Annex IV: Use of Arrears
1. The table below provides the arrears budget and expenditures for each project within the eight substantive areas specified in Conference Resolution 6/2001, Operative Clause 4. The table is followed by descriptive information on the implementation of the individual projects.
2. A more general presentation on the financial and operational aspects of the arrears resources is provided under the Organizational Performance section of the PIR.
Arrears Budget and Expenditures by Project
|1-Biotechnology and biosecurity
||Promotion of informed decision making on regulatory issues and biotechnology
||Strengthening of plant bio-security activities through a concentrated effort to establish new phytosanitary standards, particularly in relation to genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
||Launching major networks on plant biotechnology in Africa and Asia as well as a global Website on Agricultural Biotechnology
|2-Natural resource assessment and conservation, with particular emphasis on Forestry
||A country-driven report on the state of the world's animal genetic resources
||Accelerated support to the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent for pesticides
||Strengthened input to International Year of Mountains for which FAO is lead agency
||A special effort to strengthen capacity in 30 countries to enable them to carry out national forest resources assessments
||Establishment of a network of low forest cover countries
|3-Enhanced Language coverage through translation of reference texts into official languages including Codex Alimentarius
||Translation of full text of Codex Alimentarius and its procedural manuals so that they are available in all five official languages
||Translation of Food Control Manuals into other official languages
||Expansion of Forestry Information System (FORIS), with particular emphasis on full language coverage
||Provision of technical assistance for current round of multilateral trade negotiations for agriculture
||A one-time effort to provide additional technical support to Members needed for implementation of Codex food quality and safety standards and in strengthening national sanitary and phytosanitary systems
||Provision of technical assistance for current round of multilateral trade negotiations for fisheries products
|5-Statistical data - improvements in quality and coverage
||Preparation of guidelines on compilation of data on agricultural resources and inputs (and on Food Security and Agricultural Development Strategies)
||Strengthening of the national statistical systems in selected countries
||Strengthening of the national statistical systems in selected countries
||Development of a World Fisheries Resources Monitoring System
||Strengthening of the national statistical systems in selected countries
||Creation of conceptual framework and methodological tools for a land data base on agrarian structures
|6-Fisheries and Other Plans of Action
||The more effective implementation of Plans of Action on sea birds, sharks, fishing capacity and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU)
||Implementation of the Plan of Action for Small Island Developing States
||Study & analysis on environmental costs of aquaculture production in comparison with other food production sectors
||CITES related activities toward the 13th Conference of the Parties
|7-Information Technology (IT) infrastructure to support technical and other work of the Organization
||Replacing/upgrading the World Agricultural Information Centre's (WAICENT) server and network hardware
||Modernization of FAOSTAT working systems
||Information systems on fish utilization and sea foods
||Upgrading of FAO's remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) infrastructure/software, access to its outputs
||Development of a technical support package for launching national Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS)
||Strengthening the capacity of LDCs and SIDs in accessing electronic information
||Upgrading of HQ Local Area Network (LAN), including Intranet and Extranet
||Full Implementation of Secondary Computer/PABX Centre and In-house Cold Recovery Facility
||Information Risk Assessment
||Replacing the current Wide Area Network so as to better meet telecommunication requirements of decentralized offices
||Oracle Financial Upgrade
||Offshore Systems Development and Support Centre (OSDSC)
||Relocation and Renovation of Computer Centre
||Relocation and Renovation of Computer Centre
|8-Corporate administrative systems
||Unbudgeted cost of consolidating implemented modules of Oracle "Financials"
||Development of the replacement payroll and human resources management modules
||Development of the budget preparation, work planning and programme implementation monitoring modules
||Integration of TCI Financial Operations in Oracle
||Completion of development of the Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS)
|Contingency amount for possible use related to security and redeployment and separation
1 – Biotechnology and Biosecurity
Promotion of informed decision-making on regulatory issues and biotechnology (AGE expenditure: US$ 420,000)
3. Arrears resources were used for expanding and extending language coverage for the following Internet related activities:
- information on the FAO Biotechnology Web site related to FAO's work and international developments in biotechnology techniques and products;
- definition and terms (currently 3,200) in the FAO Glossary of Biotechnology for Food and Agriculture, which is provided as a searchable multi-lingual database, available in English, French and Spanish;
- the FAO-BioDeC, a searchable database providing up-to-date baseline information on biotechnology products and techniques in use, or in the pipeline, in developing countries, currently covering crops (2,000 entries), forestry (700 entries) and livestock (100 entries) to also include information regarding biotechnology-related policies, regulations and activities of 128 developing countries;
- FAO-BiotechNews, an e-mail newsletter available in English, French, Spanish and Russian, covering news and event items relevant to applications of biotechnology in the crop, forestry, animal, fishery and agro-industrial sectors of developing countries, focusing mainly on the activities of FAO, other UN agencies/bodies and the 15 CGIAR research centres; and
- the FAO Biotechnology Forum, which provides a neutral platform for exchange of views and experiences on biotechnology.
4. Arrears resources also assisted in the compilation of an "FAO Agriculture Biotechnology Policy Compendium: Options and Impacts", intended to assist decision makers in the food and agriculture sector, in developing domestic policies allowing them to pursue their national interests, and respond to the opportunities and challenges offered by biotechnology. It covers cover policy options and related aspects relevant to biotechnology in food and agriculture, including options for developing regulatory frameworks and legal instruments, fostering research and technology transfer, for assessing safety, and promoting capacity-building and societal dialogue.
Strengthening of plant bio-security activities through a concentrated effort to establish new phytosanitary standards, particularly in relation to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (AGP expenditure: US$ 2,421,000)
5. Arrears funding assisted in the preparation of eight International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) which were adopted during 2004-05, including standards for import regulatory systems, pest risk analysis for regulated non-quarantine pests, guidelines for inspection, and equivalence of phytosanitary measures. Two large workshops were held, one on the practical application of the standard on wood packaging material and the other on Plant Health Risk Analysis. During 2002-05, 15 expert working groups and 8 technical panels met (some more than once) to develop drafts for standards. The Standards Committee and the Standards Committee Working Group met seven times during the period to consider the draft standards prior to country consultation.
