective of whether inputs originate from Headquarters or decentralized offices.
140. While efforts have been made to avoid unnecessary duplication, many programmes or activities of obvious interest to all regions (e.g. IPPC) are of such importance that it was worth highlighting aspects pertinent to the regional context.
141. Under Programme 2.1.0, work on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) involved field activities (pilot projects started in south-western Burkina Faso and in western Kenya), which provided opportunities for useful case studies, analyses and reports. A multistakeholder process was also initiated in Burkina Faso, enhancing information sharing and consensus between national stakeholders on "good farming practices" for cotton-livestock-cereal systems. The concept of conservation agriculture was introduced in a number of countries and promoted through regional workshops and numerous field demonstrations. Prime emphasis was given to issues of direct relevance to the region: water, labour saving methods, increased profitability/yields, soil moisture conservation and crop residue management. It is estimated that at least 9 African countries have introduced support to conservation agriculture into their national policies.
142. Under Programme 2.1.1, priority was given to water control and increasing fertilizer use in Africa, within the context of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the associated Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), and arresting land degradation while sustaining soil productivity. TCP projects have addressed related water policy and irrigation strategies as well as capacity building in several countries in the region. Prominence was given to information and data on irrigation in the continent as part of FAO's contribution to NEPAD. A regional workshop on Integrated Water Resources Management and Food Security was held in Ethiopia during the Pan-African Conference on Water. A sub-regional workshop on investment in land and water was held in in Zimbabwe in preparation for the World Food Summit: five years later.
143. Under Programme 2.1.2, the cold-tolerant oil palm was introduced in the highlands of five West African countries, where rainfall is higher, providing isolated farmers with an important new commodity, also improving health as the red palm oil contains vitamins A and E. As regards IPM, the well established “Farmers Field School” approach has been applied in Eastern Africa to soil fumigation for methyl bromide replacement and to soil nutrient and water management, and in communities struggling with the impact of HIV/AIDS on agriculture. A process was started to harmonize seed rules and regulations to expand seed access, exchange and trade (also at the international level) within Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries. In the context of the Technical Consultations of Regional Plant Protection Organizations supported by the IPPC Secretariat, a regional workshop was convened to facilitate the review of draft standards and the preparation of country comments by national Plant Protection Organizations during the country consultation period. As regards pesticides, workshops on the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention have been held, contributing to increased compliance with the obligations of the Convention e.g. on import decisions on chemicals. Progress has been made in the development of the Africa Stock Piles Programme (ASP) which aims to clear all obsolete pesticide stocks from the region and to put in place measures to prevent their recurrence. In the context of the GAP implementation, national information-sharing mechanisms on plant genetic resources have been fully established or are being initiated in several countries, while support was also provided to in situ and on farm conservation activities or crop-associated biodiversity.
144. As regards livestock, progress achieved under the Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis (PAAT) in support of the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) has been a noteworthy development during the 2002-03 biennium, although the 2003 FAO Conference concluded that further efforts were required to pave the way for more effective action in the field. EMPRES/GREP were also important on-going activities, along with various projects on livestock production (particularly related to SPFS), health and policy. Small-scale milk processing is important in both the rural/pastoral and peri-urban areas of Africa, calling for normative support for the development of village milk systems under FAO's field programmes in the region. Countries were also assisted in participating in the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources reporting process. Work on integrated parasite control was carried out to meet increasing concerns about parasite resistance in the region.
145. Under Programme 2.1.4, success stories in developing new farm enterprises were disseminated while region-specific farm business management training manuals were developed. Information and guidelines for improving the efficiency of food supply and distribution operations were promoted through workshops in the Horn of Africa and North Africa. Assessments of the impact of trade liberalisation on smallholder farmers were carried out in eastern and western Africa, as were similar assessments of labour saving technologies to cope with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A regional consultation was convened as part of a new global initiative on post harvest management. There was continued interest from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for support in agricultural mechanization policy development and market-driven agro-industrial sector development, including participation of smallholders. Advice was given to national and regional farmers' organizations to improve farm management.
146. Under Programme 2.1.5, the joint FAO/IAEA Division contributed significantly to: the strengthening of national plant breeding activities including through biotechnologies (one telling indicator being the release or pending registration of 10 drought tolerant mutant lines); capacity-building in countries to diagnose and conduct surveillance activities against rinderpest and CBPP, including through the use of biotechnological methods; and the agreement reached on criteria for area-wide interventions against tsetse and trypanosomiasis.
147. As regards nutrition under Programme 2.2.1, support was provided for the development and implementation of national plans of action for nutrition in many countries. Workshops were held in southern and eastern Africa to test assessment tools and to ensure their use locally to address acute nutritional problems. Many initiatives aimed at promoting community-based programmes to improve household food security and nutrition, alongside the support to the field programme. Advocacy was carried out to improve the nutritional care of people living with HIV/AIDS, in collaboration with UN development partners and regional and subregional bodies. A three-week training course was organized in South Africa in connection with the AFROFOODS regional network, part of the global INFOODS initiative. Direct assistance was provided to compile national food composition tables and databases and their harmonization at regional levels as means of improving food safety and quality.
