Tuesday, June 25 • 13:00 - 14:30
Can international voluntary instruments contribute towards more equitable governance of coasts and oceans? The case of the SSF Guidelines.

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Chaired by: Franz, N.

Linking the SSF Guidelines to global and regional processes
Nicole Franz
The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) have been endorsed by the FAO Committee on Fisheries in 2014, after a participatory development process. The participatory development process involved different partners, including governments, small-scale fisheries actors and their organizations, academia, regional organizations and others. It included the organization of a number of regional and national workshops to gather input for this new international instrument that provides a global framework for sustainable small-scale fisheries. This contribution will share insights on how this participatory process has contributed to embedding the SSF Guidelines in the strategies, policies and initiatives of a number of regional organizations. It will also explore the connection to the SSF Guidelines to global processes, in particular to the Sustainable Development Goals. The challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of an internationally agreed but voluntary instrument will be analysed in this context.

Remodeling Sri Lanka’s National Fisheries Policy: Incorporating SSF Guidelines for securing sustainable small scale fisheries
Oscar Amarasinghe
Sri Lanka Forum for Small Scale Fisheries (SLFSSF) embarked on a process to implement the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small Scale Fisheries in the context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (herein after referred to as the ‘Guidelines’) during July 2018 to May 2019, with assistance from International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), as part of FAO efforts towards Global Implementation of the Guidelines. Following the FAO Project Results Matrix, the SLFSSF adopted a methodology that included i. Sensitizing workshop for state actors; ii. Development of communication tools for community stakeholders; iii. Stakeholder meetings in various parts of the country where discussions were crried out on the relevance of the Guidelines; iv. Assessment of current fisheries policy to identify changes required in the context of incorporating the relevant Guidelines and finally, v. Policy workshop to discuss and agree on the revised National Fisheries Policy.
A number of very important issues which had not received much attention in the earlier policy processes emerged from the stakeholder discussions which were based on a diversity of themes that underlined the Guidelines. Among them, the need for cross sectoral collaboration and institutional coordination in coastal resources management, and the establishment of co-management platforms which are integrated, inclusive, participatory and holistic in nature were strongly emphasized. Protection of the legitimate tenure rights of fishers to land, water and fish resources, the need to demarcate the boundaries in the coastal zone, social protection through effective pension schemes, the need to ensure fair work conditions for fishers and fishworkers, reducing post-harvest losses, promoting fisheries insurance schemes through state-community partnerships, minimizing gender equalities through removal of wage discrepancies and higher representation of women in decision making platforms, providing communities with affordable access to basic social services, empowering community organisations and capacity building of state and community actors for participating in resource conservation and management decision making etc. formed the other important propositions which were to be incorporated into the national fisheries policy. While the whole process of SSF Guideline implementation went on smoothly as expected, one of the setbacks was the insufficient time given to community stakeholders to study the SSF guidelines. It was disclosed that there was a mismatch between National Plan of Action and National Policy Guidelines. It was thus proposed to continue with the SSF Guidelines implementation process further towards the preparation of a draft action plan based on the revised policy document.

Can academia support fisher movements in their effort to gain more political power in the sector?
Naseegh Jaffer

“[Academics] should enhance the capacity of small-scale fishing communities in order to enable them to participate in decision-making processes” - chapter 12 of the SSF Guidelines. 
I speak as a representative of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples representing some 10 million fisher peoples worldwide. I will argue that states, academia and other actors have failed to support fisher movements on their own terms and conditions. Some positive initiatives can be highlighted but considering the vast amounts of resources (including funding from governments and private foundations) used on development programmes and research on small-scale fisheries, we can conclude that only a tiny fraction of those resources are made available to movements themselves. If academics buy into the spirit of the SSF guidelines – with emphasis on ‘capacity development’ – we must explore how they can best contribute to the empowerment of fisher movements?


Tuesday June 25, 2019 13:00 - 14:30
REC A1.02 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam