C 99/INF/14


Conference

Thirtieth Session

Rome, 12-23 November 1999

IMPLEMENTATION OF 1998 REGIONAL CONFERENCE RECOMMENDATIONS

Table of Contents


TWENTIETH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA

TWENTY-FOURTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR  ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

TWENTY-FIRST FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR EUPOPE

TWENTY-FIFTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

TWENTY-FOURTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE NEAR EAST


 

TWENTIETH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA

Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, 16 – 20 February 1998

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations made by the Twentieth FAO Regional Conference for Africa for the attention of the FAO Conference.

Country Statements and General Debate

The Regional Conference:

agreed that strategies which involved increased women's participation in policy and decision making contributed to increased food security and recommended that necessary programmes and policies be implemented by countries to favour in particular, women's access to technology, appropriate extension services and credit.

FAO continues to implement WID Plan of Action and Strategic Framework for the Post-World Food Summit period. A Guide has been developed on how to integrate gender concerns into water control activities carried out in the SPFS national programmes. Through its SEAGA programme, FAO assisted 15 countries to improve targeting agricultural development programmes and reinforce the efficient use of scarce natural and human resources. FAO has increased its assistance to member countries to incorporate gender disaggregation in its on-going data collection.

urged FAO to support regional economic groupings in the development of joint food security policies and strategies.

FAO collaborated with ARID, CILSS, ECOWAS, Lake Chad Basin Commission and UEMOA in the areas of institutional support and capacity building. FAO extended assistance to sub-regional groupings such as ECOWAS, SADC and UEMOA in food security, agricultural policies and agricultural development programme.

urged that the TCDC programme as an instrument of South-South Cooperation be further expanded.

A total of 16 experts were recruited to assist member countries in the areas of soil fertility, desert locust control, tsetse and trypanosomiasis control and training, pesticides, extension, peri-urban dairy production and farming systems.

RAF followed up with the implementation of the trilateral cooperation with African countries and other developing countries (India, China, Cuba and Vietnam), under the South-South Cooperation initiative.

Report on FAO Activities in the Region (1998-1999)

The Regional Conference:

stressed the need for strengthening the capacities of the Regional and Sub-Regional Offices in the areas of livestock production and animal health care, including shelter for poultry and swine as well as animal feed production.

One APO was recruited under EMPRES. FAO provided support to member countries for the control of the African Swine Fever (ASF). Support was given to Senegal and Ghana in peri-urban trypanosomiasis and conservation of the West African Shorthorn cattle. The network of Liaison officers on the Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis (PAAT) was maintained for dissemination information and technology transfer.

supported the priority given to sustainable management of natural resources and urged that more attention be given to watershed development and management as the basis for the conservation and rehabilitation of lands as well as for sustainable irrigation schemes in Africa.

The priority given to sustainable management of natural resources has been translated into projects for 2000- 2001, which aim at improving water use efficiency and soil fertility in the framework of a watershed-based integrated land and water management. Publications include issues and processes on impact of land use on water resources and upstream-downstream linkages in integrated watershed management.

FAO provided assistance to national institutions to assess the impact of soil erosion, standardize soil analytical procedures and in integrated soil management studies. Two regional workshops on Land Degradation and Land and Water Resources Systems were organised in 1998. A Regional workshop on Fertilizer Use was held in collaboration with OAU in 1999.

Studies and workshops were conducted on peri-urban small-scale irrigation. A joint FAO/WHO seminar on the application of climatic data for planning and management of sustainable rainfed and irrigated agriculture was organized to enhance food security in the region.

A joint FAO/IITA document "Agricultural Policies for Sustainable Management and Use of Natural Resources in Africa" is being published.

approved the future orientation of the Regional Programmes which involve a Strategic Framework for the post-WFS era and absolute priority which food security represents for the region and endorsed the policy objective of increased food production and food security through:

i.    Integrated management of terrestrial, marine and freshwater resources;

Water control for low-cost irrigation has been the entry point of 40 SPFS projects. Workshop on irrigation technology transfer was held in Ouagadougou. Two Expert Consultations on water for food were held in Accra and Harare. Country review of private irrigation development was carried out in Benin and Guinea. Peri-urban and urban irrigation was studied in Ghana emphasizing sustainability and health safeguards. In Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, national strategies and action plans were formulated.

ii.    Conservation and rehabilitation of lands;

    Under the international scheme for the conservation and rehabilitation of African lands, assistance was provided to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Ghana. Two regional workshops on land information systems and land degradation were held in Cotonou (December 1998) and in Ouagadougou (August 1999).

iii.    Increased empowerment of women in food production;

    FAO provided assistance for the implementation of the DIMITRA project with objective to contribute to the improvement of living conditions of rural women through the dissemination of information on agricultural production. The establishment of the Community-based Technology Transfer Centre (CTTC) programme to enhance access by small-scale food producers, including women, to innovative technologies to improve household and community food security was supported.

iv.    Capacity building for NGOs and farmers’ associations for food security and sustainable agriculture;

    As a result of the comprehensive review of FAO/NGO collaboration, the Organization adopted a Policy and Strategy on Cooperation with NGOs/CSOs, providing a framework for a long-term programme in the areas of information sharing and analysis, policy dialogue, field programme and resources mobilization. Networks are being promoted in this expanding NGO/CSO sector to multiply their outreach and sharing of responsibilities for programme planning and implementation. The NGO Liaison Unit in RAF has been reactivated.

v.    Integrated management of terrestrial, marine and freshwater resources;

    FAO provided technical assistance in developing and formulating policies and programmes on sustainable integrated management of coastal and marine zones and of river basins in West Africa.