6. At the regional level, arrears funding supported fourteen regional workshops on draft international standards on phytosanitary measures during 2002-05, two each for Latin America, Central Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean. For the meetings held in 2005, 114 countries participated of the 146 invited.
Launching major networks on plant biotechnology in Africa and Asia as well as a global Website on Agricultural Biotechnology (AGP expenditure: US$ 523,000)
7. Following the successful results of the REDBIO/FAO network for Latin America and the Caribbean, and recognising the enormous potential of biotechnology in plant breeding, FAO, in collaboration with the African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum (ABSF), established an agricultural biotechnology network for professionals and stakeholders in Africa. With the assistance of arrears funds, this network, entitled Agricultural Biotechnology Network in Africa (ABNETA), initiated development of a knowledge base in plant breeding and associated biotechnology to facilitate access to authoritative data and empower professionals and stakeholders with reliable information. This has enabled them to take advantage of the new technologies for agricultural production and conservation in their decision making processes. Prior to development of this knowledge base there was no system available for exchanging information in plant breeding and associated biotechnology at either country level or continent level in Africa.
8. Arrears also supported development of a network Web portal (www.abneta.org) to make information available to stakeholders on areas related to plant breeding and associated biotechnology.
2 - Natural resource assessment and conservation, with particular emphasis on Forestry
A country-driven report on the state of the world's animal genetic resources (AGA expenditure: US$ 1,162,000)
9. The contribution of the arrears resources had a strong positive impact on the development of the Global Strategy on Farm Animal Genetic Resources. Together with the Regular Programme, it made a crucial contribution to the preparation of the Report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources (SoW-AnGR), the first ever global assessment of AnGR, by building the countries reporting capacity, establishing regional networks on AnGR and supporting the analysis of country and regional data, as well as in preparation of the report itself. The funds also enabled FAO to improve the database on AnGR (DAD-IS).
10. In support of the country driven process to develop the Report on the SoW-AnGR and Strategic Priorities for Action as one of its chapters, arrears funds together with other financing allowed:
- 156 countries to receive technical and/or financial support from FAO;
- 396 persons from 178 countries to be trained in 15 sub-regional workshops on country reporting;
- 169 Country Reports to be prepared for officially submission to FAO.
11. The arrears also enabled the participation of country representatives at national and regional meetings in the preparation of the first Report, at the 10th Regular session of the CGRFA and at a National Coordinator workshop (77 persons from all regions). These resources also enabled the continued technical support of countries through a global network of regional facilitators, and the attendance at training workshops for technical and policy staff in the SADC region and WANA region.
Accelerated support to the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent for pesticides (AGP expenditure: US$ 756,000)
12. Through arrears funding a resource kit on the Rotterdam Convention was prepared. The kit provides a comprehensive source of information on the Convention to a range of end users including the general public, designated national authorities (DNAs) and stakeholders involved in chemicals management. It includes elements to assist in awareness raising activities and detailed technical information and training materials aimed at facilitating the implementation of the Convention. Copies of the resource kit and its various elements were circulated widely.
13. The Rotterdam Convention entered into force on 24 February 2004; the first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-1) convened in September 2004, and the second session in September 2005. Supported by arrears funds and voluntary contributions, a series of national and sub-regional meetings were held to develop national plans for the implementation of the Convention in 18 countries.
Strengthened input to International Year of Mountains for which FAO is lead agency (FOR expenditure: US$ 279,000)
14. The International Year of Mountains focused on creating national mountain policies and participatory approaches for the development of mountain areas. Building on the experience gained by National Committees during its observance, arrears funds have been used to assist countries establish long-term institutional arrangements for mountains and develop national mountain strategies and plans.
15. Specific activities included support to a workshop held in Iran in December 2004 to develop a national strategy for sustainable mountain development. The main outcome of the workshop was a commitment to develop a coordinated approach with direct input from all concerned parties in sustainable mountain development in a country where mountains represent 54% of the total area. In Latin America, assistance was provided to both Argentina and Peru which decided to transform their National Committees into permanent multi-stakeholder groups.
16. The transboundary nature of most mountain ranges, make a regional approach and a broad perspective indispensable for achieving sustainable development in mountain areas. Most activities supported with arrears resources were linked to the Mountain Partnership, within which regional initiatives have been launched to encourage collaboration and dialogue among countries. In this regard, information was made available to the Caucasus and Balkans, about existing regional mechanisms for regional cooperation, such as the Alpine Convention and the Carpathian Convention. Arrears resources were a key element in leveraging additional support from the Italian, French and Swiss Governments for mountain activities in the context of the Mountain Partnership on an on-going basis.
A special effort to strengthen capacity in 30 countries to enable them to carry out national forest resources assessments (FOR expenditure: US$ 1,011,000)
17. Arrears resources were instrumental in supporting development of national forest and tree resources assessments (NFA), which were completed in four countries, and initiated in another 20 in all developing regions. The NFA programme was established as a key component of the Forestry Department's support to national policy processes and includes (i) institutional partnership building in countries, (ii) incorporation of resources, management, uses and users data in its design, (iii) field sampling and data collection, (iv) analysis and implications for policy processes.
18. The support to national forest assessment generated regional level collaboration in:
- Central America where experiences from Costa Rica and Guatemala were instrumental in leveraging projects in Honduras and Nicaragua;
- West Africa where a regional project involving nine countries was developed (for GEF funding); and
- Near East where a discussion of a regional project was initiated.
19. Arrears resources also assisted the global FRA 2005 project in supporting developing countries to report to FAO and in establishment of a partnership with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences for coordinating a Knowledge Reference on National Forest Assessments.
