Brussels 17 July 2019/ACP: Presentation byDr. Patrick Gomes Secretary General of the ACP Group of States at the FAO High Level side-event on “Accelerating Progress on the SDGs through the Implementation of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Food Security and Nutrition in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)” during the High level Political Forum of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 15 July 2019, New York.

Your Excellency, Ms Lois Young, Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations

Excellency Mr. Tommy Remengesau Jr., President of the Republic of Palau
Excellency Ms Inga Rhonda King, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Mr. José Graziano da Silva – Director General of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States is proud of the substantial engagement we have had with the FAO in the implementation of the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway.
The Pathway logically, is a natural arena of engagement by the ACP Group on Agenda 2030 given the number of SIDS that account for a significant proportion of the membership.
Thirty-one of the 79 members of the ACP are drawn from the Caribbean and Pacific regions that we serve. In addition, six Island States of Africa bring us into the extensive space of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The ACP has an approach that is comprehensive and coherent, linking SDGs 1, 2, 3, and 5 to SDG14 for conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources. At the heart of which is a contribution to the Blue Economy. These activities are coherent with the overwhelming goal of SDG 13 on climate action.
In this comprehensive approach of the ACP linkages between food and nutrition, and Oceans – seas and marine resources have enormous potential for economic, social and cultural development, while taking into account the environmental aspects to ensure development that is equitable and sustainable.
Our efforts to contribute to “accelerating progress on SIDS through the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Food Security and Nutrition” have taken place at three levels – global, multilateral and trans-regional through the implementation of programmes co-managed with the European Development Fund (EDF) and primarily in collaboration with the FAO.
ACP-FAO Cooperation and strategic policy dialogue.
Some significant FAO-ACP activities have been undertaken with ACP countries, including SIDS, at the multi-lateral level and I would briefly refer to these.
The ACP Forum on Small Island Developing States with 35 Million Euros.
Since 2015, the ACP Forum on Small Island Developing States is implementing a “Support Programme for ACP SIDS and Coastal Countries” that addresses three areas, including:
Result 1: Capacity-building;
Result 2: Support to local efforts to assess, conserve, protect, manage and sustainably use marine and terrestrial biodiversity; and
Result 3: Developing and strengthening partnerships for environmental sustainability.
The total indicative budget for the programme is €35M from the 11th EDF Intra-ACP envelope and will be implemented over a period of six years.
The Programme will be implemented using ACP regional organizations including the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in the Pacific region.
In the Caribbean region, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will work closely with institutions such as universities, marine research institutes, NGOs, national institutions, local communities and other regional organizations to implement the Programme.
In the South-East African region, the University of Mauritius, and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) will be responsible for implementing the Programme.
Result 3 requires a coordination function through the establishment of a Brussels-based Programme Management Unit (PMU).
Another avenue for SIDS action consists of the
ACP Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) Programme (25 Million Euros)
The ACP MEAs programme is an ACP initiative funded by the European Union to the tune of 25 million euros. The FAO and UNEP are the global implementing partners. The programme brings together three regional hubs: The Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM, Caribbean Hub), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP, Pacific Hub), and the African Union Commission (AUC, Africa Hub). The overall objective is to enhance the capacity of ACP countries to implement the Multilateral Environmental Agreements, with the sound management of chemicals, and disposal of waste and obsolete pesticides.
The first phase of this programme focused on the elimination of obsolete pesticides, pesticide management and sustainable pest management, while targeting the implementation of MEAs related to Chemicals and Waste. The second phase continued to build upon the first, addressing the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).
During the second phase, FAO provided ACP countries with policy and technical guidance on mainstreaming biodiversity into agriculture. The programme also conducted a comparative analysis and revision of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and agricultural policies to identify gaps for agro-biodiversity mainstreaming.

For the upcoming third phase. the FAO component of the programme will focus on enhancing the mainstreaming of biodiversity and the sound management of chemicals in agriculture at global, regional and national levels. This will be achieved by creating a more enabling policy environment, strengthening capacities for policy implementation and facilitating changes in agricultural practices.
I turn now to another programme in which the FAO plays a leading role.
The Action against Desertification which included 2 ACP SIDS, Fiji and Haiti (20 million Euros to a total of 40 million Euros)
Since July 2014, the Action against Desertification (AAD) project – an ACP initiative implemented by FAO and partners with funding from the 10th EDF – has been focusing its efforts towards the restoration of drylands and degraded lands in eight countries, namely Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Fiji, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Haiti and the Gambia. It demonstrates South-South Cooperation in practice. The project supports the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative. Local communities are at the heart of the restoration activities, ensuring that the restored lands serve their needs in fodder and other products and services.
Effort is also put into building capacities of technicians and tree seed centres to mobilize quality seeds from native plant species, contributing to building resilience to climate change. To date, the AAD project has reached an estimated 700 000 people in low-income rural communities and restored approximately 53 000 ha of degraded agro-forested-pastoral lands, producing over 90 000 kg of quality seeds and planting some 25 million trees in just five years. This remarkable success is based on an innovative approach that puts people and local communities at the heart of restoration.
ACP Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme
Fourthly, the ACP Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme is a EUR 45 million, seven-year ACP initiative funded through the European Development Fund and implemented by a consortium of partners led by FAO, including the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the French Agricultural Research Centre (CIRAD) and the Wildlife conservation Society (WCS).
The programme aims to reduce unsustainable hunting practices, minimize wildmeat consumption to sustainable levels, protect endangered wildlife species and conserve biodiversity. In addition, it addresses the food security and nutrition concerns of rural and indigenous communities. This ACP multi-country initiative has among the Pilot projects three ACP SIDS – Guyana, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Another key programme in the pipeline that I would like to quickly mention is the FISH4 ACP Programme.
FISH4ACP Programme
The FISH4ACP programme (also called Blue Growth), an ACP initiative funded by the EDF and implemented by FAO, will play a crucial role in supporting the sustainable development of fisheries value chains and aquaculture in selected ACP countries, including the Small Island Developing States. The EUR 40 million programme financed through the 11th EDF is expected to be launched at the ACP Ministerial Fisheries Meeting, scheduled to take place on 12-13 September 2019 in Apia, Samoa.
The preceding remarks present the holistic framework in which the ACP continues and will continue to mobilise additional resources to the approximately more than Euro 100 million financing for SIDS and other ACP member states in collaboration with the FAO and other multilateral institutions to address food and security nutrition of the SDG 2.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
The modest contribution being made by the ACP Group of States to the implementation of the SDGs, has mainly been effective as a result of the deep and strong working relations with our Member States, collaboration with such organisations as the FAO and the substantial financial resources of the EDF.
The challenges remain serious but not insurmountable and by building on the success to date there is hope for greater achievements ahead.
I thank you