148. Under Programme 2.2.2, one entity 222A2 was fully dedicated to the Africa Region, providing direct support to statistical capacity building as well as project supervision. Draft guiding principles for the sustainable development of agricultural and rural statistics in Africa were developed and will be presented to subregional groupings for adoption, starting with ECOWAS countries in 2004. Support to statistical development in the region has benefited from two trust fund projects, funded by the World Bank and the Government of France. Several workshops and expert group meetings were organized, covering a number of key statistical issues of direct interest to the region, in addition to national demonstration centres which help build capacity in food security measurement and analysis at the country level. Another important intiative was the launching of CountryStat, to contribute to statistical capacity building at the country level and to improve exchanges of information between the national and the international levels.
149. Under Programmes 2.2.3 and 2.2.4, the assessment of the importance and potential of basic food commodities in enhancing food security within the context of intra-trade in Africa was carried out. Improved collaboration was achieved with national governments and regional organizations (CILSS, SADC) in the context of crop and food supply assessments in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Country specific studies were undertaken on natural resources management in the context of general economic analysis and policy research work.
150. It may be noted that a vast majority of FAO supported projects dealing with fisheries information were implemented in African countries. Activities on traditional use of fish and other aquatic life in rice-based production systems, both wild and cultured, have raised awareness and promoted rice-cum-fish farming systems. Aquaculture-related assistance to countries was principally through field programme interventions to reinforce the sub-sector and enhance output. Regional aquaculture development programmes evolved from the strategic approach elaborated in connection with the 1999 Africa Regional Aquaculture Review, which was based on lessons learnt over the past 30 years. A workshop to demonstrate by-catch reduction technologies was held for the East African sub-region and a number of case studies on support to small scale fishers were carried out. Vessel Monitoring Systems workshops were organized in West Africa. Entity 234A4 Promotion of Coastal Fisheries Management was particularly active in some counties of the region: e.g. in Senegal where there is much enhanced awareness that access control needs to be developed for all fishers, while Tanzania has developed a strategy for common management of industrial and artisanal fisheries of marine shrimps. Further efforts were made to strengthen FAO regional fishery bodies (RFBs) and increase their efficiency, as well as to improve and stimulate cooperation between all FAO and non-FAO RFBs and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) on specific issues and joint activities.
151. Important documents include cases of successful forest management in Central Africa based on broad partnerships and policy development for the sustainable use of wildlife resources and bush meat issues. A strategy for future action in support to Central African forests was designed. Demonstration and training activities in forest resources assessment took place, as well as regional workshops to define the new generation of watershed management projects. The FAO-supported regional project in the Fouta Djallon area is significantly contributing to cooperation on watershed management and sustainable mountain development. Several studies on the impact of acacia and prosopis species as invasives were carried out. The Forestry Outlook Study for Africa emphasized the importance of supporting the informal sector that is critical to the provision of rural employment and income while underpinning the need for strengthening public sector institutions. Case studies highlighted the potential for increasing revenues from forests through regular revision of royalties. Reviews were undertaken to update assessments of needs and capacities in forestry education and research. The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission was able to develop intersessional activities making substantial contributions to the bushmeat crisis in West and Central Africa and to bushfire prevention and control in dry zone Africa. Support was also provided to arid, low forest cover countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, to validate national criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management.
152. Under Programme 2.5.1, assistance was provided to the formulation of NEPAD's CAADP “fourth pillar” on agricultural research, technology dissemination and adoption. The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) was established and an important development was the decision of FARA to expand its outreach to cover all of Africa including North Africa, and not just Sub-Saharan Africa as originally conceived. Direct assistance was provided in order to optimize the dissemination of agricultural knowledge and technologies through national agricultural research and extension systems in several countries, notably in the CEMAC region. Assistance was also provided to selected countries (e.g. Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Swaziland) in the area of bio-safety regulations. Land cover datasets from the SADC region have been incorporated to enhance FAO's environment and natural resources services (i.e. the provision of comprehensive data and information to countries on land cover and geo-spatial data). Under the aegis of the interim Science Council of the CGIAR, a number of seminal reports on the problems of agricultural research in the region and possible solutions have been issued.
153. As regards gender and population, primary attention was given to the impacts of HIV/AIDS and rural ageing, including increased urban-rural inequalities, reduced rural households' assets and wealth, and problems in the intergenerational transfer of knowledge and skills, consequently leading to less productive farming systems and higher levels of food insecurity. Most of the underlying research work and related field testing was carried out in the Africa region. Training workshops were organized for lusophone countries (with IPGRI) on indigenous knowledge, gender and seed management. Training activities and workshops were carried out on the well-established Socio-economic and Gender Analysis Programme (SEAGA) and other materials. Progress was made in West Africa in the assembly of gender disaggregated data in national agricultural data collection exercises, while re-tabulation of existing agricultural databases was carried out, notably in southern Africa.
154. Under Programme 2.5.3, given the emergence of decentralized approaches to governance throughout Africa, emphasis was placed on more effective civil society engagement in national policy formulation and strengthening capacity of national farmer-based bodies in terms of advocacy, mediation and policy analysis. Strengthened partnerships and networks of producer organizations were also supported regionally, nationally and within subregions. Studies concerning the role of local institutions in disaster and risk management have been conducted in drought-prone Sahelian areas as part of a global programme. Training materials on participatory diagnostics of common property resource management have been prepared for lusophone countries. In eastern and southern Africa, research work has been carried out to assess the effects of HIV/AIDS on land tenure arrangements for vulnerable people, including widows. An important activity was to support the thematic groups of the UN System Network or Rural Development and Food Security (entity 253P1) working at national level.
155. The adoption of NEPAD and associated CAADP has allowed orientation of policy assistance and field programme development work towards meeting more concrete objectives for rapid recovery of the agricultural sector. Assistance was provided not only for the formulation of the CAADP, but also for the subsequent action plan and identification of CAADP flagship projects. At the national level, assistance was also provided for the updating of National Strategies for Agricultural and Rural Development - Horizon 2015. Regional Economic Communities were assisted in the design and pursuit of regional strategies for food security and mechanisms for better harmonisation of agricultural policies. Draft Regional Programmes for Food Security (RPFS) were prepared for 8 regional economic organizations. The major programme also covered reviews of needs for and effectiveness of agricultural financing. High level meetings were held with regional development banks to discuss the RPFS and facilitate the mobilization of resources for their implementation. For instance, funding was obtained from the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). On legal aspects, assistance was provided, for example, on water law in the Sahara aquifer, and seed law in West Africa. Moreover, some publications addressed regional issues, such as forestry law in the whole of Africa, and pastoral law in West Africa.
156. Under Programme 2.1.0, work on Good Agricultural Practices involved case studies, analyses and reports which were commissioned in specific countries (Indonesia and Nepal). The concept of conservation agriculture was promoted covering inter alia: efficient investment of machinery; profitability of farming; soil resource conservation in Central Asia; soil resource conservation (environmental benefits) in China; improved profitability of farming, soil resource conservation/water conservation in South Asia.
157. Under Programme 2.1.1, a sub-regional workshop on investment in land and water was held in preparation of the World Food Summit: five years later (Bangkok). The modernization of irrigation systems was promoted through a regional training programme benefiting 300 professionals in five countries through nine training workshops, the launching of a website, publications and a training CD ROM. Support to improved farm-level water management was provided in several countries, through SPFS and other projects. Conservation agricultural practices for integrated soil and water conservation and management were disseminated utilizing available assessment methods and tools for land degradation. A workshop was carried out on sustainable land use planning based on agro-ecological zoning methods.
158. Under Programme 2.1.2, integrated production systems continued to be emphasized to achieve food security, especially the sustainable intensification of rice-based systems through the adoption of an innovative “Rice-Check” management system. Several projects to enhance livelihoods were launched, e.g. based on coffee or coconut production. In the Himalayan region and on the Tibet Plateau, work towards establishing a fodder oat network has been complemented by two TCP projects to evaluate new multi-cut oat cultivars and other forages and to develop technology packages that should enable smallfarmers to have green feed (and hay) available for the winter to maintain milk production and boost family incomes. A national IPM programme was set up in Nepal through a unilateral trust fund, with complementary support from the government of Norway. Country pasture resource information/data in the Southwest Pacific is now nearly complete and available on the FAO Website.
159. Under the plant protection component of EMPRES, effective control of locust species other than the desert locust was achieved, particularly in Afghanistan, through FAO technical assistance. Support to capacity building on seed technology was provided, building on a successful workshop on seed variety identification and genetically modified (GM) seed testing in the region, together with ISTA. In the context of the Technical Consultations of Regional Plant Protection Organizations supported by the IPPC Secretariat, a regional workshop was convened to facilitate the review of draft standards and the preparation of country comments by national Plant Protection Organizations during the country consultation period. As regards pesticides, workshops on the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention have been held, contributing to increased compliance with the obligations of the Convention e.g. on import decisions on chemicals. On plant genetic resources in the context of the GPA implementation, national information-sharing mechanisms have been fully established or are being initiated in several countries, while support was also provided to in situ and on farm conservation activities or crop-associated biodiversity.
160. As regards Programme 2.1.3, in view of the dynamic growth of the Asian livestock sector, assistance in livestock policy, animal production and animal health was supplemented by externally funded activities (EC, GEF) on livestock waste management and also addressed how small-scale farmers can participate in the growth of the sector. In addition, there was demand for assistance in small-scale meat processing where a major potential exists for income generation, job creation and improved food safety. Countries were helped in connection with the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources reporting process. The LEAD initiative on information resources was also relevant to areas of rapid intensification of livestock production.
161. Under Programme 2.1.4, new diversification opportunities were appraised in Nepal and Vietnam and region-specific farm business management training manuals were developed. There was also strong demand for training in microfinance, while five courses were conducted and the FAO-GTZ MicroBanking System was installed in 70 new sites in seven countries. Regional workshops were convened for policy makers on the regulatory and supervisory aspects of microfinance. Countries were assisted to improve market information systems through FAO's Agrimarket software. A regional consultation was convened as part of a new global initiative on post-harvest management. Five TCP projects to build capacity in farm management, marketing and post-harvest techniques operated in the Pacific. Under the Pacific Farm Management and Marketing Series, five publications were issued.
162. Under Programme 2.1.5, the joint FAO/IAEA Division was instrumental in strengthening national capacities on plant breeding, plant biotechnology and plant health as evidenced by new varieties released. A significant area in one country was freed from the oriental fruit fly, resulting in exports of mangoes for the first time. Two projects supported by FAO won national prizes for their accomplishments. Regional efforts to control FMD were enhanced by the strengthening of local capacities in the production and use of diagnostic reagents and many countries gained valuable knowledge on the practical implementation of GAPs for the production of fruits and vegetables through guidelines developed by a workshop held in Thailand.
163. As regards nutrition under Programme 2.2.1, a regional FMFH (feeding minds, fighting hunger) training workshop was held in collaboration with UNESCO to support learning of FMFH lessons in schools and to facilitate the establishment of regional/sub-regional networks. Regional data centres which are part of the INFOODS network (ASEANFOODS, SAARCFOODS and NEASIAFOODS) convened technical meetings, held an expert consultation, and conducted a three-week postgraduate training course. The regional CODEX Coordinating Committee continued to promote the mutual exchange of information on food regulatory issues and strengthening of food control infrastructure. Work on risk assessment of chemical and microbiological hazards in food has been particularly important to the countries which faced trade problems due to emerging risks associated with chemical contamination of foods. Some examples of problems addressed were the assessment of mercury in some types of fish, the presence of acrylamide in foods and the advice provided related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
164. Under Programme 2.2.2, several workshops and expert group meetings were organized covering a number of key statistical issues of direct interest to the region, in addition to national demonstration centres which aim to build capacity in food security measurement and analysis at the country level. The 19th session of APCAS addressed critical issues in food and agricultural statistics and identified key areas for capacity building. The launching of CountryStat contributed to statistical capacity building at the country level and improved exchanges of information between the national and the international levels. Support to statistical development in the region continued to benefit from the Regional Data Exchange System trust fund project funded by the Government of Japan. Workshops were held on information management covering issues of direct interest to the region, as well as studies/analyses of information's impact on rural communities in India and China.
165. Under Programme 2.2.3, the monitoring of developments in cereal markets in China has been instrumental in raising awareness about their potential impact on global markets, as well as global food security concerns. The issues of food security and poverty alleviation in the context of disaster management were the main topics in regional workshops held in Korea, the Philippines and India. Several activities and workshops were in direct support of national FIVIMS initiatives.
166. Attention was placed on the traditional use of fish and other aquatic life in rice-based production systems, both wild and cultured, and the promotion of rice-cum-fish farming systems. Several countries, especially in South East Asia were assisted in relation to under-utilized aquatic resources and low-value catches. The region made several requests for assistance regarding safety and quality of aquaculture products, while good progress was made in regional harmonization of fish safety and quality standards in South East Asia. A workshop to demonstrate by-catch reduction technologies was held for the South East Asian sub-region. Vessel Monitoring System workshops were carried out in the South West Indian Ocean.
167. Collaborative activities with partners (NACA, SEAFDEC, MRC and the Worldfish Centre) included a regional donor consultation on the role of aquaculture and living aquatic resources, the second International Symposium on the management of large rivers for fisheries, a regional seminar on accessing and meeting requirements of markets for aquaculture products and a regional workshop on the use of international mechanisms for the control and responsible use of alien species in aquatic ecosystems. The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem project should evolve into a larger programme.
168. Dissemination and application of the model forest process and the identification of successful forest management cases was carried out. Regional workshops were held to define the new generation of watershed management projects in the region. A study involving 9 countries addressed the important issue of incentives in Forest Plantation Development. Capacity building for climate change negotiators from developing countries was supported. Reviews were undertaken to update information on needs and capacities in forestry education and research in the region. The impact of forest invasive species was explored further. With extra-budgetary support, work on national forest programmes, including participatory processes, was initiated in a number of countries. Networking of national forest statistical correspondents was strengthened, improving flows of information. The Asia Pacific Forestry Commission developed and implemented a code of forest harvest practices, while an analysis of log export bans in Asia and the Pacific was completed.
169. Under Programme 2.5.1, work on gender disaggregated information translated into publications on specific country analyses. PacificAsian Bio-Net, a regional project financed by Japan, is now operational in ten countries. Among other activities, the Philippines authorities were assisted with a draft national policy on pluralistic extension and mechanisms for parnership between public and private institutions. A regional network of rural youth organizations was supported through meetings and an electronic newsletter and case studies of "best practices" in rural youth development programming.
170. As regards gender and population, technical support was given to the AsiaCover project to identify relevant gender and socio-economic data and indicators for merging with biophysical data in several countries. Guidelines for identification and assessment of sub-national gender and socio-economic data were discussed at workshops and technical support in gender and statistics was provided in connection with national agricultural censuses. A series of regional consultations were organized to focus on distance education and information technologies to favour rural women's access to information in South Asia. Technical support was provided to reflect gender equality aspects in food security and community empowerment projects in South Asian countries. Publications were issued covering important subjects for the region, i.e. rural and tribal women in agro-biodiversity conservation; women and root crop livelihoods; and the gender dimension in biodiversity management. Training activities, uncluding workshops were carried out, based on the well established SEAGA programme and other materials.
171. Concerning Programme 2.5.3 attention was also placed on decentralized participatory planning and rural public sector restructuring as well as cooperatives/institution capacity building upon country requests. There was also demand for technical support in the development of rural property tax to provide revenues for rural development and measures to assist vulnerable groups and disabled people.
172. The major programme continued to develop country policy profiles as the basis for future policy assistance and field programme development work. In the Pacific sub-region, analysis of common development issues facilitated the design of a regional programme for food security. Draft Regional Programmes for Food Security (RPFS) were prepared for three regional economic organizations and high level meetings were held with regional development banks in order to discuss the RPFS and facilitate the mobilization of resources for their implementation. Funds were obtained for instance for the Regional Programme for Food Security for the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) countries. On legal aspects, some publications addressed regional issues, such as forestry law in the Pacific Islands. In addition, policy assistance and advice on trade policy reforms and WTO accession were provided to several countries.
173. Under Programme 2.1.1, activities ranged from mapping soil and terrain vulnerability to training activities for improved land and water resources management. A seminar on integrated water management of the Tisza River Basin provided important technical elements for formulating a project concentrating on the five riparian states of the Tisza catchment area, which will also assist them to conform to the EU Water Framework Directive. Direct technical assistance was provided to countries, either through TCP or TF projects, including on remote sensing and GIS applications, sustainable utilization of abandoned lands, legislation for groundwater management, small-scale farm irrigation technologies and integrated management of salt affected and bypsiferous soil.
174. Under Programme 2.1.2, the main focus was on improving crop production and reducing losses due to pests. Technical assistance was provided on: (i) rehabilitation of the hybrid maize seed industry; (ii) strengthening of locust and rodent control capabilities and initiating IPM practices; (iii) strengthening phytosanitary capabilities; and (iv) rehabilitation of hazelnut and walnut nurseries. A regional IPM programme for Central and Eastern Europe, supported by contributions from the Italian government, is now operating including the use of the Farmers Field School approach and the promotion of applied research with focus on diabrotica, the invasive Western Corn Rootworm. As regards pesticides, workshops on the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention have been held contributing to increased compliance with the obligations of the Convention e.g. on import decisions on chemicals.
175. As regards livestock, training was provided on the control of food and mouth diseases (FMD) in the Caucasian countries and strengthening active surveillance for FMD and other exotic diseases in the Thrace region. Technical assistance was provided in the areas of livestock breeding and animal production. Participation in the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) reporting process was facilitated by a regional Focal Point on AnGR financed by resources from within the region.
176. Under Programme 2.1.4, workshops were organized on the fragmentation of farming structures as a result of the process of privatization and land restitution, leading to significant constraints to the development of private family farms. Case studies were undertaken to review new income-generating and value-added activities at the farm and community level. Technical assistance provided to individual countries ranged from agro-processing and marketing to market information systems development.
177. Under Programme 2.1.5, activities of the joint FAO/IAEA Division on developing guideline levels for radionuclides in foods will be of particular interest to countries still affected by the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.
178. As regards nutrition under Programme 2.2.1, the subregional network CEECFOODS which is part of the global INFOODS initiative, convened meetings to elaborate cooperative work plans and appoint new executive committees. The Regional CODEX Coordinating Committee continued to promote the mutual exchange of information on food regulatory issues and for strengthening of food control infrastructure in the region. Following the recommendations of the Pan-European Conference on Food Safety and Quality, a number of sub-regional training workshops were organized in the area of food control and consumer protection. The FAO Manual on HACCP and food hygiene was translated into Russian.
179. Under other programmes, activities focused on improving the quality of agricultural information, including collection, analysis and dissemination in CEE and CIS countries. The SOFA publication and underlying analytical work gave prominence to land and farm reforms in the CEE and CIS countries and to the CAP for the EU accession countries. Publications were issued, e.g. on management of individual farms in Central and Eastern Europe, and through donor funding on the assessment of food security in the Russian Federation, and a comparative study of food security in the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belarus.
180. In connection with the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, European countries gave particular importance to the themes relating to fisheries management, fishing operations, aquaculture development and post-harvest practices. Efforts were made to strengthen FAO regional fishery bodies (RFBs) and increase their efficiency, as well as to improve and stimulate cooperation between all FAO and non-FAO RFBs and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) on specific issues and joint activities. Technical assistance was provided in such areas as the establishment of fish hatcheries, the re-opening of migration routes for salmon, the rehabilitation of the fisheries sector, and upgrading of fishing technology in the Lake Balaton.