Establishment of a network of low forest cover countries (FOR expenditure: US$ 250,000)
20. The Low Forest Cover Countries (LFCCs) Initiative was established within the framework of the United Nations Forum on Forests as a result of an expert meeting held in Tehran in October 1999. FAO co-sponsored the meeting which highlighted the important environment, social and economical roles that tree and forest resources play in LFCCs and the need for urgent action for their conservation, sustainable use and development. Since that time FAO has technically supported the LFCCs and the LFCC Secretariat these countries established (Tehran Process).
21. With arrears support, a workshop was organised in Bamako (Mali) at which FAO presented a strategic plan and proposals to internationalise the Secretariat and mechanisms for LFCC memberships and actions, to be endorsed through a Ministerial meeting. As requested by the Bamako Workshop, FAO undertook a review of the state of knowledge on tree and forest resources and national capacities in natural resources (tree, forest and range) assessment in seven countries of the Near East Region and prepared a sub-regional project proposal for the consideration of the LFCC. The aim of this project is capacity building in natural resources assessment, raising awareness of policy makers and policy improvement and harmonisation among LFCCs.
3 - Enhanced Language coverage through translation of reference texts into official languages including Codex Alimentarius
Translation of full text of Codex Alimentarius and its procedural manuals so that they are available in all five official languages (ESN expenditure: US$ 841,000)
22. Codex standards and related texts are used by member states as reference points for setting relevant legislation and regulations. They contribute to furthering regional integration by recommending transparent rules for food safety and quality in international trade. The objective of the arrears assistance was focussed on increasing availability and accessibility of the Codex Alimentarius in the five official languages of FAO and other languages as appropriate. Specific achievements included:
- translation, printing and dissemination of Codex Alimentarius standards, guidelines and codes of practice in Chinese;
- translation of Codex Alimentarius standards, guidelines and codes of practice into Arabic;
- translation, printing and dissemination of the booklet "Understanding the Codex Alimentarius" and the Codex Procedural Manual in Chinese and Arabic;
- improving multi-language availability of Codex information resources on the Internet and on CD ROM;
- preparation of three regional workshops to increase capacity to use Codex information resources; and
- translating and printing a Russian edition of the Codex Alimentarius, since Russian is an official language of WHO and the availability of Codex standards and related texts in this language had been limited.
Translation of Food Control Manuals into other official languages (ESN expenditure: US$ 644,000)
23. Arrears resources were used to translate, publish and distribute several FAO technical manuals related to food quality control and food safety, as well as new technical documents, into the 5 FAO official languages. Technical areas covered diverse food safety related subjects, from biotoxins in marine products to Salmonella in eggs. The translated documents were used by many food safety professionals and regulators to get access to up-to-date scientific and technical information on food safety, and assisted them in taking measures to prevent food contamination. Many participants at Codex meetings and at the regional food safety conferences organised by FAO and WHO in different parts of the world expressed their satisfaction with the availability of these documents.
24. The publication of the Codex training package in Arabic, Chinese and Spanish, in addition to English and French, was of great help in carrying out training activities on food quality control and food safety in the Near East, Asia and Latin America, and highly appreciated by users in these regions.
Expansion of Forestry Information System (FORIS), with particular emphasis on full language coverage (FON expenditure: US$ 305,000)
25. The FAO Forestry Web presence consists of some 250 Web sites encompassing about 15,000 Web pages (including country pages and language versions) in five categories: Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) (28 sites); Forestry Department (195 sites); National Forest Programme (NPF) facility ; Global Forest Information Service (GFIS) and Other collaboration sites (51). Content creation is a decentralized activity with material prepared in any official FAO language, although often in English. Funds provided through arrears were used to significantly broaden the language coverage of the Forestry Web presence bringing French and Spanish coverage largely in line with English and narrowing the gap between Chinese and Arabic and these languages.
26. Arrears funds were also used to create a tool for monitoring translation progress and test a new approach to translation, undertaken by a group at the University in Alexandria. This group was entrusted with translation work into Arabic and provided with computers and training to carry out the work.
4 - Multilateral trade
Provision of technical assistance for current round of multilateral trade negotiations for agriculture (ESC expenditure: US$ 831,000)
27. The budgetary support from the arrears made it possible to intensify the provision of technical assistance for the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture and related issues. The assistance was instrumental in the preparation of background analyses on negotiating issues and in the implementation of eight regional workshops on WTO negotiations. These workshops and other support provided at the request of countries made a significant contribution to better equipping trade negotiators from developing countries in articulating their positions in the negotiations.
A one-time effort to provide additional technical support to Members needed for implementation of Codex food quality and safety standards and in strengthening national sanitary and phytosanitary systems (ESN expenditure: US$ 1,191,000)
28. Support was provided to the establishment of national codex committees in 7 member countries, through the organisation of national workshops involving representatives of all stakeholders and had a visible impact on the quality of participation of these countries in Codex meetings and negotiations. Assistance to 3 regional and 7 national workshops on the harmonisation of national food standards and regulations with Codex also had a definitive impact. Many of the countries involved (Uganda, Morocco, Ecuador, Paraguay, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar) took steps towards harmonisation. In addition, training workshops on food safety risk analysis (Indonesia - regional, Jordan- regional, Thailand, Tunisia, Mexico and Libya) enabled the beneficiary countries to review their internal procedures for the elaboration of food safety standards/measures using a risk analysis approach.
29. The process followed in Lebanon for the establishment and operation of their National Codex Committee, including the composition, functions, administrative affiliation, liaison with other national and regional standard setting bodies, served as an example for other countries of the Near East region. Similarly, the experience in Thailand was very useful to neighbouring countries (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) in initiating establishment of national Codex structures. Work carried out in Uganda on the harmonisation of their food safety standards with Codex, using the risk analysis approach, was also a model to others in the region.
