Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Word Forum of Fisher Peoples - WFFP 

World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP)
Forum Mondial des Populations de Pêcheurs
Foro Mundial Comunidades Pesqueras

Founded 21st November 1997 at New Delhi, India.

Aims : Protect, defend and strengthen the communities that depend on the fishery for their livelihood. Represent the small scale, artisanal fishers interest at the international level and play the role of global political organ of the same communities.OBJECTIVES The objectives of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) are:a) To protect, defend and strengthen the communities that depend on the fishery for their livelihood.b) To assist member organizations to secure and improve upon the economic viability and quality of life of Fisher Peoples and their communities.c) To recognize, support and enhance the role of women in the social, economic, political and cultural life of the fishing community.d) To create an understanding of the resource as a common heritage of humanity and, through sustainable fishing practices, conservation, and regeneration of the marine and inland resources and ecosystems, to ensure that it is passed on to future generations.e) To protect fishing communities, fish resources and fish habitats, such as coastal zones, watersheds and mangroves, from land-based, sea-based and air-based threats. These include displacement by tourism, pollution (including the use of the sea as a dumping ground for toxic waste), destructive industrial aquaculture, over-fishing and destructive fishing practices.f) To establish and assert the rights of fishing communities to their customary territories in the coastal zone under their national jurisdiction for fishing and habitation.g) To promote a legal regime that will ensure the traditional and customary rights of fishing communities to the fishery under their national jurisdiction.h) To promote the primary role of fisher-peoples’ organizations in managing fisheries and oceans, nationally and internationally.i) To protect food security, both locally and worldwide, by sustaining fish stocks for the future, and by preserving fish for human consumption.j) To promote equitable representation of fisher-peoples’ organizations in all relevant regional and international fora and advocate their recognition.k) To play an active role to ensure that states and transnational corporations comply with relevant international agreements and to oppose any trade agreements that threaten the livelihood of fishers.l) To prevent the export of resource collapse crises and of technologies and practices that lead to these crises.m) To provide support for national and international struggles that are consistent with the objectives of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP).n) To encourage, assist and support Fisher Peoples to organize themselves where they have not already done so.o) To promote the right of Fisher Peoples to social security, safe working conditions, fair income and safety at sea, as well as their recognition as seafarers.p) To improve the communication between Fisher Peoples and the scientific community through the exchange of knowledge and science.q) To acknowledge and enhance the unique culture of fishing communities.r) To restore our access to the rights and powers originally granted to us in thecharter of the United Nations.

The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) is an autonomous and self-organised global platform of small-scale food producers and rural workers organizations and grass root/community based social movements to advance the Food Sovereignty agenda at the global and regional level.

More than 800 organizations and 300 millions of small-scale food producers self organize themselves through the IPC, sharing the Food Sovereignty principles as outlined in the Nyeleni 2007 Declaration* (paragraph) + 6 pillars of the synthesis report IPC facilitates dialogue and debate among actors from civil society, governments and others actors the field of Food Security and Nutrition, creating a space of discussion autonomous from political parties, institutions, governments and private sector.

The legitimacy of IPC is based on the ability to voice the concerns and struggles that a wide variety of civil society organizations and social movements face in their daily practice of advocacy at local, sub-national, regional and global levels. All the positions or joint policy initiatives must be signed by the individual organizations, and each participant can only speak on behalf of its own organization, and not as a representative of a sector, geographic area or representing the network as a whole. 

The impetus to form an international network grew out of a desire to make the connection between human rights and social justice and to create new pathways for greater global action.
The Creation of ESCR-Net  
People in all societies have struggled to realize economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), and advocates are increasingly making an explicit link between human rights and economic and social justice.  Governments, international financial institutions, regional human rights systems and the UN system, as a whole, have begun to recognize the importance of ESCR.  The challenge is to translate this renewed interest into meaningful advances for people struggling against poverty and inequality. 

The impetus to form an international network grew out of a desire to make the connection between human rights and social justice and to create new pathways for greater global action. ESCR-Net was designed as a decentralized structure that complements and strengthens, rather than replicates, the efforts of organizations working at the national or grassroots level by allowing them to build bridges across regions, disciplines and approaches.
In 2000, leading ESCR activists from key human rights organizations in the Americas, Africa and Asia came together to develop an international network for the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights. There was a shared recognition of both the need and the opportunity to: 
  • link the work of diverse social justice advocates within a common framework of universally-recognized values and rights
  • strengthen ongoing mobilizing efforts by communities in defending their rights and
  • help them become part of a larger movement based on common norms and goals  
  • demand accountability for economic injustice from state and non-state decision-makers.  
A decentralized outreach process through regional focal points identified a broad range of ESCR groups, social movements and activists throughout the world and engaged them in the development of the Network.  

The process culminated in a founding General Assembly and the Inaugural ESCR-Net Conference, Creating New Paths towards Social Justice, held in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2003.  Over 250 human rights activists from 50 different countries came together to launch the Network and to elect the first ESCR-Net Board.

Non-Profit, Non-Governmental Organization Status
As an international human rights network, ESCR-Net has not incorporated as an NGO or sought independent non-profit status in any particular country.  For the operations of its Secretariat, currently based in New York City, ESCR-Net became a project of The Tides Center (www.tidescenter.org), a nonprofit public charity exempt from federal income tax under Sections 501 (c) 3 and 509 (a) 1of the Internal Revenue Code, in September 2004. 

Family farming includes all family-based agricultural activities, and it is linked to several areas of rural development. Family farming is a means of organizing agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production which is managed and operated by a family and predominantly reliant on family labour, including both women’s and men’s.

Both in developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector.

At national level, there are a number of factors that are key for a successful development of family farming, such as: agro-ecological conditions and territorial characteristics; policy environment; access to markets; access to land and natural resources; access to technology and extension services; access to finance; demographic, economic and socio-cultural conditions; availability of specialized education among others.

Family farming has an important socio-economic, environmental and cultural role.

The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.The goal of the 2014 IYFF is to reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development.  The 2014 IYFF will promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders and help identify efficient ways to support family farmers.

Regional Networks

Alliance For Release of Innocent Fishermen - ARIF
Attended the issues related to the arrested Fishers in Foreign Countries with networking of other countries (Related News)

Food Sovereignty
PAN AP through its Food Sovereignty and Ecological Agriculture Programme has concretized Food Sovereignty, as a concept and framework over the last four years. In 2004, PAN AP together with more than 500 partner organisations were able to make Food Sovereignty popularized in the region through the People's Caravan on Food Sovereignty that mobilized more than a million people in 16 countries, where simultaneous activities were held over 30 days. Food sovereignty advocates at national, regional and international levels have echoed this call. We have also been involved in the documentation of the impact of climate change and adaptation strategies of communities to weather the climate crisis. The promotion of biodiversity-based ecological agriculture, through farmer's exchanges, study tours, training, workshops and the production of resource materials is a crucial aspect of our work.
Through the years, PAN AP and its partners have contributed to the struggle against land grabbing by working with communities to build their capacity to resist land grabbing. These include training on documentation of land grabbing and actual documentation of cases. Fact Finding Missions and international campaigns are part of our continued support for small food producers in their struggles for land and sustainable livelihoods. PAN AP has also developed popular materials such as short films and posters on land grabbing with the hope of reaching a broader audience. At the international level, PAN AP has been involved in various platforms and processes such as the FAO Committee on Food Security to bring the voices of marginalized communities to United Nation bodies.
Highly Hazardous Pesticides
PAN AP's work on pesticides continued to be the leading force in the Asia Pacific region. Its Community-based Pesticide Action Monitoring (CPAM) empowered communities to assert their right to health and sustainable environment. Based on participatory action research, CPAM helps communities to document the adverse impacts of pesticides, raise awareness and motivate them to adopt ecologically sound and sustainable agricultural practices. Furthermore, it prompts them to pressure governments and campaign for better pesticide regulation and implementation of international conventions on pesticides.
Together with community organisations, PAN AP has been at the forefront in raising general public awareness on the hazards of pesticides, banning or strictly regulating the use of highly toxic pesticides at the national level including plantations and industry stakeholders and ensuring stronger policies on pesticide reduction and elimination and the promotion of agroecology or non-chemical alternatives. PAN AP has published factsheets, monographs, books, and other campaign tools to advance these efforts. Through policy advocacy, PAN AP has been playing a major role in international bodies that regulate the production and trade of highly hazardous pesticides. Our biggest victory was the listing of endosulfan in both the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions. We continue to advocate for non-chemical alternatives particularly the implementation of biodiversity-based ecological agriculture.
Women in Agriculture
Meanwhile, the Women in Agriculture programme has been facilitating a process for rural women from different sectors to come together, share experiences, deepen analysis and strategise for action to strengthen the rural women's movement. We facilitated the establishment of the Asian Rural Women's Coalition (ARWC) in 2008 (where PAN AP is the Secretariat) to gain rural women's visibility through different strategies, from support to local women's actions such as online campaigns in support of women's land struggles, to regional campaigns and international policy lobbying.
This initiative has also been focusing on the documentation of women's successes in their struggles for land and productive resources and for biodiversity-based ecological agriculture. In the last two years, we have been concentrating on a series of training on rural women's leadership capacities in food sovereignty and security. Rural women who have participated have been energized and inspired to share their experiences and learnings with their communities and other women, and provide leadership themselves in their local campaign work. This has also spearheaded the participation and interventions of rural women at the international policy level.
In 2012, we organised the Honouring 100 Women to acknowledge rural women's leadership and commitment in pushing for justice, freedom and gender equality. Their stories inspired other women to empower themselves.
Save Our Rice
On the campaign front, PAN AP's "Save Our Rice" Campaign is the only regional rice campaign in Asia Pacific. It has given rice issues a regional platform, perspective and vigor. From a handful of partners in 2003 when it was launched, the Campaign's network has grown to a few hundred organisations in 16 countries with the Rice Advisory Council now consisting of representatives from 34 organisations. It has been highly successful and impactful in addressing the threats to rice and promoting the Five Pillars of Rice Wisdom. Most notably, in 2007, it launched the Week of Rice Action (WORA) which was a massive mobilisation of over a million people who endorsed "The People's Statement on Saving the Rice of Asia". It was followed by the YORA or Year of Rice Action (2009-2010) and now known as the CORA - collective rice action - which have been impactful in reaching out to all sectors of the public and building awareness on the threats to rice.
The effects of the Green Revolution, spearheaded by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), has accelerated the process of erosion of locally adapted rice cultivation and introduced High Input Varieties (HIV) rice that is susceptible to diseases and pests, and requires more pesticide inputs. IRRI now support the research on GE rice such as Golden Rice and Bt rice, that harms Asia's rice heritage. The Rice Campaign is continuing to build awareness on the negative impacts of GE rice/crops and getting policy-makers and the public to oppose genetically engineered (GE) rice.
Permanent People's Tribunal on Agrochemical TNCs
Working on behalf of PAN International, PAN AP helped to organize the Permanent People's Tribunal on Agrochemical TNCs where we charged six agrochemical TNCs on violations of human rights. A global jury of the PPT found these corporations guilty of violating the rights of people and causing environmental devastation.
Meanwhile, the network has been strengthened due to the outreach and activities of the various programmes and through its policy advocacy and campaigning. It has built strong partnerships with organisations of rural women, peasants, agricultural workers, indigenous communities and consumers and these are our greatest strength and most powerful resource - the network of people's organizations, particularly of marginalized communities that also represent diverse movements. PAN AP now comprises 108 network partners in the region and has links with about 400 other civil society and grassroots organizations at the regional and global levels.
True to our commitment to work with the people, PAN AP has contributed to the formation of important grassroots alliances and networks in the region: People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), Asian Peasants Coalition (APC), Coalition of Agricultural Workers International (CAWI) and the Asian Rural Women's Coalition (ARWC).
21 Years of Advancing Food Sovereignty, Gender Justice and Environmental Sustainability

APWLD developed from dialogues among Asia Pacific women lawyers, social scientists and activists, which began at the 1985 Third World Forum on Women, held in Nairobi, Kenya. The women participating in the dialogues recognised that while law is used as an instrument of state control over resources, rights and even women’s bodies, it can also be used to help effect political and socio-economic changes in our societies.
Participants in these dialogues recognised that gaining the capacity to mobilise populations to understand the social, economic and political dimensions of women’s oppression and take collective action for change required a clear focus and strong organisation. In 1986, women-delegates from across Asia met in Tagaytay, Philippines to discuss the most pressing socio-legal issues facing women and to explore possible areas of collaborative action. The outcome of this meeting was the formation of APWLD, the first regional response to the challenges of Nairobi.
In 1986, women lawyers and other activists in the region formally launched APWLD and set up a secretariat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Secretariat relocated to Chiangmai, Thailand in October 1997.

