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FAO and UNIDO partnership: an interagency collaboration for the implementation of the Strategic Action Programme of the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem


01/09/2017 - 

Last July, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and FAO signed an interagency agreement within the framework of a UNIDO/Global Environment Facility (GEF) project, to implement the Strategic Action Programme in support of the sustainable management of the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem. In this context UNIDO, as the implementing and contributing agency, entrusted FAO with the task of providing technical assistance to the Mexican national fisheries institute (Instituto Nacional de Pesca – INAPESCA) to execute the project’s key activities. UNIDO`s total contribution amounts to USD 1.8 million.

These activities mainly consist in supporting the implementation of existing management plans for red grouper and brown shrimps, as well as the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Small Scale Fisheries (SSF). The main objective is to improve water quality, rehabilitate the coastal and marine ecosystems, and avoid depletion of marine resources in the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem (GoM-LME).

Small-scale fisheries are an important sector in the GoM-LME, contributing to food security and income for thousands of artisanal fishers. “Considering that the bulk of Mexican fisheries in the GoM are small-scale fisheries, the project will provide an opportunity to implement the recently approved SSF Guidelines as a strategy to account for human dimensions in the conservation of marine resources, working with fishing communities to improve the co-management of resources, enhance value chains and strengthen community organizations”, said Mr Marcelo Vasconcellos, FAO Fishery Resources Officer. The SSF Guidelines were endorsed in June 2014 at the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and are the first ever international instrument specifically dedicated to small-scale fisheries.

As a result of its extensive technical expertise and experience in fisheries and aquaculture, and the multidisciplinary nature of its staff and wide geographic representation, FAO plays a unique role in addressing common global fisheries and aquaculture issues.

More on the Strategic Action Programme of the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem (2016–2021)

The objective of this five-year UNIDO/GEF project is to enhance the understanding of Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) functions to establish an enabling environment for ecosystem-based management practices which can contribute to the protection and maintenance of ecosystem functions and services.

This project builds on the success of the Gulf of Mexico Strategic Action Programme (GoM SAP) (2008–2013), for which UNIDO – at the request of Mexico and the United States of America – developed the GoM SAP implementation project for the period 2016–2021.

"With an investment of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and co-financing from Mexico and the United States, UNIDO is executing a major project that addresses regional transboundary problems in the Gulf of Mexico’s Large Marine Ecosystem through the application of a Strategic Action Programme. In this regard, collaboration with FAO for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines will help achieve the recovery of large marine resources and safeguard habitats, while enhancing livelihoods and human wellbeing along the Gulf of Mexico", stated Mr Christian Susan, UNIDO Project Manager of the GoM-LME SAP implementation project.

While UNIDO’s work is in line with SDG 9 [Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation], the component under which FAO provides technical assistant to INAPESCA also aims to fulfil SDG2 [End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture], SDG8 [Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all], SDG12 [Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns], SDG 13 [Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts] and SDG 14 [Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development]. As a result, this joint UN partnership is of paramount importance to support the SDGs. Both organizations share the same vision and commitment to rehabilitate marine and coastal ecosystems, and their technical skills and collaborative efforts guarantee the successful impact of the programme.