Notice : 4ssf Conference
Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries
A global conference on small-scale fisheries that will highlight responsible fisheries
and social development will be held 13-17 October 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand
This Notice is based on the brochure prepared by the organizers of the 4SSF Conference
It is widely recognized that small-scale fisheries (SSF) have the potential to significantly contribute to sustainable development, in particular with respect to such key issues as poverty reduction, food and livelihood security, balanced nutrition, wealth creation, foreign exchange earnings and coastal-rural development. The important role of SSF in equitable and inclusive development and attaining the millennium development goals (MDGs) has received growing attention in national, regional and international forums by governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, private sector groups and civil society organizations.
There are, however, a number of significant impediments to SSF realizing their full potential. Small-scale fishers often face precarious and vulnerable living and working conditions because of insecure rights to land and fishery resources, inadequate or absent health and educational services and social safety nets, and exclusion from wider development processes due to weak organizational structures and representation and participation in decision-making.
At its 27th Session in Rome, 5-9 March 2007, the Committee on Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) expressed its support for a strategy of action aimed at bringing together responsible fisheries with social development to strengthen capacity and incentives of fisherfolk to invest in defending their fishing rights, based on a number of principles including the consideration of the rights of present and future generations.
Scope, Focus and Objectives
The 4SSF Conference will have a broad scope allowing for the discussion of a wide range of issues including, inter alia, wider social and economic development and human-rights issues, governance, fisheries policy processes and systems, fisheries management approaches, and market access aspects and means of increasing post-harvest benefits. A special focus of the conference, however, will be on the issue of securing access and user rights by small-scale fishers, indigenous peoples, and fishing communities to coastal and fishery resources that sustain their livelihoods.
Within each of three broad themes, the Conference will address various sub-themes as follows:
The Conference will aim at generating the following outputs:
The subject matter and focus of the Conference is of particular importance to developing countries and stakeholders from directly concerned countries are encouraged to participate. Since management issues as well as valuable experience from different systems and approaches exist also in industrialized countries, those concerned with SSF in the North and sub-tropics are also encouraged to participate.
The organizers look forward to the participation of fishworkers, fisheries managers, social scientists, government officials, representatives of professional associations, NGOs and other civil society organizations, the private sector, and international and regional development partners and agencies.
Given the important role of women in the SSF sector, the organizers will ensure their presence and as wide as possible participation in the conference. Since the issues to be discussed combine social development and fisheries management, officials, professionals and representatives dealing with bothor one or the otherof the two issues are invited to participate. Representation from the local community level is sought.
The programme of the conference is divided into plenary sessions and concurrent working group sessions. During plenary sessions, simultaneous interpretation will be available for English, French and Spanish. Working group sessions will be facilitated to generate inputs from all participants on an equal basis, and their summarized outputs will be reported to the plenary. While working groups will work primarily in English, French or Spanish, arrangements will be made to overcome language barriers through interpretation arrangements.
Conference Partners and Supporters
The Conference is co-organized by FAO and the Royal Government of Thailand. It is convened in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC) and The WorldFish Centre.
To date, expressions of willingness to support the Conference have been received from the Canadian International Development Agency, Government of Norway, German Technical Co-operation Agency (GTZ), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), The World Conservation Union (IUCN), and the World Bank’s PROFISH Program.
For further information and registration, please visit the conference website at www.4ssf.org
4SSF Conference website
ICSF’s rights website