South Asia is home to above 1.65 billion people that comprise about 24% of world’s 6.99 billion populations. South Asia region has a wide diversity of cultures, languages, religions and social structures, which are severely affected by poverty. Despite several decades of planned development efforts targeted towards poverty reduction, almost all countries of South Asia have been experiencing poverty, exclusion and denial since long. Even the conventional poverty estimates show that, compared to almost one quarter of world population living in South Asia, half of the poor reside in this region. Out of eight countries, four (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal) are in the category of least developed countries (LDCs) in South Asia. Conflicts in different forms and manifestations —mainly rooted in denial, discrimination, exclusion, deprivation and marginalisation— are frequently faced by South Asian societies. The region has also been characterised by the unjust distribution of productive resources, resulting in deep rooted inequality, conflict, destitution and systematic marginalisation. This unequal distribution of resources is encountered by various communities within the region.
Against the backdrop of rising poverty and escalating human rights abuses, various civil society actors from across the region, together with representatives of civil society organisations from Europe convened a consultation in 2000 AD in Manesar, India to discuss the problems facing the region and to come up with possible solutions. About 200 participants, comprising journalists, academics, trade unionists, human rights activists, NGOs and other civil society actors agreed to form an alliance to fight against poverty and injustice in South Asia. This led to the creation of the SAAPE. It was formalised later at the South Asia Civil Society Network meeting on poverty eradication in Kathmandu in December 2001.
Priority themes
SAAPE’s main focus is poverty eradication through policy research, advocacy, lobbying and campaign works on five key themes, which are priority concerns for civil society in all countries of the region. Since SAAPE’s inception, it is continuously working in five major thematic areas, which are: 
  • Food sovereignty, livelihoods, climate change and employment, 
  • Peace, justice and demilitarization, 
  • Gender justice, 
  • Labour rights and economic/financial crisis, 
  • Democracy and just governance. 
From 2012, SAAPE members are focusing on food sovereignty, gender justice and demilitarization, democratisation and social justice issues in South Asia.
SAAPE envisions just societies that enjoy all human rights and freedoms, giving dignity to individuals.
SAAPE's mission is to intervene on the issues of poverty and exclusion thereby contributing for eradicating poverty and injustices, rejecting the neo- liberal development models and striving for sustainable alternatives that are pro-poor people of South Asia. 
  • Expanding membership constituency of SAAPE, building capacity and confidence of civil society aimed at improved access of poor, excluded, and vulnerable people in South Asia to political, social and economic governance structures of all levels and fighting against poverty and anti-people policies at national as well as regional levels;
  • Analysing the situations and problems for raising awareness, developing issue based advocacy, lobby and campaign;
  • Building solidarity and shared civil society vision for the region. Bringing together civil society groups across South Asia in a platform to jointly discuss strategies and take action to contribute towards poverty eradication; 
  • Enabling groups of poor and excluded to identify their own sustainable solutions locally and bringing alternatives to the regional level; 
  • Working as a pressure group on governments, SAARC, the European Union and other multilateral bodies active in the region with lobby and campaign activities, advocating for pro-poor policies and programmes from a regional perspective; and
  • Developing and promoting alternative policies that are conducive for the elimination of poverty and promotion of sustainable livelihoods. 
SAAPE’s two pronged approach
  1. Develop research to support advocacy and lobbying activities aimed at regional and national level decision-makers of the South highlighting the concerns and perspectives of marginalized groups and advocate pro-poor policies. And consolidate their struggles and experiences to influence the international players, particularly of the North.
  2. Build capacity and understanding amongst members’ constituencies to empower them to participate in development processes on their own term and implement their own solutions.
SAAPE is the only network focusing on poverty eradication in a holistic way in the region. It brings together existing like-minded networks to strengthen and build on their work; to make explicit the links between different issues that impact on poverty; and to link and bring a regional understanding to national level campaigns. 