Provision of technical assistance for current round of multilateral trade negotiations for fisheries products (FII expenditure: US$ 184,000)
30. Arrears resources, supplemented with other sources of funding, assisted countries mainly in Asia and Latin America on market access requirements related to aquaculture products, especially SPS/TBT, subsidies and eco-labelling within the frame of the Doha round of negotiations. Several countries, especially in South East Asia and Latin America have improved the production of under-utilised aquatic resources and low-value catches and increased their utilisation for human consumption. Arrears support was useful in transferring these successful experiences to other developing countries in Latin America and Africa, especially food deficit countries where low value fish and under utilised resources could be an important source of food for human consumption.
5 - Statistical data - improvements in quality and coverage
Preparation of guidelines on compilation of data on agricultural resources and inputs (and on Food Security and Agricultural Development Strategies) (ESS expenditure: US$ 417,000)
31. Arrears funded work related to agricultural resources and inputs focused on building resource accounts that included fertilisers, land, pesticides, labour, energy, etc. and income/prices modules for FAOSTAT. Work was also undertaken on development of statistical frameworks/guidelines and building core sets of indicators that included modified classification systems for these domains and for the new FAO Statistical yearbook. A test set of indicators was also developed to analyse the availability of data across countries.
32. Arrears were also used to strengthen the agricultural statistical system for value/price statistics, particularly in Africa. Progress was made in reclassification and recoding of commodities and methodological improvements in the data organisation in FAOSTAT. These improvements allowed easier and more effective regional comparisons and analysis to be made.
Strengthening of the national statistical systems in selected countries (ESS expenditure: US$ 345,000) (FID expenditure: US$ 65,000) (FIR expenditure: US$ 40,000)
33. Support was provided to the strengthening of national systems of food and agricultural statistics (FAS) in selected countries through national assessments and regional workshops with focus on Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and countries in the Near East Region. Two sub-regional workshops were held in Romania and Kazakhstan. A Regional Demonstration Centre for the Near East countries focused on CountryStat was established in Egypt with AOAD, and a sub-regional workshop on CountryStat and metadata for Asian countries was organised in Philippines.
34. Many CEE countries are relatively new members of FAO and had received little previous technical support in the area of food and agricultural statistics. The workshops organised for these countries provided information about the changes to the statistical system as they move from a planned economy to a market economy. The workshops in the Near East Region and the Asian sub-region introduced these countries to FAO's new CountryStat system for the storage and dissemination of data at the country level as well as the importance of standardised concepts and definitions and the need for metadata.
35. Arrears resources also supported technical assistance to selected countries for capacity building in fishery statistics collection, processing and analysis through expert missions and workshops as follows:
- Argentina - review study at request of government on strengthening statistics system in support of fisheries management;
- Angola - technical assistance to strengthen statistical system for artisanal fisheries;
- China - technical assistance and financial support for pilot sample surveys on fishery statistics collection in major ports;
- China - support for participation of Chinese expert in APFIC Workshop on Trash Fish to report on the outcome of the pilot surveys, including estimates of trash fish production;
- Egypt - technical assistance for setting up a statistical monitoring system;
- Georgia – assistance for implementation of statistical system for artisanal fisheries;
- Lebanon - national workshop on statistical methodologies;
- Sao Tome - technical assistance to strengthen statistical system for artisanal fisheries; and
- Thailand – preparation of a workplan with NACA to improve FAO reporting on status and trends of aquaculture in Asia.
Development of a World Fisheries Resources Monitoring System (FID expenditure: US$ 436,000)
36. The World Fisheries Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS) was established in 2004 to respond to the need for global fisheries resources information. It draws together 10 partner international organizations and regional fishery bodies to collaborate within a formal agreement to report and share information on fisheries resources. To further the effectiveness of fisheries information management and dissemination, FIRMS developed and promoted many agreed global standards. Arrears resources assisted in the development of the system and associated databases during 2004-05, and the system will be released to the public in 2006.
37. The auto-evaluation of FIGIS in 2004 warned that although the record of agreement in principle with partners was good, difficulties could arise in making practical commitments on the basis of partially developed systems with imprecise endpoints. The extensive work on FIGIS/FIRMS funded from arrears and other sources, undertaken in collaboration with regional fishery bodies and individual countries, were particularly valuable in addressing this problem through:
- preparation of inventories of fisheries and fishery resources; and
- development of the FIRMS module to formalise the reporting framework and ensure commitments for the provision of timely information.
Creation of conceptual framework and methodological tools for a land data base on agrarian structures (SDA expenditure: US$ 185,000)
38. For Central and Eastern Europe, accession to the European Union places obligations on countries for the collection of land tenure data for the Farm Accountancy Data Network, for agricultural censuses, and for the Integrated Administrative and Control System of the Common Agricultural Policy. With the assistance of arrears resources, detailed guidelines on the European Union requirements for the collection of land tenure data for policy-making were prepared, published and disseminated in workshops for countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Analysis of these requirements also resulted in a publication on EU accession and the requirements for collecting land tenure data by the countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
39. Other regions do not have a common requirement for the collection of land tenure data, and there is considerable variation in the capacity of countries to collect and analyse such data for policy-making. Arrears assistance in Asia focused on the analysis of requirements in Cambodia, China and Thailand, while for Africa, the requirements of Benin and South Africa were analysed. In Latin America a paper was prepared in cooperation with the Organization of American States. The outcome of this regional work was published in a themed issue of Land Reform, Land Settlement and Cooperatives and enabled awareness raising in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
6 - Fisheries and Other Plans of Action
The more effective implementation of Plans of Action on sea birds, sharks, fishing capacity and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU) (FIP expenditure: US$ 1,720,000)
40. Implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing (IPOA-IUU) is dependent on the resources and capacity available to countries. Therefore, the contribution of arrears to these efforts was particularly important. Approximately 25 national plans of action (NPOAs-IUU) have been prepared worldwide with many more under development.