    FAO supported 14 countries in planning, identification and formulation of aquaculture programmes development, management and evaluation. Assistance is provided in assessment and management of fishery resources through workshops and ad-hoc working groups.

vi.    Strengthening of national and regional institutions’ capacity and regional co-operation in the control of plant and animal pests and diseases;

Under EMPRES, the national laboratories in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire were strengthened and upgraded. National epidemiology units in nine countries of West Africa were equipped with hard and software.

Report of the Technical Committee: WFS Follow-up

The Regional Conference:

recommended that the Director-General of FAO intensify his laudable efforts to mobilise funds for financing projects within the framework of the SPFS.

23 investment projects in Sub-Saharan Africa were approved for financing by cooperating financial institutions, amounting to US$ 704.63 million, including US$ 432.24 million in external loans, from WB/IDA, AfDB, IFAD and UNCDF. The 15 recipient countries provided the balance. Projects approved included those for the SPFS in 8 countries.

The Memorandum of Understanding between WB and FAO has heightened cooperation between the FAO/Investment Centre and the Bank in Africa, which benefited several countries in small-scale irrigation, food quality standards, soil fertility and agricultural statistics.

In addition to bilateral (Belgium, Italy, etc) and multilateral ( AfDB, IDB, IFAD, WB, etc.) funds, unilateral funds from Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa were mobilized. Co-operation with sub-regional groupings such as UEMOA was strengthened.

further recommended that the existing cooperation between FAO and various regional and sub-regional groupings and commissions be further strengthened.

CEMAC, UDEAC, COREP and COMESA received FAO assistance, particularly in fisheries development.

recommended the preparation by the Regional Office of a synthesis of African national reports to facilitate the work of the Africa Group at the meeting at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 1999.

The consideration of national reports on follow-up to the WFS/PoA was deferred until the 26th CFS Session. RAF is collaborating with the CFS Secretariat in providing the required assistance to the African member countries.

recommended that FAO intensify its efforts in utilising FIVIMS for quantifying food security needs.

FIVIMS projects were formulated for implementation in Benin, Chad and Senegal. FIVIMS issues were discussed with participants from 22 countries at an FAO/WB/USDA sponsored Workshop.

Report of the Technical Committee: Agricultural Policy for Sustainable Use and management of Natural Resources

The Regional Conference:

recommended that the document define the role of the private and public sectors in the agricultural development process.

A policy paper "Public Assistance And Agricultural Development in Africa" has been prepared for the 21st ARC.

Report of the Technical Committee: Progress on the Common African Agricultural Programme (CAAP))

The Regional Conference:

recommended that the Director-General continue to monitor progress on CAAP, and report to the 21st Regional conference on cooperation on CAAP development received from Member States since the 20th Session and corresponding achievements; further recommended that the Director-General continue to support the OAU/AEC Secretariat, to the extent possible, in moving the CAAP process forward.

Since the 20th ARC, the follow-up to the request for their comments and suggestions on FCAAP fell just short of the minimum 50% required for the "second reading". While this may be numerically insufficient for consideration of its "second reading", it has the merit of providing potential vitality to the CAAP development process. Nine countries have designated CAAP focal points.

Report of the Technical Committee: Forest Genetic Resources

The Regional Conference:

recommended that FAO collaborate with the African Timber Organisation in planning a Workshop for the Central African Region, similar to those which were scheduled for the Southern and Eastern African Sub-Regions in collaboration with IPGRI, ICRAF, SADC and IGAD.

In collaboration with IPGRI and ICRAF, FAO organized a workshop on Forest Genetic Resources in Dry-Zone Sub-Saharan Africa in Ouagadougou (September 1998). Another meeting covering Eastern and Southern Africa is planned for February 2000, in collaboration with SADC.

 

TWENTY-FOURTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE
FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Yangon, Myanmar, 20-24 April 1998

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations made by the Twenty-Fourth FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific for the attention of the FAO Conference.

Management and Conservation of Fisheries for the Asia-Pacific region.

The Regional Conference:

recommended that the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries be used widely as a guideline in formulating and implementing fisheries management systems.

FAO/RAP/SAPA called upon all users of fishery resources to apply the Code of Conduct and to collaborate with other States and relevant IGOs, NGOs and financial institutions in promoting its implementation.

FAO publication on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its technical guidelines were widely distributed.

requested that workshops and seminars on the implications and subsequent implementation of the Code be organized at the sub-regional and regional levels.