Borne of the women's continued resistance against imperialist globalization was the Asian Rural Women's Regional Consultation held in the Philippines in 2007 (of 52 Asian women from 14 countries) followed by the Asian Rural Women's Conference in 2008 held in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, India. The 2008 conference forged unity among the 700 rural women leaders, national women's groups, regional networks representing peasants, agricultural workers, indigenous women, Dalit women, workers and migrants from around 21 countries in Asia and the Pacific. These processes paved the way in the formation of the Asian Rural Women's Coalition (ARWC) in March 2008.

From then to present, ARWC had immensely contributed in putting forward the struggle for rights and interests of rural women in Asia, through supporting initiatives of Asian women within their countries (supporting advocacy work and local/national consultations, eg the State-level Conference of Dalit Women in India; GABRIELA's national-level consultations); sharing information at the regional and international levels thru the ARWC list serve; and linking struggles of Asian rural women including active participation in regional and international fora, conferences and formations (recently, the formation of the International Women's Alliance). In July 2010, ARWC co-sponsored the Conference on Women Resisting Crisis and War: A conference on the impacts and women's responses to the economic and climate crises and war of the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN). In August 2010, ARWC also became active during the Montreal International Women's Conference. ARWC is also engaged in the international policy advocacy work through the Civil Society Forum of the FAO's Committee on Food Security and developing the CSO's Guideline on Land and Natural Resources Tenure for the FAO.

      The vision of this network is hunger free South Asia and the mission is effectual policy advocacy, case work and campaigns for attainment of the above vision. Taken as a whole the objective of the network is to strengthen the food sovereignty network in South Asia that will proactively intervene and interact with various actors for promotion of food security in South Asia.

Individual Organizations-International


A society based on egalitarian principles and food sovereignty.
Ending socio-economic exploitation by enabling people to claim and exercise their democratic rights through social movements and participation in democratic decision-making.

       The Institute for Motivating Self Employment (IMSE) started its journey in 1973, being founded by a group of radical students and youth, led by Mr. Biplab Halim, the executive director of the organisation. 

Since its inception, IMSE has been trying to organise those living on the margins of society and create awareness among them so that they can raise a collective voice for a better society, free from exploitation.

 International Collective of Support of Workers - ICSF - India and Brussels

International Collective of support of Fish Workers(ICSF) – India and Brussels

The main aims of ICSF are to

  • monitor issues that relate to the life, livelihood and living conditions of fishworkers around the world;
  • disseminate information on these issues, particularly amongst fisherfolk;
  • prepare guidelines for policymakers that stress fisheries development and management of a just,participatory and sustainable nature; and.
  • help create the space and momentum for the development of alternatives in the small-scale fisheries sector.

ICSF's Vision
A future in which fishing communities and fishworkers lead a life of dignity, realizing their right to life and livelihood, and organizing to foster democracy, equity, sustainable development, and responsible use of natural resources.
Within a global perspective, ICSF’s work is focused on countries of the South.
ICSF’s mission is “to support fishing communities and fishworker organizations, and empower them to participate in fisheries from a perspective of decent work, equity, gender-justice, self-reliance and sustainability”.
As a support organization, ICSF is committed to influence national, regional and international decision-making processes in fisheries so that the importance of small-scale fisheries, fishworkers and fishing communities is duly recognized. In this endeavour, ICSF works in collaboration with organizations of fishworkers and other like-minded groups.

South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies - SIFFS - India

     Producer control over fish marketing and inputs (basically to liberate fishermen from the clutches of middlemen, merchants and money lenders.

Producer control over fish marketing and inputs (basically to liberate fishermen from the clutches of middlemen, merchants and money lenders)
 Livelihood protection and enhancement using appropriate technology.
 Policy research and advocacy to support to interests of artisanal fishermen.
 Resource Management to ensure sustainable livelihoods in fishing.
Alternative employment and strengthening of womens livelihoods to diversify the economic base of the community and ensure its all round development.

LIKAS- Philippines
Ø  Asian Health Institute(AHI)- Japan
Ø  PAMALAKAYA- Philippines
Ø  Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum, Pakistan,
Ø  National Fish Workers Forum, NFF-India.
Ø  AGAMAR- Spain,
Ø  All Nepal Peasant Federation, Nepal

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