As you may know I been working under contract with FAO in the development of a draft guidance on social responsibility in fish and aquaculture value chains… needless to say was a challenge since while it is an area of interest, is not an area of usual work for me. I took on the job based on the fact that I could bring in a specialist in the area who at the same time has been involved in fisheries for years: Katrina Nakamura.
The story on why FAO got into this starts in2016, during the 15th Session of the FAO Sub-Committee on Fish Trade (COFI-FT), in Agadir, FAO Member Countries highlighted the increasing concern about social and labor conditions in the industry.
In 2017, at the next session of COFI-FT in Busan, countries confirmed the significant importance and relevance of social sustainability issues in the fish value chain, in particular, the recognition and protection of human and labor rights at the national and international levels.
In 2018, during the 33rd Session of COFI, it was recommended that future guidance on social sustainability should be developed in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, including the industry and fish worker associations. During this session, it was also recognized the complexity of addressing social issues and the importance of collaborating with interested organizations and stakeholders to develop the guidance document in order to assist actors along the fish value chains, including small-scale fisheries.
In line with the mandate from the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) to promote social sustainability in fisheries and aquaculture value chains, a number of Dialogues will be organized over the coming months. In particular, the Dialogues will focus on the draft FAO guidance on social responsibility that was developed by Katrina and myself for presentation to the FAO Sub-Committee on Fish Trade (COFI:FT) in November 2019.
These Dialogues provide a great opportunity for FAO to present the draft guidance to stakeholders in the sector and for participants to provide feedback, comments, suggestions and inputs. Thus, concerns and gaps can be addressed, making the final document more inclusive and robust.
The document is now on line here and I encourage you to provide comments if you so inclined
The more inclusive and diverse the voices, the better the result… or so I hope!