Expert Consultation on Responsible Fishing Operations was convened. FAO is collaborating with SEAFDEC in organizing Regional Workshops/Expert Consultations on the technical aspects of the Code.

Four Working Groups were established for data collection, stock assessments, biological and environmental research and fishery technological research. Guidelines on Implications of the Precautionary Approach for Tuna Research were formulated.

recommended that the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) seek to harmonize national fishery policies with a view toward attaining the sustainability of fishery resources, including transboundary and straddling and highly migratory fish stocks.

A review of fishery policies of the countries bordering the South China Sea was completed. A similar review for countries bordering the Bay of Bengal and Yellow Sea is in progress.

At its 26th Session, APFIC discussed current issues on capture fisheries and aquaculture. APFIC plans to organize a Symposium on Fishery Policy and Planning in conjunction with its 27th Session.

recommended that the APFIC work to accelerate the transfer of technology and capacity building in the fisheries sector.

Assistance was provided to Member Nations in collaboration with other regional fishery bodies/programmes such as BOBP, Mekong River Commission (MRC), NACA and SEAFDEC.

recommended that the APFIC strive to translate research results into effective management options for the region.

A Regional Fishery Information System is being developed. Three Working Groups were established by APFIC for capture fishery data collection, food safety from fish products and rural aquaculture.

recommended that FAO work to enhance the capacity of member countries to conduct reliable surveys of fish stocks and to collect accurate data on harvests to facilitate sustainable management of resources.

RAP assisted in planning surveys and analyzing data related to the anchovy fishery in Thailand, mackerel fisheries in the Malacca Strait and sardine fishery in the Bali Strait, Indonesia. Manuals on Tropical Fish Stock Assessment were translated into Indonesian and Thai.

requested FAO to assume a leadership role among the large number of regional and sub-regional bodies dealing with fisheries resources in Asia and the Pacific to enhance cooperation and coordination and to avoid duplication.

RAP established relations with SEAFDEC and ASEAN. Cooperation with APEC on conservation of aquatic animals and fisheries management is strengthened.

Cooperation with SPC, FFA, Forum Secretariat, USP, ICLARM, SPREP etc., and International Organizations have been strengthened. SAPA participated in the FFA, SPC and PIMRIS’ Regional meetings and in the Marine Sector Working Group meeting of the SPOCC.

urged FAO to give due attention to the needs of land-locked and small-island countries in developing appropriate fish production strategies and optimizing fish yields.

In 1998, FAO convened a Regional Workshop on "Economic Strengthening of Fisheries Industries in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the South Pacific". Technical assistance to strengthen fish production of SIDS, including aquaculture development in the South Pacific, fishery sector study in Tonga and utilization of fish wastes in Maldives was provided.

WFS Follow-up

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to work closely with concerned countries to analyze the problem of post-harvest food losses and make recommendations on how such losses could be reduced.

The 2nd In-Country HACCP Training Workshop in Fisheries was conducted in Tonga. Guidelines for policy planners were established on the future supply systems for livestock products. An ad-hoc meeting was held in Thailand to introduce FAO Home-Page to post-harvest workers of the INPhO programme. Project documents were formulated for Fiji and Mongolia.

recommended several key areas for concerted national, regional and international actions in pursuance of the WFS/PoA, including:

(i) mobilizing resources to assist Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) in initiating and sustaining their national plans of action;

FAO People’s Participation Project in Pakistan developed two field manuals on mobilizing local resources in pursuing food security objectives.
In Solomon Islands, a National Policy/PoA for Food Production and Nutrition was formulated.

In Mongolia, plans on mobilizing resources for the establishments of markets in Ulaanbator were developed (TCP/MON/6712).

SAPA assisted Tonga in formulating the Hango Agriculture College Strategy Plan.

16 countries attended regional training on production of low-cost and shelf-stable meat.

(ii) enhancing the role of women in implementing the seven commitments for achieving food security;

Three field manuals were prepared to enhance the role of women in achieving food security.

Four regional consultations were held in Asia, focussing on distance education, rural households and technology transfers.

Expert Consultation on " Participatory Research Methods and Gender Database" was held in May 1999.

UNFIP funded a project in Cambodia and Nepal on Empowerment of Women in Irrigation and Water Resources Management for Improved Household Food Security, Nutrition and Health.

SAPA is launching a survey in Tonga, Cook Islands and Solomon Islands to improve the understanding of gender roles in the Pacific.

(iii) assisting transition economies with liberalization and privatization of food markets and other macro-economics measures;

Regional training seminars were conducted in India, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Pakistan for 12 countries on food marketing.

Mongolia was assisted in upgrading its meat industries. A Sub-regional seminar was organized for SE-Asian countries on Halal meat products for export to the Near East.

Ministerial Roundtable, "Beyond the Asian Crisis: Sustainable Agricultural Development and Poverty Alleviation in the Next Millennium" was held at RAP.

A status report on "Private Sector Role in Supporting Women In Development Activities In Asia-Pacific Region." was completed.

(iv) improving preparedness for the new world trading order, especially for the LIFDCs and small Pacific island countries;

The first session of the Sub-group on Tropical Fruits explored opportunities for expanding tropical fruit trade and initiated joint action of the Tropical Fruits Network in the next WTO Round of Negotiations.