181. Regional workshops to define the new generation of watershed management projects were held. FAO’s major assessment study, FRA 2000, constituted the major source for reporting on the state of forests in the region to the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe held in 2003. The European Forestry Outlook Study emphasized the growing importance of the provision of environmental services and the use of wood as an important source of energy. A number of Eastern European countries, especially those acceding to the EU, received assistance to formulate national forest programmes and to update their forestry policies and legislation through adequate participatory processes. An increasing number of Central European and CIS countries are seeking similar support from FAO. Several Eastern European countries also embraced new methodologies for engaging civil society and the private sector in the revision or update of their national forestry strategies and policies. FAO actively supported the Ministerial Process on the Protection of Forests in Europe.
182. Under Programme 2.5.1, needs assessment in agricultural biotechnology and biosafety were conducted in the Balkans, Caucasus and Moldova and a regional workshop addressed these issues in the Caucasus area and Moldova. In cooperation with UNESCO, a workshop for research managers was organized to review the status of biotechnology applications and the implementation of biosafety systems in the Caucasus subregion. A case study on Agricultural Knowledge and Information System for Rural Development (AKIS) was undertaken which was followed by a workshop on the improvement of AKIS for sustainable agriculture. Assessment of needs in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) was undertaken in several countries, as the basis for future assistance.
183. As regards gender and population, the incorporation of gender issues into policies, programmes and projects was further advanced with a series of training events using the SEAGA methodology. Within the framework of the Working Party on Women and the Family in Rural Development, a number of meetings and workshops were organized on issues such as: the role of women in sustainable agriculture and rural development; planning, monitoring and evaluation of rural development programmes and projects with a view to integration of gender and participatory dimensions; community mobilization and motivation for participation in rural development.
184. Under Programme 2.5.3, guidelines on the use of rural property tax to support decentralization of government services have benefited countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The same countries received technical assistance in land consolidation, particularly to address problems of small, fragmented farms and to support overall rural development. FAO was instrumental in establishing the Central European Land Knowledge (CELK) Centre, and continues to support it on a regular basis.
185. The Major Programme focused on the facilitation of policy adjustment, as countries prepared for accession to or other associations with the European Union. Advice on the formulation of national sectoral strategies and programmes and related institutional capacity building was provided to a number of countries in the Balkan and CIS subregions. A draft Regional Programme for Food Security was prepared for one regional economic organization. On legal aspects, some publications addressed regional issues, such as forestry law in Europe.
186. Under Programme 2.1.0, work on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) involved a national workshop with EMBRAPA Brazil and case studies, analyses and reports in specific countries (Brazil and Chile). The concept of conservation agriculture was promoted in a number of countries, particularly through regional workshops. Programme 2.1.1 addressed issues such as payment for environmental services, and in particular, watershed services, which are of particular interest to Latin American countries. A subregional workshop on investment in land and water was held in preparation for the WFS:fyl (Santiago).
187. Under Programme 2.1.2, country pasture resource information in Latin America is now nearly complete and available on the FAO Website. In the context of the Technical Consultations of Regional Plant Protection Organizations supported by the IPPC Secretariat, a regional workshop was convened to facilitate the review of draft standards and the preparation of country comments by national Plant Protection Organizations during the country consultation period. As regards pesticides, workshops on the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention have been held contributing to increased compliance with the obligations of the Convention e.g. on import decisions on chemicals. In the context of the GPA implementation, national information-sharing mechanisms on plant genetic resources have been fully established or are being initiated in several countries, while support was also provided to in situ and on farm conservation activities or crop-associated biodiversity.
188. As regards livestock, assistance focused on small-scale milk and meat processing where a major potential exists for income generation, job creation and improved food safety. The livestock, environment and development (LEAD) initiative was relevant to areas of rapid intensification of livestock production. Work on integrated parasite control focused particularly on Latin America to address increasing concerns about parasite resistance.
189. Concerning Programme 2.1.4, success stories in developing new farm enterprises were identified and disseminated. Locally specific farm business management training manuals were developed for the Caribbean. Information and guidelines for improving the efficiency of food supply and distribution operations were promoted through regional workshops, while a regional consultation was convened as part of a new global initiative on post harvest management. In view of the significant interest from municipalities in promoting urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) and improving urban food marketing infrastructure, FAO assisted with a series of UPA planning and production projects in the region.
190. Under Programme 2.1.5, activities of the joint FAO/IAEA Division resulted in an alliance between IICA, OIRSA and USDA to assist Central American countries with fruit fly control. One area in Guatemala and two areas in Costa Rica have already been certified as fruit-fly free. The region also benefited from a workshop on GAPs for fruits and vegetables and from training of counterparts from several countries in pesticide residues analysis.
191. As regards nutrition under Programme 2.2.1, a regional FMFH (feeding minds, fighting hunger) training workshop was held in collaboration with UNESCO to disseminate FMFH lessons in schools and to facilitate the establishment of regional/sub-regional networks. Training courses and technical meetings to promote nutrition education in schools were implemented in specific countries (Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Dominican Republic), generating donor interest and some financial support. The LATINFOODS regional data centre under the global INFOODS activity was installed, together with other information dissemination activities, while an FAO/LATINFOODS round table on food compositon was convened. The Regional CODEX Coordinating Committee continued to promote the mutual exchange of information on food regulatory issues and for strengthening of food control infrastructure in the region. Work undertaken in the region on the control of the quality and safety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the materials prepared for this purpose, are to be used in similar programmes for other regions. Under the other programmes, one highlight was the work under entity 224P2 covering the impact of global changes on the food systems in Central America, as well as on rural poverty.
