Vol. 4 Issue No.2 Third Qtr 2011
Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
|BFAR Director Asis G.Perez (4th from the L) joins other ASEAN Fisheries Ministries during the Ministerial Meeting of the Conference|
The Ministerial Session for the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on the Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security Towards 2020 "Fish for the People 2020: Adaptation to a Changing Environment" was held in Bangkok on 17 June 2011 under the chairmanship of H.E. Theera Wongsamut, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand.
The Ministers recognized the importance of fisheries sector in ASEAN and the major role it plays in the three ASEAN Communities – Political Security, Economic and Socio-cultural. They also recognized the sector's role in contributing to national development, food security, sustainable development and the improvement of livelihoods, as well as its important contribution towards the realization of an integrated ASEAN Community and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the improved cooperation and progress made by the Member States in the implementation of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Resolution and Plan of action on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region that was adopted by the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Ministers responsible for fisheries during the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on the Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the New Millennium "Fish for the People" on 24 November 2001.
The Ministers recognized the emerging challenges and changing environment facing the fisheries sector, particularly the degraded status of fisheries resources and their associated habitats, rapid changes in trade market measures, and the potential adverse impacts of the changing environment brought by climate change, among others. These challenges require closer cooperation and innovative interventions to enhance the adaptive capacity of the sector in the context of the ASEAN Community Building and beyond.
|Philippine contigent to the "Fish for the People 2020" Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.|
The Ministers emphasized the importance of the "Fish for the People 2020: Adaptation to a Changing Environment" Conference and the Ministerial Meeting as a venue for fostering dialogue on the fisheries issues at the ASEAN-SEAFDEC ministerial level with the aim of promoting and enhancing cooperation towards achieving sustainable fisheries for food security and improving livelihoods and well-being of the ASEAN-people, in the context of a changing environment in the coming decade.
The Ministers, in recognizing the importance of the event commended the collaboration between ASEAN and SEAFDEC for making the Conference a success under the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Partnership (ASSP) and for providing a cooperative platform between ASEAN and SEAFDEC to achieve the long-term common goals toward sustainable fisheries development.
During the Conference, issues and concerns on the current fisheries situation as well as emerging issues that could impede sustainable development and hinder the contribution of the fisheries to food security were discussed. The technical session of the Conference considered issues related to: enhancing governance in fisheries management; sustainable aquaculture development; an ecosystem approach to fisheries; post-harvest and safety of fish and fisheries products; emerging requirements for trade in fish and fisheries products; climate change adaptation and mitigation; livelihoods of fishing communities; prospects of employment in fisheries-related activities; and sustaining food supply from inland fisheries.
The Ministers expressed their appreciation for the assistance and support given by the various international and regional organizations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as well as the technical experts from within and outside the region for their contribution to the series of preparatory works that led to the successful Conference. Special gratitude was extended to the ASEAN Foundation, the Government of Japan and USAID for their generous financial support.
Having the considered conclusions and technical recommendations developed through a series of national and regional preparatory processes for the Conference, technical sessions, public/private sector dialogues, and Senior Officials Meetings, together with the result of the deliberations during the Ministerial Session on 17 June 2011, the Ministers agreed to adopt the Resolution on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region Towards 2020 on 17 June 2011. The Resolution will be implemented through individual and collective efforts among ASEAN-SEAFDEC Members States, in order to promote sustainable fisheries for food security in the region.
The Ministers welcomed the endorsement of the Plan of Action on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region Towards 2020 during the Senior Officials Meeting on 16 June 2011 that will support the implementation of the Resolution. The Plan of Action will serve as a framework for formulating the and implementing programs, projects and activities through appropriate mechanism at both the national and regional levels, including increased regional cooperation through the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Mechanism.
The Ministers expressed their appreciation to Japan for continuing its support for the sustainable fisheries development of the region that has occurred since the establishment of SEAFDEC in 1967, and the generous support to ASEAN under the "ASEAN-Japan Partnership for New Growth in Asia" in implementing Roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009-2015.
The Ministers also expressed appreciation to Japan, China and Republic of Korea for the policies and cooperation dialogue towards promoting sustainable fisheries and food security in the ASEAN Regions, particularly in the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, including the special support expressed during the Senior Official Plus Three Meeting on 16 June 2011.
To ensure the successful implementation of the Resolution and Plan of Action, the Ministers tasked the Senior Officials and ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) and develop supporting programmers and initiatives in consultation with the relevant ASEAN stakeholders (e.g. Private Sector, Civil society Organizations (CSO), and Academic Institutions) and in cooperation and partnership with Dialogue Partners (e.g. Australia, ASEAN Plus Three, United States of America (USA), European Union (EU)), and Development Partners (e.g. Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO), Mekong River Commission (MRC), the World Fish Center, Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific (NACA), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Bank).
The Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and the people of Thailand, especially the Department of Fisheries of Thailand, for hosting the Conference, for the warm hospitality and for the excellent arrangements of the Conference. The Ministers thanked the ASEAN Secretariat and the SEAFDEC for the assistance rendered to them.