FAO organized a Round Table on Implications of the Uruguay Round on Agriculture and Fisheries in the South Pacific (Auckland-31 August to 2 September 1998).

(v) strengthening national early warning systems and starting the work on Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information Mapping Systems (FIVIMS);

Technical assistance for the operation and management of national Food Security Information Systems was provided to Sri Lanka, Laos and Vietnam. A project to develop a Crop Forecasting System was formulated for Bangladesh. A Food Security Information System is being developed for ASEAN.

(vi) sharing information and experiences in translating the WFS/PoA into national plans of action among Pacific island countries (PIC);

SAPA convened a Regional Seminar in Apia, on the Follow-up to WFS, translating the WFS/PoA into National/PoA for PICs.

(vii) strengthening the work on biotechnology for the benefit of small farmers;

RAP is developing case studies on "Gender Dimensions in Biodiversity Management" for India, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. RAP, through FARMNET Asia, is coordinating the Regional Symposium on Biovillage Approach For Natural Resource Management and Rural Development in Rainfed Areas and the Regional Training Programme in November 1999 in India.

recommended the full use of TCDC/ECDC and other mechanisms for regional cooperation.

A resource person provided technical support to the SPC’s 2nd Regional Fisheries Management Workshop.

A Visiting Expert from University of the South Pacific assisted the Samoan Department of Health in developing video materials to promote better nutrition.

Four experts from New Zealand assisted Samoa in determining the fruit fly impact on Samoan horticultural products for export to New Zealand.

International and Thai experts undertook research on small-scale sago starch production.

A TCDC expert from Tonga assisted the National Institute of Plant Protection in Vietnam to carry out training in Protein Bait spraying of Fruit Flies.

requested FAO to assist countries in preparing project documents necessary for full participation in the SPFS.

Backstopping was provided to SPFS projects in Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, DPR Korea, Nepal, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea.

A TCP Project Proposal on Pilot Irrigation was prepared for Samoa.

The National Programme Document for Lao was drafted. TCP project for the Water Control Component of the SPFS in Bangladesh is operational while the project document for Sri Lanka has been drafted.

requested FAO support in strengthening preparedness to deal with the El Niño phenomenon and other natural disasters.

RAP prepared a technical paper on "Coping with local food shortage caused by abnormal weather–Food Supply and Demand Information Exchange Systems" for an International Symposium held in Tokyo.

FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions were conducted in Laos and Cambodia.

urged FAO to assist in strengthening national and regional early warning systems within the framework of the Global Information and Early Warning System.

See text on page 10 under (v).

requested FAO, in cooperation with other international organizations, to help minimize the adverse impacts of forest fires and to assist member countries in developing effective strategies, policies and technologies for preventing, combating and managing forest fires.

RAP helped identify and fund Asian participants for the International Meeting on Public Policies Affecting Forest Fires (Rome, October 1998).

RAP advised the Government of India on sources of support for dealing with recent forest fires. A fire-related TCP project for Mongolia is being prepared.

called upon FAO to reinforce and extend its work in implementing the SPFS, supporting the preparation of agricultural strategies for LIFDCs, promoting South-South cooperation, launching FIVIMS, organizing TeleFood, supporting sustainable forest management and assisting in marketing and trade development.

FAO, in cooperation with NGOs, provided technical backstopping for land reform programmes in The Philippines and developed a methodology for increasing rural income and food security.

FAO is supporting the implementation of the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting in Asia-Pacific, developed through the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission.

With support from the Government of Japan, USDA, CIFOR, and the MacArthur Foundation, RAP organized a study tour for policy makers on reduced impact logging in Sabah, Malaysia.

RAP provided financial and technical support for the development of national codes of practice for forest harvesting in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bhutan and China.

FAO, SPC-PIF/TSP and other aid agencies organized a Regional Consultation on Codes of Logging Practices in Vanuatu.

Expert Consultation on "Concretizing Actions on Establishment of FIVIMS" was held in Sri Lanka (November 1999).

A Round Table on Innovative Extension Strategies for Commercializing Small Farmer Agriculture was held in Bangkok.

Farmers’ organizations and cooperatives in The Philippines were strengthened through a project on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.

A Round Table on "Policy Dialogue and Strategic Planning for Enhancing the Role of Agricultural Cooperatives in Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation" was organized in Bangkok.

RAP provided technical support for two Symposia on food security organised by LOJA and the Government of Japan in Yokohama and Toyama in connection with Telefood/WFD.

 

TWENTY-FIRST REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR EUROPE

Tallinn, Estonia, 25-29 May 1998

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations for the attention of the FAO made by the Twenty-first Regional Conference for Europe.

Follow-up of the WFS

The Regional Conference:

recalled the importance it attached to a full analysis of constraints and opportunities before SPFS projects were designed.

In Albania and Georgia, the SPFS participatory analysis of constraints was being carried out systematically. In Albania, constraints analysis was undertaken since the commencement of Phase I, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina, limited work was undertaken as part of the programme formulation process.