192. Several countries received assistance to improve management of their fisheries' resources, including inland fisheries, and production of under-utilized aquatic resources and low-value catches. Support also addressed management of diseases in shrimp culture and the safety and quality of aquaculture products. Regional harmonization of fish safety and quality standards made good progress. The Caribbean region was supported in the development of guidelines for construction and design of small fishing vessels. In connection with the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, Latin America and Caribbean countries gave prominence to inter alia fisheries management, aquaculture development, post-harvest practices and fisheries research. Audio-visual products to promote compliance of the CCRF within small-scale fisheries were developed with the assistance of FAO. Efforts were made to strengthen FAO regional fishery bodies (RFBs) and increase their efficiency, as well as to improve and stimulate cooperation between all FAO and non-FAO RFBs and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) on specific issues and joint activities.
193. Documents were issued on the linkages of sustainable forest management and climate change while capacity building for climate change negotiators from developing countries in Latin America was also carried out. Demonstration and training activities in forest resources assessment and workshops to define the new generation of watershed management projects were of direct benefit to countries in the region. Through a combination of FAO support, extrabudgetary contributions and their own initiative, a number of countries have been able to successfully develop national forest programmes, also using participatory processes.
194. Under Programme 2.5.1, assistance on biosafety systems was provided to several countries, including Bolivia, Grenada, and Paraguay. Education for rural people was strengthened through a regional workshop co-sponsored by FAO and UNESCO. The promotion of non-farm rural-based enterprise development was pursued through an inter-agency programme for the empowerment of women.
195. As regards gender and population, workshops on gender and agricultural transformation (with the participation of other development agencies) were held in the Caribbean sub-region. Several country fact sheets were completed, as well as research studies on rural women's situations in selected countries. Concerning Programme 2.5.3, requirements for technical assistance on land tenure conflict management have been met in several countries.
196. The major programme continued to develop country policy profiles as the basis for future policy assistance and field programme development work. In the Caribbean sub-region, analysis of common development issues facilitated the design of a regional programme for food security. Draft Regional Programmes for Food Security (RPFS) were prepared for 3 regional economic organizations and high level meetings were held with regional development banks to discuss the RPFS and facilitate the mobilization of resources for the implementation of these programmes. Funds were obtained for instance from the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM). As regards field programme development, particularly good success was experienced in mobilizing unilateral trust funds for both technical assistance and investment. Under entity 311A1 dealing with capacity-building activities, these have primarily benefited countries in Latin America, thanks to extra-budgetary support provided by the government of Spain and in collaboration with a group of training institutions of the region. On legal aspects, assistance was provided, for example, on land use planning law in the eastern Caribbean.
197. Programme 2.1.1 responded to requests from countries through formulation of several TCP project documents, and technical backstopping of water irrigation management, drought mitigation and SPFS-related projects. Guidelines, manuals and policy papers covered: water demand management; drought mitigation and preparedness planning; irrigation advisory services promotion; soil and water conservation; the re-use of treated wastewater for agriculture; and water and plant nutrition management for environmental control. A Regional Consultation on Investment in Land and Water Projects was held in Jordan in follow-up to the World Food Summit: five years later. Regional thematic task force meetings were held with partner organizations to coordinate work plans and co-sponsor activities of common interest to the whole region.
198. Programme 2.1.2. was particularly active through its EMPRES component, focusing on the desert locust threat in the countries around the Red Sea and further steps were made to extend the programme to North and Northwest Africa. As major desert locust outbreaks started in 2003, notably in the West African countries in the Central Region, technical support was provided to emergency operations. The use of Internet-based tools as well as modern technologies for data recording (eLocust), transmission and management (RAMSES and GIS) have greatly benefited locust-affected countries.
199. A new regional IPM programme for the Near East was launched with support from the concerned national governments, NGOs and donors. In the same context, a seminar was held on IPM for date palm for the AMU countries in December 2003. There was demand for capacity building on seed technology after a successful technical workshop on seed variety identification and GM seed testing together with ICARDA. A process for rehabilitating the seed system in Afghanistan was also launched together with ICARDA. In the context of the Technical Consultations of Regional Plant Protection Organizations supported by the IPPC Secretariat, a regional workshop was convened to facilitate the review of draft standards and the preparation of country comments by national Plant Protection Organizations during the country consultation period. As regards pesticides, workshops on the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention were held.
200. The concept of organic farming was promoted in a number of countries through workshops and TCP projects. Regarding date palm production and improvement, an international date palm network (DPGN) was launched. Integrated greenhouse production and protection of greenhouse crops was promoted in many countries, including transfer of improved technologies to farmers. In the area of rangeland management, a regional TCP project laid the ground work for a rangeland Monitoring and Information Management System that can be used by decision makers.
201. Under Programme 2.1.3, an important initiative regarding the Old World Screwworm (OWS) affected countries in the Middle East was the joint AOAD/FAO/IAEA programme for the control of OWS. The need to finalize the establishment of the Animal Health Commission for the Near East and North Africa (AHCNENA) was on the agenda of the 27th NERC (March 2004). The AHCNENA interim secretariat established a regional website (www.ahcnena.net), which includes a database about livestock in the region.
202. Under Programme 2.1.4, the main priority in the post-harvest sector was capacity building. Regional post-harvest training aimed at creating a core team of trainers in the region. In addition, the post-harvest directory was updated and a regional TCP project on ripening of dates was formulated. As regards agricultural finance, an Arabic version of the FAO/GTZ MicroBanker software was disseminated in order to facilitate wider implementation of this software in the region.
203. As regards nutrition under Programme 2.2.1, the first meeting for coordinating regional activities in nutrition among FAO, WFP, WHO and UNICEF was organized by RNE. The four agencies have decided to hold such meetings four times a year to continue sharing information and coordinating implementation of activities. FAO assisted in the establishment of National Codex Committees in several countries in the region and was active in promoting the use of the risk-based approach in the control of food imports, in view of its importance in managing food safety and in reducing costs.
204. Under Programme 2.2.2, work on trade data was carried out with AOAD where regional trade data are being collected and processed with FAO's technical assistance (TCP project). This was a first step in developing regional trade data processing capability. The trade data for the 21 AOAD member countries will in future be collected, processed and transferred electronically to FAOSTAT. It may also be noted that access data to FAO’s website indicate that the country profiles system is frequently used in Near East countries and the Arabic interface is the second language most used after English. Under Programme 2.2.3, the SOFA publication and underlying analytical work gave prominence to climate variability and drought in the Near East region. Under Programme 2.2.4, emphasis was placed on support to national Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS).
205. Workshops to demonstrate by-catch reduction technologies were held for the Gulf region. It may be noted that in the context of implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, Near East countries assigned high priority to fishing operations, aquaculture development and fisheries research. Interregional fish trade and the exchange of fish trade information were supported, involving partners such as WTO, EU and INFOSAMAK. Attention was given to strengthening FAO regional fishery bodies (RFBs) and increasing their efficiency, as well as to improving and stimulating cooperation between all FAO and non-FAO RFBs and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) on specific issues and joint activities. Arab League Organizations were approached to pursue joint work programmes and work undertaken towards the establishment of new RFBs for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
206. Regional workshops to define the new generation of watershed management projects were held and guidelines issued on how to enhance the role of planted forests and trees in Low Forest Cover Countries. The latter are expected to lead to concrete national actions and positive impacts on planted forests, trees outside forests and urban-peri-urban forests. Several countries in the region are also actively requesting assistance from FAO for the formulation of national forest programmes. FAO provided assistance to pursue and strengthen the Teheran Process which is of particular relevance to the Near East region.
207. Under Programme 2.5.1, regional studies on research and extension systems were conducted as a basis for a regional workshop on agricultural research and extension institutions held in Amman, Jordan. This led to the formulation of a comprehensive framework for action for improving agricultural research and extension institutions in the region. Enhancement of extension/research linkages at national and regional level was addressed through a subregional workshop on ICM for strengthening extension/research linkages - VERCON concept. FAO's partnership with UNFPA continued through several projects and the formulation of new ones on integration of population and environmental education in extension programmes. Emphasis was also placed on the utilization of agricultural residues including regional studies on the utilization of these residues in organic farming and animal feed. In response to the high demand for capacity building in biosafety, FAO organized a workshop on biosafety in collaboration with ICARDA. In addition, FAO continued to host the AARINENA Secretariat and to provide technical support to this regional association.
208. Under gender and population, priority was given to national capacity building and training of trainers as part of the Socio-economic and Gender Analysis (SEAGA) programme. Regional and national workshops, related to the integration of gender dimensions in the development of policies and programmes were organized. A network on gender in agriculture and rural development in the Near East region was established. Case studies related to gender in agriculture, land tenure and natural resources management were prepared to guide further assistance. Concerning Programme 2.5.3, attention was placed on the use of effective decentralized methods and rural public sector restructuring, in response to country requests.
209. Policy advice and capacity building activities focused on regional priority issues such as: sustainable water utilization and management; food security within policy reforms and liberalization; WTO and other multilateral trade negotiations in agriculture; and regional cooperation, policy harmonization and economic integration. Support to the Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (NENARNAP) was intensified, including the official launching of the Network in December 2003.
210. Assistance to Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries from Central Asia was increased. This included subregional expert consultations, training workshops and projects in water policy reforms and in policy analysis and food security. In North Africa, meetings were organized in order to strengthen the national capacity of the five countries of the AMU regarding the integration of small and medium farms in the context of globalization, and the upgrading of the agricultural sectors in these countries. Regional Economic Organizations were assisted in the formulation of draft regional strategies for food security. Regional TCP projects have provided assistance to the Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) and to the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) to formulate draft Regional Programmes for Food Security (RPFS). A high-level meeting with the Islamic Development Bank was held in Jeddah in October 2003 and highlighted the importance of FAO's potential role in assisting countries to prepare bankable proposals and in mobilizing resources for their implementation.