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Promoting the sustainability of artisanal fishing in Central America


05/09/2017 - 

More than 30 artisanal fisherfolk, indigenous and Government authorities of Central American countries are participating in a training course to promote the governance of natural resources and sustainable small-scale fishing practices in indigenous peoples’ territories.

According to the FAO, approximately 70% of the Central American Caribbean coast is located in territories inhabited by indigenous peoples. Therefore, these communities are key to ensuring the sustainability of small-scale fisheries, but they need to be supported by policies tailored to their needs and cultures. 

This training course aims at reviewing the Voluntary Guidelines for Achieving the Sustainability of Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, an international instrument that provides principles of consensus and guidance on how to address small-scale fisheries challenges.

The training is sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (FILAC) and the Indigenous Council of Central America (CICA). It started on august 28 and will finish on the 9 of september. 

"With this initiative we hope to strengthen, expand and support the recognition of indigenous peoples from their experience in fisheries in our countries and their contribution to food and nutrition security," said Álvaro Pop, Technical Secretary of FILAC.

In addition, during the course participants will also review the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Framework, the Right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent and other processes in place to ensure the governance of natural resources in their territories.

"The Guidelines were developed through an extensive global participatory process and its purpose is to address the needs of the artisanal fisheries sector in an integrated manner," said María Acosta, FAO Indigenous Peoples Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean.

"Based on the Guidelines, important steps have been taken to establish national regulations with a holistic, inter-agency and inclusive vision to benefit the small-scale fisheries and aquaculture sector based on human rights," she added.

At the end of the course, participants will have the opportunity to implement advocacy plans in coordination with national and indigenous authorities for the development of sustainable fisheries in their territories.

"The result of this course will be a first step towards ensuring that these Guidelines are applied in our territories and guarantee the sustainable use of natural resources," said Ariel Gonzalez, president of the CICA.

The training includes a visit to the Guna Yala Indigenous Region, in which indigenous peoples will have the opportunity to learn and exchange knowledge on sustainable fishing techniques to protect biodiversity, access to fisheries and fisheries markets and ways to adapt to the challenges of climate change.

FAO and Indigenous Peoples: Allies to Achieve Zero Hunger 

FAO recognizes indigenous peoples as allies in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, and highlights their role in advancing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

To this end, FAO has promoted dialogue with indigenous peoples and develops joint initiatives with indigenous peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

"We appreciate the effort that FAO is making for the development of indigenous peoples and to help ensure the food security of these communities," Álvaro Pop concluded.

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