Changes in Food and Agriculture Commodity Consumption Patterns in the Region

The Regional Conference:

noted the need for FAO and other technical assistance programmes for developing countries and countries in transition to help improve consumer protection and assure improved food quality and safety.

stressed that FAO endeavour supporting in the development of nutrition programmes and food control and food health issues.

FAO participated in a Regional Workshop on Food Control Procedures and Import Quality Assurance Systems (Turkey, October 1998) and sponsored Regional Trainers’ Training Courses on Food Quality and Safety Based on Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control (HACC) principles in the Slovak Republic (May 1998) and in Latvia for the three Baltic States (May/June 1999). A similar course was under preparation for the Balkan countries to take place in Bulgaria.

Nutrition education material was produced and was being translated into twelve European languages. Prototype nutrition education project proposals for CEE countries were developed.

suggested that the new Joint FAO/IAEA Training and Laboratory Centre (TLC) in Seibersdorf (Austria), produce new methods of analysis, standard testing materials, and carry out and coordinate food quality and safety training.

Procedures for TLC analysis for screening fruits and vegetables for 118 pesticides were developed and validated through the inter-regional network of food analytical laboratories.

TLC was coordinating work with other networks on low cost and reliable alternative methods for analysis of pesticide residues in grains and mycotoxins in foods and feedstuffs.

recommended that FAO continue to use a transparent process to select independent scientific experts to participate in FAO and FAO/WHO expert consultations making recommendations on various aspects of food quality and safety, including chemical and microbiological problems in foods.

FAO continued to apply its procedures for the selection of competent and independent experts to participate in two Expert Consultations, including those organized jointly with WHO. Such procedures were used for the two JECFA regular sessions, the Expert Consultation on Risk Communication as applied to food quality and safety and Expert Consultations on the Trade Impact of Listeria in Fish and Fish Products and on Microbiological Risk Assessment, held in March 1999.

The Uses and Benefits of Soil Information

The Regional Conference:

noted that the issue of scale would need to be addressed but that all participating countries should be invited to take part in the technical consultation process.

FAO/EC Technical Consultation on the European Soil Information System was held in September 1999, to discuss the modalities for preparing a joint EU-FAO Soil and Terrain (SOTER) Database. 25 Member Nations and the Commission of the EU participated.

Report on FAO Activities in the Region, 1998-99

The Regional Conference:

requested that activities undertaken by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division in Vienna under sub-programme 2.1.5.3 be reported in the future.

The Activities of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, will be presented to the 22nd ERC in document ERC/00/2.

underlined the need for FAO to tailor its assistance according to the progress achieved in the transition process by the Central and Eastern European (CEE) and commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

Policy assistance to CEE and CIS countries provided support in the formulation of agricultural sector strategies, considering the status of privatisation and the restructuring of public enterprises.

stressed the need for synergy and coordination in the assistance provided to CEE and CIS countries by FAO and by multi- and bilateral donors, in particular with EC programmes and the UN system (IFAD and WFP in particular).

In order to ensure synergy in policy advice, contacts are maintained at country level with the EU Phare and Tacis teams and with bilateral technical assistance programmes for the food and agricultural sector, particularly as they relate to policy options in an EU accession environment. Cooperation with UNDP was intensified, in particular the SPFS in Albania and various projects in Turkey.

underlined the need for FAO to provide support to the countries seeking accession to the EU as well as membership in the WTO assisting them to meet the required criteria.

CEE and CIS countries are receiving assistance in policy formulation for the food and agricultural sector, including advice on the implications of the Uruguay Round for agricultural trade and advice on policy options related to EU accession.

A training course under the special Umbrella Programme for Training on Uruguay Round and future Negotiations in Agriculture, co-financed by FAO, UNDP and donor countries (France and Czech Republic), was held in Prague (October 1999). A training course, involving Balkan and CIS countries of the European Region, would be held in January 2000.

FAO cooperated and participated in two WB, EU Accession Workshops held in Hungary (June 1998) and Poland (June 1999).

stressed that FAO endeavour:

(i) focusing attention on the fields of normative advice and technical assistance to Member Nations continuing the transition process;

On the basis of methodology developed by FAO in the formulation of agriculture sector strategies, studies on the transition process, including institutional adjustment in extension, research and education, privatization of input supply and other support services and response of producers to market signals, land administration and land marketing, were being undertaken

(ii) participating in setting up or improving land cadastre systems and the functioning of farmland markets;

Several Member Nations were receiving assistance in policies and methodologies definition towards improving land registration and cadastre systems. Through the formulation of investment projects for WB funding. Assistance in setting up or improving land cadastre systems was included in investment projects formulated for Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia for WB funding.

A Regional Workshop on "Land ownership, land markets and their influence on the efficiency of agricultural production in Central and Eastern Europe" was organized by FAO/REU with the Institute for Agricultural Research in C and E Europe, in Germany (May 1999). Three Seminars (1997, 1998 and 1999) were organized in cooperation with the International Land Tenure School in Cervia, Italy.

