44. The Conference reviewed and discussed recent developments in the livestock and fisheries sectors and their implications for household food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation.3 Delegates noted the phenomenal growth occurring in these sectors in Asia and the Pacific and considered FAO projections that the demand for meat and fish in South and East Asia would reach three times 1990 levels by 2030.
45. Delegates noted that small-scale producers currently still supplied the vast majority of protein consumed in the region. However, it was recognised that the main beneficiaries of the surge in demand, so far, had been large-scale producers and processors and the urban middle class, which had gained access to cheaper food. The overwhelming majority of the poor had yet to benefit from developments in these sectors.
46. Delegates noted that large-scale livestock and aquaculture had often been given preferential treatment in attempts to expand exports and to provide affordable supplies of food for urban consumers. They drew attention to the potential environmental risks associated with large-scale livestock and aquaculture systems, especially those located near urban centres. The Conference recognised several health risks associated with intensified production and trade of livestock and fish, including transmission of diseases and increased consumption of biological and chemical contaminants.
47. Translating the projected growth of the livestock and fisheries sectors into genuine and sustained opportunities for the poor was of paramount importance to the delegates. The Conference urged member countries, with support from FAO and other international organizations, to create favourable institutional and political environments that would enable the poor to share in the benefits from the surge in growth of the livestock and fisheries sectors.
48. FAO was requested to pursue action at local, national and international levels to assist countries in developing appropriate policies to reduce the financial, technical and cultural barriers that limit small-scale producers' ability to benefit from the expansion of the livestock and fisheries sectors. The Conference urged FAO to assist member countries in formulating appropriate legal and policy frameworks in support of the rural poor and to help build institutional capacity for implementing effective policies and programs. It specifically requested FAO to assist member countries in developing appropriate policy and legislation related to small-scale coastal fisheries.
49. The Conference requested FAO to support networks that encourage governments, national and international organizations, civil societies and the corporate sector to review livestock and fisheries policies and strategies vis-à-vis the poor.
50. The Conference emphasised the importance of sustainable fisheries and called on countries to support and implement the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries; the Asia Regional Guidelines for the Responsible Movement of Live Aquatic Animals; and other voluntary agreements, guidelines and international plans of action.
51. Delegates highlighted the need for responsible production methods to minimise negative environmental impacts and to ensure food safety, including the importance of countries adhering to CODEX standards. The Conference requested FAO to assist countries in developing the necessary capacity to ensure food safety throughout the production and processing chain.
52. Given the growing importance of trade in livestock and fisheries products, FAO was requested to help countries build capacity for addressing food safety and sanitary and phyto-sanitary regulations of importing countries.
53. The Conference recommended that FAO formulate a plan of action for the livestock sector for supporting, among others, a regional emergency response system to deal with trans-boundary animal diseases, a regional program for the control of foot-and-mouth disease, a diagnostic information reference system and procedures for harmonising laboratory standards.