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Statement on the FAO’s intensified aquaculture program and the fisheries sector

Excerpt from the speech of Ms. Ravadee Prasertcharoensuk, Director, Sustainable Development Foundation- Thailand

We express our deep concern over FAO's intensified aquaculture program. Based on experience, despite high productivity of fish products, we have lost thousands of small family farms, making millions of fishermen and fish workers get into vicious debt or lose their farm lands to investors. Small-scale fish farming aimed to ensure food security and nutrition. However, poor management and inappropriate technology forced the sector to instead engage with the private sector.

Over a period of time, these activities are now under corporate control through heavy investment in industrial aquaculture, in marine and fresh water in countries such as Thailand and the other Asian countries. This exert serious negative impacts on the aquatic environment, biodiversity, public health, food security, local communities, artisanal fishing access and user rights, and on the health of workers employed in the sector. This is confirmed by fisher networks in Asia and other continents.

APRN Celebrates 15 years of research for the people during the WTO MC9

APRN Secretariat

The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) celebrated its 15th year of doing research for and with the people’s movements through a series of activities at the People’s Global Camp (PGC) against the World Trade Organization in Bali, Indonesia. The PGC is a counterpoint to the WTO MC9 which ran from December 3 to 7.

APRN Public Forum on the People’s Trade Agenda

On December 4, the network conducted the Public Forum on the People’s Trade Agenda wherein CSOs explored alternative frameworks to neoliberal trade such as Development Justice and the Bandung Principles as well as the already operating alternatives such as Fair Trade and the Bolivarian Alternative for the Latin Americas (ALBA). Kate Lappin of the Asia Pacific Women in Law and Development (APWLD) discussed the five foundational shifts of Development Justice, which are: (a) redistributive justice; (b) economic justice; (c) social justice; (d) environmental justice, and; (e) accountability to peoples. As an alternative development framework, Development Justice envisions a new trade and financial architecture that will ensure that poor countries own their development strategies and meet their needs.  Sonny Africa of IBON Foundation elaborated on the Bandung Principles of 1955 and their relevance to the current struggles for alternatives to neoliberal trade. Africa highlighted the Bandung’s emphasis on the decolonization of developing countries and south-south cooperation as processes that will ensure that economic development of poor countries. Patricia Ranald of Australia Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) elaborated on the principles of people to people Fair Trade and the ALBA as among the existing and operational systems that apply the principles of fair trade at the international level.

“WTO Bali Package delivers on corporate agenda, jeopardizes people’s development”-APRN

BALI, Indonesia—After more than a year of negotiations and a series of marathon meetings at the WTO MC9, 159 member countries have finally come to an 11th-hour agreement signing the unfair, pro-corporate Bali Package. India settled for the 4-year peace clause on its agriculture proposal. However, this peace clause will protect only developing countries which already have their own food security programs, leaving out poor countries which do not have their own programs yet. Meanwhile Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador withdrew their protest in exchange for the compromise wording with the US to deal with the embargo.

The lion’s share of the projected $1 trillion increase in the GDP as a result of the implementation of the Bali Package will largely go to developed countries and their transnational corporations (TNCs), leaving crumbs to the working people of the rest of the world. The cheaper cost of trade as a result of trade facilitation will be true only for developed countries whose own customs and port facilities are already developed and whose economies can produce large scale. The package will require developing countries to implement expensive customs-modernization programs without consideration to their local capacity and needs, or else, face sanctions by imposed by the WTO though its dispute settlement mechanism.  The import-facilitating character of the Trade Facilitation will cancel out any gains made by developing countries from the much contentious G33 proposal on agriculture and the LDC proposal which remains non-binding. The flood of imports from developed countries will further weaken the developing countries’ economies and increase displacement among home-grown businesses, local farmers and workers.

Statement of the APRN Public Forum on the People’s Trade Agenda

Asia Pacific Research Network

December 4, 2013

APRN Public Forum on People's Trade Agenda

BALI, Indonesia-- Until today, the WTO remains as one of the most important mechanisms of the global monopoly capital in advancing neoliberal trade. After almost two decades since its establishment, the WTO’s legacy is the plunder of the world’s resources by rich countries and their corporations through unequal trade agreements that enabled them to capture the markets of poor countries, access cheap raw materials and exploit neocolonial labor. Poor countries were made to lower or completely remove protective barriers such as tariffs, import bans, quotas, and other restrictions particularly on agriculture, services, and industrial goods. While hammering for the further opening of economies, developed countries fiercely protected their own through pushing for trade agreements on intellectual property and phytosanitary measures and also by implementing high domestic subsidies for their products.

SAVE THE DATES! APRN at the People's Global Camp, December 3 to 6, 2013 Bali, Indonesia

APRN invites you to attend its activities at the People's Global Camp in Bali, Indonesia. The network will hold its Public Forum on People's Trade Agenda on December 4, 2013 from 1:30 to 5:30 pm, and two public exhibits to commemorate its history and key achievements for the past 15 years. For more information, please contact Marjorie Pamintuan at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

APRN celebrates 15 years of research for the people

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