FAO, was assisting national and local authorities in land tenure administration, policy formulation compatible with the demands of modern, liberalized political and economic growth and in disseminating the results.

(iii) to continue assistance in support of management of fragile ecosystems, mountain development and in particular sustainable management of forest resources;

FAO was been directly involved in the establishment of the Mountain Forum at the global level and of the European Node which would be located at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), in Switzerland. Sub-regional Nodes have also been established for the Caucasus and Carpathian Mountains and were now being planned for the Alps, the Pyrenees, Cantabrian Mountains and for northern Europe.

A number of countries were assisted in forestry sector development, including support to privatization and development of modern forest fire prevention and control strategies and in establishing National Forestry Action Plans.

(iv) to support in the conservation and management of animal and plant genetic resources;

Collections and characterization of existing genotypes and databases were generated for several major crops (cotton, flax, olives, nuts, rice, sunflower and oats) through the ESCORENA. Exchange of plant germplasm for breeding efforts to obtain genotypes resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses had continued. In addition to development of National Focal Points in Animal Genetic Resources, the ESCORENA Networks on buffalo, sheep and goat contributed to improving evaluation and characterization of relevant breeds.

Two workshops to develop joint plans of action for the management of AnGR in the Region were organized for (i) Baltic States (Lithuania - June 1998) and (ii) South Eastern European countries (Greece - June 1999).

stressed that the future programme orientations take into consideration the evolving situation in the Region and that priority areas be accompanied by an indication of the Organization’s comparative advantage.

REU endeavoured to provide a regional focus in the preparation of the Strategic Framework 2000-2015 and the Medium Term Plan. It also carried out an analysis of regional priorities, the outcome of which is reflected in document ERC/00/2.

Presentation of WAICENT Services with Special Focus on Plant and Animal Genetic Resources in the European Region

The Regional Conference:

suggested that user friendliness and demand-driven data presentation were essential.

WAICENT was constantly improving its user friendliness. A Joint GIL/REU pilot project introduced a search engine to speed up and simplify research on specific REU WebPage topics. A list of important publications produced by REU or jointly with partner Institutions is available on line.

Any Other Business – Regional Distribution of Council Seats

The Regional Conference:

requested the Director-General to place this topic on the agenda of the forthcoming Council Session.

The topic was placed on the agenda and discussed at the 115th Session of the Council.

 

TWENTY-FIFTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Nassau, Bahamas 16 to 20 June 1998

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations made by the Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean for the attention of the FAO Conference.

Multilateral discussions on agricultural trade reform

The Regional Conference:

Requested FAO to organize technical meetings in support of member countries to define their negotiating positions, before the next meeting of the Council of the World Trade Organization.

The meeting "Latin America and the Caribbean Facing the Multilateral Agriculture Reform Process" was organised in Santiago (November 1998), in partnership with WB and IICA. FAO and IICA created and shared the technical secretariat of the "Informal Consultative Group of Trade Negotiators of the Americas" for promoting dialog and exchange of information among trade negotiators.

Requested FAO to establish a regional programme of technical assistance, that would include the training of negotiators, for preparation and monitoring of the next round of negotiations.

Three project proposals were implemented to train nationals in connection with the Uruguay Round Agreements and the next round of negotiations.

Requested FAO to provide technical assistance on awareness and application of Codex Alimentarius standards.

FAO implemented four TCP projects in several countries strenghtening the National Codex Committees on matters related to food standardization, food safety and development of food legislation and food control systems to meet food safety and quality requirements for the international food trade as stipulated by the WTO.

Rural development strategy as the focus towards the reduction of the extreme poverty in the Region

The Regional Conference:

Proposed to FAO, four priority areas which should guide the work in the Region:

Food security;

26% of RLC’s 1999 activities are related to Food Security technical support to promote poverty alleviation and sustainable management of natural resources. FAO had implemented the ACC Network/Thematic Groups initiative to enhance rural development and eliminate food insecurity in the Region.

Dynamic insertion in foreign trad;

FAO, i) participated in the organization and presentation of a regional workshop on "Risk Analysis and Food Standards" in Uruguay (December 1998), ii) completed TCP/PAR/6611 on Strengthening food safety and quality control in the City of Asuncion and iii) participated in a Global Project on the Enhancement of Coffee Quality through the Prevention of Mould Growth, which aims to develop the capacity to upgrade quality control in coffee production, processing and marketing to meet international standards. FAO also collaborated with PAHO in a workshop on "the Role of Governments in Assessing Industry Food Quality and Safety Programmes", (Uruguay, December 1998), attended by 110 delegates from 30 countries.

Sustainable management of natural resources;

FAO implemented: (1) TCP/BRA/7821 "Support to the viability of land settlement through irrigated agriculture in the State of Sergipe", (2) TCP/PER/8823 "Training in Management, Operation and Maintenance of Irrigation and Drainage Systems in Chavimochic", (3) TCP/MEX/8922 (A) "Water treatment of agro-industries effluents" and (4) TCP/ECU/8922 (A) "Support to the Special Programme on Food Security in Ecuador – PESAE". A Project "Investment for Sanitation and Conservation of the Lerma-Chapala basin" was formulated upon request from Mexico.