41. Arrears funding provided in collaboration with the Latin American Organization for Fisheries Development (OLDEPESCA) assisted its member countries in the formulation of NPOA-Sharks. A Workshop was held in Lima, Peru and consultancy missions undertaken to five participating countries (Peru, Venezuela; Guyana, Cuba and Mexico) to assist national officers to draft national plans of action. Other participants in the workshop were from Bolivia and Peru. Of the four NPOAs drafted, the three on Sharks and IUU Fishing were considered technically advanced in dealing with the complex issues involved, while the NPOA on fishing capacity made significant progress in measuring fishing capacity in the identified fisheries. This was the first experience of this type and the lessons learnt will be applied in the future to similar activities elsewhere in the developing world.
42. Arrears resources also contributed to seven regional workshops to assist countries develop NPOAs-IUU. More than 220 persons participated in these workshops from 90 Member countries.
Implementation of the Plan of Action for Small Island Developing States (FIP expenditure: US$ 26,000)
43. Activities for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), supported through a combination of Regular Programme and other resources, focussed on strengthening fisheries management and utilisation with a view to enhancing long-term sustainable practices in the fisheries sector and contribute to food security and the maintenance of livelihoods for island populations. Specific achievements resulting from arrears resources complemented with other funding included:
- development of national plans of action in the Pacific Islands (Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Tuvalu);
- preparation of a model plan of action for use by other countries in the region;
- the establishment of the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC); and
- regional workshops on IUU fishing in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands regions.
Study and analysis on environmental costs of aquaculture production in comparison with other food production sectors (FIR expenditure: US$ 140,000)
44. The First Session of the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries recommended "undertaking comparative analyses on the environmental cost of aquatic food production in relation to other terrestrial food production sectors", and specifically requested FAO to prepare such an analysis. In response to that request, FAO with arrears resources and the support of World Fisheries Trust (Canada) and the Vancouver Aquarium brought together international experts on aquaculture development, ecology, environmental economics, environmental impact analysis, energy analysis, and livestock farming in order to:
- advise FAO on appropriate and accurate accounting systems for comparing environmental costs of aquaculture and other terrestrial food production sectors;
- evaluate strengths and weaknesses of such accounting systems; and
- provide guidance to FAO on how to deal with this subject in the future.
45. A range of methodologies for undertaking these types of analyses were discussed including: Energy Analysis, Ecological Footprint Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment and Material Flows Accounting. The complexity of the subject and the challenges it raises in terms of translating environmental impacts into costs and overcoming data, information and methodological gaps were seen as requiring significant resources and expertise if they were to be effectively addressed. Experts from the livestock sector participated in the workshop and modalities for future collaborative efforts and funding being discussed.
46. The World Fisheries Trust (WFT) and FAO form a strong partnership for work in this area. WFT and FI staff are editing the workshop proceedings and recommendations, which will be published in the FAO Fishery Proceedings Series and WFT is assisting in securing external funds for small directed case studies.
CITES related activities toward the 13th Conference of the Parties (FIR expenditure: US$ 79,000)
47. The arrears contribution made it possible for FAO to respond to several urgent requests in dealing with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) related issues and concerns. The FAO ad hoc Advisory Panel met in July 2004 to consider four proposals submitted to CITES for amendment of the CITES Appendices concerning the listing of white shark, humphead wrasse and Mediterranean date mussel in Appendix II and for an amendment of the annotation concerning fossilised coral. Two Expert Consultations were also held on "Implementation Issues Associated with Listing Commercially-exploited Aquatic Species on CITES Appendices" and on "Legal Issues Related to CITES and Commercially-exploited Aquatic Species". The Advisory panel and the Expert Consultations made important recommendations that were included in the published reports and referred to and used by both FAO and CITES.
7 - Information Technology (IT) infrastructure to support technical and other work of the Organization
Replacing/upgrading the World Agricultural Information Centre's (WAICENT) server and network hardware (AFI expenditure: US$ 1,463,000)
48. The replacement and upgrading of server and network hardware was successfully implemented and the WAICENT information systems migrated to a new technical platform. This has streamlined the WAICENT technical environment by reducing the number of operating platforms to be maintained, implementing a storage area network to more efficiently and safely manage WAICENT data, and introducing Open-Source operating systems and database software for more flexibility and cost savings.
49. The work was carried out by an inter-departmental project team and project advisory board that provided valuable input of requirements and review of project proposals to ensure meeting user and organizational expectations. The open-source operating system and database standards that emerged as a result of this work could also have positive benefits for regions and member countries where open-source products could provide effective and efficient solutions.
Modernisation of FAOSTAT working systems (ESS expenditure: US$ 2,851,000)
50. Arrears funding assisted the FAOSTAT2 Project in producing the following major outputs:
- development of integrated statistical frameworks for agricultural statistics;
- development of new statistical methodology for balancing agricultural statistics which has led to major improvements in data quality;
- development of a comprehensive statistical metadata system;
- redevelopment of FAO agricultural statistical classification and alignment with international statistical classifications;
- development of new techniques for processing and disseminating data;
- modernisation of the information technology processing and disseminating systems;
- integration of UN COMTRADE into FAO statistical system;
- development of CountrySTAT concept and frameworks;
- development of CountrySTAT information technology system;
- a successful test of CountrySTAT information technology system; and
- three successful CountrySTAT pilots.
51. The development and successful testing of CountrySTAT pilots in Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Ghana in the FAOSTAT2 Project augurs well for improvement of regional agricultural statistics. CountrySTAT is becoming the major focus for extra-budgetary and TCP funding for country level agricultural statistics development. The linking of CountrySTAT to the FAOSTAT Statistical System will provide substantial benefits for country level agricultural statistics.
