Development Law Service Newsletter - Issue #2 of 2016

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In this issue:

  • Out of sight, out of mind? Pragmatic actions in international law to address receding shorelines and the disappearance of islands

  • Strengthening FLEGT and REDD+: Synergies in Côte d’Ivoire

  • Engagement between the formal and informal seed sector: a contribution to ending hunger and malnutrition

  • Resources for the development law specialist

Out of  sight out of mind? Pragmatic actions in international law to address receding shorelines and the disappearance of islands

Rising sea levels and the increased occurrence of natural catastrophes, as well as the associated damage they cause to peoples and countries have raised difficult questions. Would basepoints – from which the outer limits of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of a coastal or island State are measured – have to shift with a receding shoreline? Does an atoll State lose its marine jurisdictional areas, such as the EEZ, if the State disappears under rising sea levels? These questions are no longer academic; they are being asked by, in particular, the Small Island Developing States of the Pacific (Pacific SIDS), which are concretely affected by these natural phenomena.

A related question is what happens if an island State is submerged to the extent that it is uninhabitable but its citizens continue to consider themselves as belonging to a self-governing entity even if they live elsewhere? The issue is vital to determining the former island State’s ability to continue utilizing the natural resources that occur within its EEZ.

Other pertinent questions could be: are there non-physical short-term to long-term adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change and its effects? Is there a legal adaptation or mitigation response to climate change and sea level rise? Read more...

Strengthening FLEGT nad REDD+: Synergies in Côte d'Ivoire

Much like the rest of West Africa, Côte d'Ivoire has suffered severe deforestation over the past several decades, primarily due to unplanned expansion of agricultural activities, uncontrolled fires and logging for tropical wood. As a result, the country’s forest cover has shrunk from 12 million hectares in 1960 to 2.5 million hectares today. Because of the severe loss and degradation of forest resources and thanks to its determination to protect its natural resources, Côte d’Ivoire is currently participating in two of the main global initiatives for improving forest governance: the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) part of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan and the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative.


Engagement between the formal and informal seed sector: a contribution to ending hunger and malnutrition

In the context of ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture, Target 2.5 of Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, commits the international community, by 2020,

“to maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed”.

In this context, it is interesting to consider ongoing explorations of policy and legislative responses to this Target. Read more...

Resources for the Development Law Specialist

Risk Based Imported Food Control Manual: The FAO Manual on Risk Based Imported Food Control aims to assist authorities to improve the effectiveness of controls over imported food. It addresses different approaches to managing risks related to imported food and provides concrete illustrations of the various ways in which the standards established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission can be implemented.

Tools supporting the implementation of the VGGT: A number of new tools have been produced to support implementation of the VGGT, including: Responsible governance of tenure and the law: a guide for lawyers and other legal service providers; Legal assessments in Sierra Leone against the VGGT; and, a Legal Assessment Tool for gender-equitable land tenure.

Social protection and the law: Also of interest to the development law specialist is an analysis exploring the linkage between social protection and the right to food.

Food Security and Nutrition legislation: For those interested in laws on food security and nutrition (FSN), A comparative analysis of the FSN legislation in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua provides recommendations on how the right to food could be enshrined in national law. Read more...

More documents and publications may be found at the Legal Office section of the FAO website. They include legislative studies and legal papers, as well as other FAO publications to which the Development Law Service has contributed.

You can also find the latest entries in the FAOLEX database of national laws, regulations and policies on food, agriculture and natural resources management, at: http://faolex.fao.org/faolex/latestentries.html