RLC and AGL organized a workshop for 40 participants from 15 countries on "Management of water quality and contamination control in Latin America and the Caribbean" in co-operation with the University of Tarapaca/Arica, Ministry of Public Engineering, Ministry of Agriculture of Chile and the National Institute for Development of Peru.

The 20th session of the Latin America and Caribbean Forestry Commission (LACFC), held in Havana (September 1998), discussed the State of Forestry in the Region, FAO´s Strategic Plan for Forestry, the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and the Intergovernmental Forum of Forest of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and an in-session seminar on Forest Valuation.

Agricultural institutional reform;

18 % of RLC’s 1999 activities are related to agricultural institutional reform and rural development. Studies on synergy between farm and off-farm employment, income and activities for agriculture and rural development were conducted in 1998. A seminar on off-farm activities was held in Santiago (September 1999). FAO assisted rural producers' organizations in several countries to shift from a trade-unionist approach to competing in a globalized and market oriented economies and to address issues of land ownership, titling and security of tenure.

requested that FAO examines the development of human resources regarding training organisation.

With cooperation from the Pan-American Association on Veterinary Sciences and the Inter-American Federation of Veterinary Schools, an international seminar on modernization and reinforcement of veterinary education in the Americas, was organized. RLC and OIRSA carried out an assessment of the Central Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory of countries in Central America and the Caribbean.

Follow-up to the WFS

The Regional Conference

Should take place prior to the sessions of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) so as to examine actions pursued at national and regional level.

The reporting format, analytical framework and indicators developed for monitoring the implementation of the PoA, was adopted at the 25th Session of the CFS.

Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in the Latin America Region

The Regional Conference

Recommended to continue providing technical co-operation and support in identifying funding for implementation of the Code at country level.

In all Regular and Field Programmes activities for RLC and SLAC, the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in the Latin America and Caribbean constitutes a first priority.

 

TWENTY- FOURTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE
FOR THE NEAR EAST

Damascus, Syria, 21-25 March 1998

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations addressed to FAO, made by the Twenty-fourth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East for the attention of the FAO Conference.

Country Statements and General Debate

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to assist in the formulation of a regional strategy of agricultural development to promote regional cooperation and to identify specific regional projects for achieving sustainable food security.

Document "Towards a Strategic Framework for Sustainable Agriculture Development in the Near East Region" will be presented to the 25th NERC.

requested FAO to increase technical assistance to the Central Asian Member States of the Near East Region.

An Expert Consultation on National Water Policy Reform in Central Asian Countries (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan (July 1999).

requested FAO to consider establishing a sub-regional office to serve the Central Asian Member States and the neighboring countries in the region, and to strengthen the Regional Office and sub-regional office(s):

This is under consideration by FAO Senior Management and the Governing Bodies.

Follow up to the WFS

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to assist member countries in approaching donors and international organizations for support in their national efforts to implement the WFS/PoA.

To date, the ACC Network/Thematic Groups, were established in 10 countries Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia and Yemen) in support of governments efforts to implement the WFS/PoA, rural development and food security programmes.

requested FAO to report on the progress achieved in cooperation with the UN Commissioner for Human Rights on the "Right to Food" issue.

FAO collaborated with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the preparation of the General Comment on the Right to Adequate Food, adopted in May 1999 and presented to the 25th CFS.

requested FAO to assist in conducting an inventory of national traditional water conservation and harvesting practices with a view to improving and promoting such practices as low-cost water saving technologies.

RNE conducted a training course on Scheme Irrigation Management Information System for promoting efficient water management and conservation (Cyprus, May 1999).

Policy Reform and Sustainable Food Security in the Near East Region – Constraints and Options

The Regional Conference:

called upon FAO to continue supporting countries endeavors in reviewing and formulating their national agricultural development strategies, policies and plans of action and in the preparation of multilateral trade negotiations in agriculture.

A Regional Training Workshop, attended by 20 participants from 12 countries, on "Food and Agriculture Policy Analysis, with Special Emphasis on Credit and Rural Finance Policies", was held in Tehran (September 1998). Collaborators included Agricultural Bank of Iran, the Near East and North Africa Regional Agricultural Credit Association (NENARACA) and the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for the Islamic Countries.

A Training Workshop to "Strengthen Sustainability Issues in Agriculture Policy Analysis and Planning" with participation from 16 countries and 8 international/regional organizations, was conducted in Cairo (1998) in collaboration with the National Planning Institute.

Expert Consultation on "the Preparation for the Next Round of Trade Negotiation" was held in Rabat (December 1998) with participation from 7 countries and WTO.

FAO prepared an Umbrella Regional Capacity Building/Training Programme on "Uruguay Round Training and Future Negotiations in Agriculture", attended by 60 participants in Cairo (September 1999).