Information systems on fish utilisation and sea foods (FII expenditure: US$ 90,000)
52. Building on synergies between recognised experts worldwide in the area of fish utilisation and sea foods, arrears funds were used to expand information and data collection within the framework of Fishport. Since Fishport is generally recognised as the main information system on fish utilisation and sea foods, the enhancements resulting from this assistance have benefited countries in all regions.
Upgrading of FAO's remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) infrastructure/software, access to its outputs (SDR expenditure: US$ 314,000)
53. Arrears funds were used to develop additional corporate satellite capacity and geospatial infrastructure for use in early warning systems, global change assessment, and environmental and natural resources management.
54. Development of GeoNetwork, an open-source catalogue service for identifying and downloading maps, was accelerated and now stands as the global standard in this area. It has been widely adopted by a number of UN organizations as their map search engine as well as by the 15-member CGIAR system, and a number of national agencies in development and developing countries (e.g. Czech republic, European community, France, Liberia, Mozambique, Sudan, UK, USA, and others).
55. Global data on environmental conditions and trends from the Landsat satellite were obtained for the period 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2001 and was accompanied by the purchase of approximately 10 terabytes of storage capacity to hold the data and distribute it to FAO users. This data is being used to analyse changes in land conditions, including degradation, forest cover, and land cover change for sub-Saharan Africa.
56. Hardware, software and related training was also acquired for accessing weather and climate data from the newly launched Meteosat second generation satellite. The new data flows have significantly improved the temporal coverage for climate data in Africa (reduced from 3 hours down to 15 minutes) as well as spatial resolution with much more detail available for use in FAO early warning systems. A number of tools and information systems related to crop productivity and local weather analysis were upgraded. AgroMet shell and LocClim were among the two main beneficiaries.
Development of a technical support package for launching national Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) (ESD expenditure: US$ 386,000)
57. The FIVIMS arrears funds complemented Regular Programme resources and allowed critical and concrete activities to be conducted at country and regional levels. Seven FAO divisions produced technical products that provided guidance for strengthening food security and vulnerability analysis at country-level, including for the improved estimation of the food insecure, hungry and malnourished.
58. Through partnerships with national institutions in the Philippines and Zambia, and the University College of London, support was provided in estimating intra-household food wastage for measuring food deprivation and food excess. An update of worldwide parameters (including height), and a global database on anthropometric data, used in the estimation of food deprivation and food excess, were also supported.
59. Arrears funds were used to develop software (POPER) for calculating countries' energy requirements and food needs for planning purposes, while also addressing technical and methodological issues of mapping nutrition indicators from survey data. The ESNA database of child undernutrition was updated and a manual published on "Nutrition Indicators for Development" in English and Spanish.
60. In-country vulnerability assessment work was supported including GIEWS Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions to Sri Lanka, Haiti and Niger. Household level-data collected by national FIVIMS were used to map vulnerability to food insecurity in Sri Lanka. The mission to Niger undertook an analysis of the underlying causes of food insecurity in the country. In Haiti, the mission worked closely with the National Food Security Commission (CNSA) to conduct an in-depth food security assessment.
61. FIVIMS arrears funds allocated to GILF were used to develop a curriculum outline for a distance learning module in support of building effective food security information systems and networks. The outline covers a broad range of training needs with the aim of improving the skills of technical staff to collect, analyse and disseminate food security information, while also improving the utility of information products for food security strategies, policies and programmes.
62. A 'national FIVIMS site start-up kit' was produced by AFIS for use by national FIVIMS and the Key Indicator Data System (KIDS) was developed for mapping, managing and publishing thematic indicators relevant for FIVIMS. A Web site using the start-up kit was successfully developed in Syria with TCP support. Support was provided to printing additional copies of the FIVIMS Tools and Tips, a key reference document for building country-level FIVIMS, and a Manual of Operations for building national FIVIMS in Bangladesh.
63. The activities implemented in Asia, Africa and Latin America have enriched the set of tools and methodological guidance materials for FIVIMS. Production of a field guide on indigenous foods of Latin America and translation of a book on Nutrition Indicators for Development into Spanish widened the outreach of the publication to Spanish-speaking audiences worldwide.
Strengthening the capacity of LDCs and SIDs in accessing electronic information (OCD expenditure: US$ 543,000)
64. The objective of this arrears assistance, mainly implemented in 2003-04, was to assist the eligible member countries in accessing FAO information, data and knowledge base through provision of personal computers; a package of 22 FAO CD-ROMs; and accompanying tools and manuals to assist in accessing information available on the FAO Internet. In total, 51 LIFDCs, LDCs and SIDs benefited from this assistance: 32 in Africa, 12 in Asia and the Pacific, 5 in the Near East and 2 in Latin America and the Caribbean.
65. The recipient Countries were provided with up to six computers each and a total of 307 computers were distributed. Of these computers, 147 went to Ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Natural Resources, etc; 61 to Universities/Faculties/ Institutions of Agriculture; 33 to Chambers of Agriculture/Agriculture Committees of Chambers of Commerce; 28 to Parliamentary Commissions/Committees on Agriculture and 38 to other recipients and entities dealing with food and agriculture.
66. The CD ROMs package provided to the beneficiary institutions included: Food for the Cities; Information Network on post harvest operations (INPhO); Combating Desertification; Nutrition Country Profiles; Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger; Food Safety Management; AGRIS; Food Security Virtual Library; State of World fisheries and Agriculture; Code of Conduct for responsible fisheries; FAOSTAT; FAO Document Repository; UNAIDS Library of Current Documents; Simple Methods of Aquaculture; FAO Conservation Guides; Training modules on Conservation Agriculture; Global forest resources assessment; Conservation Agriculture; and WOCAT. In some countries and where needed, the FAORs assisted the beneficiary institutions in installing the equipment and/or how to access WAICENT.
67. Information from the FAORs of the countries receiving the computers and CDs indicated that effective use was being made of the equipment to access FAO information resources and that the assistance was greatly appreciated by the recipient institutions.
