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6.1 UN organizations in the region
6.2 Other organizations in the region
6.3 Economic communities in the region
6.4 Regional and global aquaculture development projects

6.1 UN organizations in the region

In the region as described, all countries, with the exception of Taiwan PC and Macau, are members of the United Nations. Most of these same countries participate in the individual organizations of the UN system which are actively represented in the region.

Of the many UN organizations represented in Asia the following are actively involved in aquaculture development: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): the World Food Programme (WFP); and on limited regional coverage, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) which is concerned mainly with the Mekong Committee which works in countries in the Mekong Delta.

Other UN agencies have had lesser participation in aquaculture development in the region. These include the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which provide mainly technical assistance in the conduct of research studies on special areas of concern. UNDP and Unesco collaborate closely in activities dealing with environmental education and training in the region, such as studies on water resources development of the lower Mekong Basin. UNEP established the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) which collates, integrates, and analyses all information received for purposes of environmental planning and management. Unesco has been actively involved in the conduct of coastal zone management activities in the region, including research and training in coastal zone development planning and development.

The Indo-Pacific Fisheries Commission (IPFC) of FAO (in which Japan, Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Viet Nam are members) assists in aquaculture development through technical advice to member Governments on pertinent problems and issues. These are topics in the bi-annual meetings of the IPFC Working Party on Aquaculture, and the IPFC Working Party of Experts in Inland Fisheries.

The IPFC Working Party on Aquaculture assists in the collection and dissemination of information on aquaculture research; promotes and coordinates surveys on aquaculture and its potential for future development; promotes and coordinates studies on aquaculture socio-economics; coordinates the FAO/IPFC Cooperative Programme of Research on Aquaculture; and liaises with appropriate working parties on environmental problems affecting aquaculture. The IPFC Working Party on Inland Fisheries assists in the development and management of inland fisheries in the region, and assists the Working Party on Aquaculture in identifying problems of aquaculture and its interrelationships with inland capture fisheries.

The UN agencies provide mainly technical assistance in the form of project funding, expert services, procurement of equipment and supplies, and training fellowships to the UN member countries in the region.

6.2 Other organizations in the region

The Asian Development Bank, in Manila in the Philippines, raises funds from private and public sources for development purposes in the region, to assist member states in coordinating economic policies, and to give technical assistance in development projects. There are 47 members of the ADB, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, the Philippines, Taiwan PC and Viet Nam. Among its many sectoral activities, agriculture and agro-industry receive the largest part (41%) of loans approved (1986), and the bank supported over 129 technical assistance projects. The ADB has been the prime source of international funding for aquaculture sectoral development in the region.

Brunei and the Philippines are members of the ASEAN, which is based in Indonesia (see below).

The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific has 26 members, among which are Japan, the Republic of Korea, Laos, and the Philippines. It is based in Sri Lanka. Among its many activities the Colombo Plan provides capital aid and technical cooperation between members. Training is one of its principal features and there have been many scholarships for education and training in agriculture and fisheries.

There are a number of smaller organizations in the region which are specific to agriculture, fisheries, and aquaculture.

The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) is the most important regional organization with interests in aquaculture development. It was established in December 1967 following a proposal of the Ministerial Conference for the Economic Development of Southeast Asia. It is a non-governmental treaty organization composed of Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The policy-making body of the Center is the Council of Directors composed of representatives from the member countries, usually Directors of Fisheries. The SEAFDEC Council meets annually to discuss, review, and approve programmes of activity of the three Departments, viz., the Training Department in Thailand, the Marine Fisheries Research Department in Singapore, and the Aquaculture Department in the Philippines (SEAFDEC-AQD).

SEAFDEC activities range from developing skilled manpower resources for the fisheries industry to conducting research leading to rational utilization of fish resources of the region.

SEAFDEC collaborates with the governments of its member countries as well as those of several non-member countries. It also cooperates with regional and interregional organizations concerned with fisheries development, and is the recipient of external funding support from multilateral and bilateral agencies for its various activities.

The International Research and Development Centre (IDRC) has its Asia and Pacific office in Singapore. IDRC is a corporation created by the Government of Canada to stimulate and support scientific and technical research by developing countries for their own benefit. Among the many fields of investigation for which IDRC provides financial and professional support are farming and fisheries. For many years IDRC has supported research and training in aquaculture either directly or through other regional organizations such as NACA, ICLARM, and SEAFDEC.

The International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) is based in Manila in the Philippines. ICLARM is a non-profit organization incorporated in the Philippines for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes. Aquaculture is one of Its prime fields of interest, and it undertakes research and other activities through collaborative projects with research institutes in the region funded by a third party, invariably a multilateral or bilateral donor. ICLARM is currently applying for financial support under the umbrella of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research.

The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA) is currently a regional project funded by UNDP and executed by FAO. It is also supported by its member countries (see 6.4). However, at the present time NACA is in the process of becoming an independent inter-governmental body in the region. The project is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

INFOFISH is now an inter-governmental organization based in Kuala Lumpur. It has nine regional members including DPR Korea and Republic of Korea, from East Asia (as described) with Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Solomon Islands and Sri Lanka. It was initiated by funds from the Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD).

6.3 Economic communities in the region

The most important economic community in the region is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional organization formed by the Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, and subsequently joined by Brunei. ASEAN was established by the Bangkok Declaration signed by the Foreign Ministers of the ASEAN countries on 8 August 1967. Among its principal objectives is the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, and cultural development in conjunction with the members' efforts to promote active collaboration and provision of assistance to each other on all matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific, and administrative fields. ASEAN has eight functional committees. The Committee on Food, Agriculture and Forestry is concerned with fisheries development. A coordinating group on fisheries was established under the Committee in March 1979.

In the Fifth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in 1983 the ASEAN Ministerial Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation was signed, wherein it was agreed that necessary action shall be taken towards closer cooperation in fisheries development and management. As a result a number of fisheries projects have been prepared for implementation. Among these the Regional Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Development Project and the Post-Harvest Technology Project have been implemented - the former with UNDP/FAO assistance and the latter with CIDA support.

6.4 Regional and global aquaculture development projects

The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA) initially had twelve member governments, including Brunei, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Most of these same governments are currently signing membership for the new Governing Council, including DPR Korea. NACA was created in 1980 and was designed to operate within the framework of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC). Under this scheme members pooled their resources and collaborated in the development of aquaculture technologies.

Four Lead Centres (in China, India, the Philippines, and Thailand) (see 4.1 and 4.3) have been identified for specific technologies for transfer among the various countries. Manpower training is the main focus of TCDC activities as is the coordination of implementation of regional projects.

NACA has two ongoing sub-regional projects on fish pathology and seafarming involving only eight governments.

NACA has laid the foundation for reorganizing itself into an inter-governmental institution in the Asia-Pacific region. A recent meeting of plenipotentiaries marked the signing of the agreement which will make NACA an Asia-Pacific network managed and operated by member governments by 1990. Before then other countries in the region are expected to join the network.

The ASEAN/UNDP/FAO Small-scale Coastal Fisheries Development Project is a regional project which includes some aquaculture activities. It is an action-oriented programme for inter-country cooperation and mutual assistance among ASEAN countries through institutional linkage of the fisheries departments. It also provides assistance in training and extension, and project formulation.

ASEAN in association with the European Economic Community (EEC) has initiated a new aquaculture project twinning research institutes in the region and in Europe to work on specific activities. The project is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

The UNDP created the Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme (ADCP) in support of global initiatives in aquaculture. Its activities have extended into Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Mediterranean regions. Advisory and guideline publications deal with both administration of the sector, such as technical assistance, economic development, planning, engineering, marketing, etc., and in technology.

As part of this Programme, and with further support at regional and global levels, the ADCP has prepared this and a number of other Regional Sector Surveys on Aquaculture.

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