Another Training Workshop on "Uruguay Round Training and Future Negotiations in Agriculture" will be held in the United Arab Emirates, in January 2000.

called upon FAO to promote technical cooperation among countries in the areas of sustainable food security including research and extension, water policy reforms, agricultural marketing and rural finance, reduction of pre-, during and post-harvest losses, harmonization of food control legislation and procedures, and adopting an optimal cropping mix and rotations.

A Regional Workshop on "Date-palm Post-Harvest Technologies" was held in Tehran (October 1999).

Guidelines were prepared for Legislation on the Application of Food Irradiation Technology, in order to overcome quarantine barriers and to reduce post-harvest losses.

A regional training course was held in Cairo (November 1998), on the Utilization of Agricultural Residues for Food and Feed Production.

RNE and AARINENA, jointly formulated a Strategy Towards 2000 and beyond for promoting regional cooperation among agricultural research institutions and establishment of a regional network for research and development.

In Cyprus (September 1998), five regional projects in priority areas to achieve sustainable food security were identified for submission to donors, in collaboration with AARINENA.

Training on management improvement and capacity building in agricultural research in selected countries was held in Kuwait (April 1999).

RNE continued to provide technical support to member countries, mainly through Networks AFMANENA and NENARACA.

called upon FAO to Support the Establishment of a Regional Network for Agricultural Policies.

A Preparatory Expert Consultation for the Establishment of the Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (NENARNAP) was held in Cairo (December 1998). RNE served as the Secretariat for the hoc Committee which prepared it. A regional project document for the establishment of the Network was being finalized for submission to potential donors.

called upon FAO to assist in the establishment and/or strengthening of Food Security/Food Information Systems, in particular the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) at both national and regional levels.

RNE supported Sudan, in promoting household food security. The results would be evaluated for the establishment of "Seed Revolving Funds" at the local level, to be applied in other countries.

The ACC Network/Thematic Groups in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen identified FIVIMS as priority for country-level action.

called upon FAO to continue providing technical assistance, particularly through the SPFS.

Document on the "Follow-up to the WFS" will be presented to the 25th NERC.

A technical paper on "Food Security in Arid Rangelands: A Summary of Issues and Approaches" was circulated to the UN Conference on the Convention on Desertification, in Rome (October 1997). FAO produced a CD-Rom on "Combating Desertification".

called upon FAO to continue leading the national and international collaborative efforts for the control of the Old World Screw-Worm (OWS) in Iraq and in other neighboring countries, and to benefit from the successful Libyan experience in this regard.

In 1998, FAO fielded a mission to Iraq and neighboring countries to assess the requirements to contain and control OWS in the Region.

A regional project document on "Emergency Assistance for Screw-worm Fly Control in Iraq and in the Middle East Region" was presented to concerned Governments in 1998.

A donor meeting was convened in December 1998. Some interest was expressed and FAO was actively exploring the modality to articulate a regional programme against OWS.

called upon FAO to consider preparing a document on economic and social policies in the Region for discussion at the next Regional Conference, under the related standing item, in addition to other topics to be selected in consultation with the countries of the Region. Agenda items for the next Regional Conference might include "Water Policy Reform in the Near East" and "Policies for Intra-regional Cooperation".

Following three Expert Consultations on water policy reform programmes, held in Beirut, Cairo and Almaty, Kazakhistan (December 1996, November 1997 and July 1999) FAO prepared a document on Water Policy in the Region.

Another paper prepared by FAO on "Water Policy Reform in the Near East: A Framework for Implementation", would presented to the ALAWUC Session in Beirut (March 2000).

called upon FAO to assist in organizing a regional expert meeting on the optimal utilization of water resources and irrigation, in collaboration with ICARDA which expressed its readiness to cosponsor the meeting, to be held in Iran.

Contacts were underway with ICARDA on the requirements and arrangements for this meeting and to explore possible joint funding through other regional organizations.

Reactivation of the FAO Near East Cooperative Programme

The Regional Conference:

recommended that FAO continue exploring the NECP reactivation, in the context of the High-level Committee taking into consideration the possibility of approaching national and regional funding institutions to be directly involved in this endeavor, and to report its findings to the 25th NERC Session:

A document on the subject will be presented to the 25th NERC, focusing on the importance of NECP reactivation and alternative actions. RNE continued to provide the necessary secretarial support and follow-up on the subject.

Desert Locust Control and EMPRESS Programmes

The Regional Conference:

urged FAO to implement in the Western Region a programme similar to the Desert Locust component of EMPRESS.

A proposal on an EMPRES programme in the Western Region was prepared, discussed in Nouakchott (March 1998) and revised in July 1998. FAO allocated Regular Programme funds for early warning and early reaction operations and requested the assistance of donors and member countries to establish the EMPRES programme in the Western Region.

urged FAO to formalize linkages between the Commission for Controlling Desert Locust in the Central Region and the EMPRES programme in the Central Region in order to achieve complementarity and cost effectiveness of human and financial resources.

A framework for cooperation between FAO Commission for Controlling Desert Locust in the Central Region and the EMPRES programme (Desert Locust) in the Central Region was established in June 1998, setting a mechanism of cooperation and coordination to ensure complementarity and cost effectiveness of human and financial resources.