Upgrading of HQ Local Area Network (LAN), including Intranet and Extranet (AFI expenditure: US$ 306,000)
68. The Headquarters Local Area Network (LAN) was upgraded to current technology standards of 100Mbps connectivity for desktops and 1 Gigabit connectivity for servers. The upgrade improved LAN performance and productivity when using tools such as Oracle. Overall reliability was increased significantly, almost eliminating disruption to the work of the Organization due to network hardware failures. The upgrade has also put the infrastructure in place to allow applications that require high-bandwidth and/or strict performance criteria to be deployed reliably on the LAN.
Full Implementation of Secondary Computer/PABX Centre and In-house Cold Recovery Facility (AFI expenditure: US$ 299,000)
69. With arrears support, the Secondary Computer Centre was structurally complete and equipped in 2004 and, after repairs to adjacent infrastructure, was put into service towards the end of 2005. The Secondary Computer Centre has been providing some small immediate disaster-recovery benefits and will provide business continuity in a wider range of disaster scenarios once additional equipment is installed during 2006-07. In case of disaster affecting the Primary Computer Centre, applications including those used by decentralized offices will be run from the Secondary Computer Centre therefore providing necessary business continuity to the Organization.
70. This work has also benefited from the arrears project on Information Risk Assessment which has provided up to date information on FAO peak processes. The Secondary Computer Centre has used this information to better determine the specific business systems it needs to duplicate, and whether a warm standby or cold-site approach is appropriate.
71. The configuration of the secondary PABX and allocation of its limited capacity to key staff were reviewed and updated. This review, and inspection of telecommunications carriers’ circuits, highlighted a physical-design issue within the carrier circuits, which will require further work to enable the secondary PABX to deliver all the benefits foreseen. Since ongoing costs are involved, this work was outside the scope for the arrears project and is being pursued with other funding methods in 2006.
Information Risk Assessment (AFI expenditure: US$ 380,000)
72. Arrears resources have made a substantive contribution to undertaking an information risk assessment and development of an information security policy and supporting procedures, which are expected to be completed in 2006. A contract with an external company specialising in information security has been used to ensure that all information security issues are addressed. This activity is under the direction of the Information Management Technology Committee (IMTC), which established an Information Security Committee (ISC) to oversee the information risk assessment exercise and assist in defining the resulting information security policy for the Organization.
73. The assessment of information security issues has concentrated on identifying information assets and their security requirements at Headquarters, in consultation with the business process managers. Interaction has also been undertaken with the project team carrying out the HRMS Legal Framework in order to capitalise on the work done to identify the business processes in the HR work streams. Consultations will to be conducted with the decentralized offices to ensure that information assets located in decentralized locations are appropriately secured.
Oracle Financial Upgrade (AFI expenditure: US$ 277,000)
74. The upgrade of Oracle Financials was successfully implemented in August 2005. The upgrade was a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the HRMS project since the Oracle HRMS application will use a later version of Oracle than the Oracle Financials in place at FAO prior to the upgrade. As an integrated suite of applications it is necessary that all elements operate on the same version. The new version of Oracle Financials will also allow FAO to take advantage of major software development work undertaken by ILO in their introduction of an Oracle based HRMS, and which Oracle Corporation has included as part of their Oracle suite in the latest version.
Relocation and Renovation of Computer Centre (AFI expenditure: US$ 302,000) (AFS expenditure: US$ 609,000)
75. Relocation and renovation of the computer centre was jointly undertaken by AFS and AFI. The specialised design authority contracted to undertake the work provided a coherent design which minimised single-points-of-failure and maximised infrastructure availability. The new computer centre is, relative to its 27-year-old predecessor: more energy-efficient, lowering operating cost; more secure against intrusion and external attack; more resistant to fire and flood and better able to detect their occurrence; safer and less vulnerable to human error; more operationally reliable, and allows faults to be diagnosed more easily. It is larger, more flexibly arranged, and will allow further growth of FAO computing capability.
8 - Corporate administrative systems
Unbudgeted cost of consolidating implemented modules of Oracle "Financials" (AFF expenditure: US$ 2,697,000)
76. The arrears funding provided support for a number of financial applications including:
- Improvement in the Accounts Payable (Payments) application that achieved a significant increase in the straight-through-processing (STP) rate of electronic funds transfer payments to levels which are now well above industry benchmarks; decreased banking charges; standardised banking data maintained in the Oracle Accounts Payable Application; and introduced international banking standards in the maintenance of such data. Modifications to workflow functionality also improved the cash payment process cycle and payment efficiency was increased through development and implementation of electronic Payment Request Form processing.
- Improvement in the payroll Bank masterfile information with the objective to standardise banking data maintained in the Payroll Application; introduce international banking standards in the maintenance of such data; and increase the straight-through-processing (STP) rate of payroll electronic funds transfer payments.
- Development of interface monitoring reports based on the review of interface processes and the identification of current controls and specifications. Standard reports on interface activity were prepared and are now produced on a monthly basis which provides positive assurance on this activity.
- Preparation and publication of the Corporate Accounting Manual as recommended by the External Auditor, which encompassed a review and revision of existing materials and preparation of further documentation necessary to constitute a comprehensive corporate accounting manual. A new intranet site was implemented to communicate authoritative policy and procedural documentation to user groups.
- Expansion of the Data Warehouse reporting functions to include information sourced from the Accounts Receivable and Human Resources sub-systems.
- Development of new Split Assessment reports to support corporate and budget holder requirements for the monitoring of Regular Programme resources.
- Specification and development of system changes in purchasing business processes to improve use of standard functionality in Oracle Financials release 11i. This has included the development of new reporting and data analysis functionality for both Oracle Purchasing and Oracle Fixed Assets.
- Support for implementation of the initial phases of the Field Accounting Replacement Project including documentation of user functional requirements and evaluation of potential technical solutions to meet those requirements.
- Improvements in clearing accounts and reconciliation which has made significant progress in reducing the number of transactions pending final accounting due to the lack of system interfaces.
Development of the replacement payroll and human resources management modules (AFH expenditure: US$ 8,870,000)
77. In support of Human Resource (HR) initiatives, arrears funds were used to provide substantive support to development of the Human Resources Management System (HRMS) project. Achievements included finalisation of the documentation of current business processes and proposed improvements to current HR processes in the areas of Appointment and Administration, Consultants, Personnel Files, Payroll, Recruitment, Staff Development, HR Planning, Post Management, Policy and Procedures and Legal Matters. Senior management endorsed 44 out of 46 improvement proposals.
78. The major gaps between FAO requirements and Oracle standard functionality were identified and resolved. The Conference Room Pilot was well received by end users in all areas, increasing confidence in the ability of the new system to support FAO rules and processes.
79. The project started the Design and Development phase in the second half of 2005 with a target implementation date of November 2006. System development activities were carried out at the Offshore System Development and Support Centre in Bangkok, achieving considerable savings in project costs. As authorised by the Finance Committee at its September 2005 session and approved in the Revised PWB 2006-07, the unused balance of arrears resources under Resolution 6/2001 as at 31 December 2005 was transferred to the Capital Expenditure Facility, including the US$ 5.1 million unspent for this project. Overall the project remained on time and within budget.
80. Details on project activities were reported to and monitored by the Finance Committee twice a year in the Progress Report on Administrative Information Systems (FC 107/19, FC 108/19, FC 109/27, FC 110/27).
Development of the budget preparation, work planning and programme implementation monitoring modules (PBE expenditure: US$ 468,000)
81. The results achieved by the PIRES project can be assessed against the project’s original charter, which were to replace the current procedures and information systems for programme planning, implementation monitoring and evaluation with a new, integrated solution meeting the following objectives.
- Strengthening linkages between the Strategic Framework and planning processes - PIRES provided a variety of planning and reporting links to the Strategic Framework, which permitted an innovative presentation of programme results by Strategic Objective in the PIR 2002-03.
- Supporting results-based budgeting approaches - FAO’s planning, budgeting and implementation reporting processes are now solidly grounded on results-based budgeting concepts. The PIRES data model and technology have demonstrated the flexibility to support ongoing evolution of the planning and reporting requirements.
- Supporting cross-organizational activities - Cross-programme linkages such as PAIAs have been supported at the planning, execution and reporting phases.
- Production of all major corporate documents (MTB, PWB, PIR, etc) - Since the 2002-03 Biennium, all major corporate planning, budgeting and monitoring documents have been produced with information from PIRES.
- Contributing high-quality programme-related data - Both PIRES data and its reporting technology were adapted to provide an initial version of a corporate management information system.
- For the first time, Regional Offices were able to participate directly in the preparation of the major planning documents (MTP and PWB) through the direct entering of regional priorities and through monitoring of the regional content of the technical programmes.
- Working closely with GIC and GIL, the PIRES project developed technology to streamline and better control the process of assembling and translating the major corporate planning documents such as the MTP and PWB. This technology has helped increase staff productivity in all of the involved units.
Integration of TCI Financial Operations in Oracle (TCI expenditure: US$ 158,000)
82. Activities undertaken with the arrears resources were based on a functional scope definition analysis prepared by TCI and included recommendations made on TCI business processes by a high-level consultant. The main goal was development of an efficient system that integrated with and was supplied by data from Corporate systems thereby, eliminating duplication of systems and data while enforcing stronger financial controls and streamlining administrative activities. Features of the new system included:
- providing TCI Management with periodic reports for monitoring resource use by the staff under their direction in order to assess performance vis-à-vis budgets, and to assist in allocating staff inputs and in monitoring non financial delivery;
- providing data on which to base billing of the Cooperative Programme;
- monitoring all TCI expenditure, taking into account the new coding structure of accounts applied to TCI projects (reported under General funds from 2004);
- monitoring expenditures and income against PWB allocations by Service on a yearly basis;
- providing quarterly work plans on planned missions, staff/consultant weeks (taking into account staff available time) and estimated quarterly financial budgets; and
- providing semi-automatic processing of staff secondment income and expenditure postings into the corporate system with the automatic preparation of secondment reports and journals for manual approval of secondments from/to TCI, based on timesheets completed in the TCI MIS.
83. The tools used to develop the TCI system were primarily “open-source” and proved successful in minimising development time and costs. The maintenance costs and technical support for the new system are low and being a Web-based application, it has allowed TCI staff to access the system from remote locations, facilitating the daily need to access budgets, documents, and time sheets.
Completion of development of the Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS) (TCO expenditure: US$ 516,000)
84. Arrears resources were used to further enhance the Web-based Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS) by developing the following modules and tools for:
- dedicated emergency appeals monitoring and reporting;
- monitoring and reporting for large-scale emergencies (e.g. locust campaign, tsunami response, avian flu, etc.) including detailed donor, budget and input delivery tracking and associated Profiles (planning);
- enhancing analytical management reporting tools with drill down capabilities;
- indexing of documents stored in FPMIS (~30,000) and enhanced search facility with free text search;
- improvement of linkage with the corporate Data Warehouse;
- providing access and query on the project inventories (maintained by AFSP);
- making available selected sections of FPMIS to FAO Permanent Representatives and Government Agencies;
- making public FPMIS data available through the corporate Website to the general public; and
- improving performance through procurement of a new database server and the most recent version of Oracle.
85. Through these developments information in the FPMIS is accessible from any country or region:
- in its full configuration to all FAO staff in country, regional and subregional offices or on mission;
- in a limited configuration to all member states with information related to the country concerned; and
- as core data in a public Website accessible to the general public.
86. FPMIS has proven of particular value to technical support staff in charge of managing field projects by improving their oversight and control and their ability to manage the project better and more efficiently.