SCELG Members Prof Elisa Morgera and Julia Nakamura participate and present in a Virtual Training Workshop on Small-Scale Fisheries’ policy and legal issues

Apr 2021 — From 12 to 15 April 2021, a virtual training workshop concerning policy and legal issues of small-scale fisheries (SSF), with representatives from Ghana, Namibia and South Africa, was held as part of a collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the One Ocean Hub (OOH). SCELG members Prof. Elisa Morgera (OOH’s director) and Julia Nakamura (FAO’s legal consultant) participated in the organization and delivery of this workshop, in which they acted as both speakers and facilitators in various discussion sessions. The workshop focused on testing the use of the SSF Policy and Legal Diagnostic Tool, which advances the implementation of FAO’s SSF Guidelines in national policy and legal frameworks, and complements the SSF Legislative Guide. This tool was initially drafted by Julia and it is based on previous works that she has been involved in with FAO’s Development Law Service (see here and here). It was also tested in a previous training workshop with representatives from Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. 

In this virtual training workshop, Julia introduced the SSF Policy and Legal Diagnostic Tool, explaining how to use it and its importance in facilitating the identification of existing national policy and legislation particularly relevant for protecting small-scale fishers’ rights and adequately securing their duties, according to the SSF Guidelines and applicable international human rights standards. Prof Morgera presented on the international legal framework for SSF, emphasizing the inter-relations among instruments protecting small-scale fishers’ human rights and the environmental sustainability of fisheries. She underscored the importance of defining SSF at the national level and enshrining in national legislation three safeguards with respect to (i) free, prior informed consent, and consultation, (ii) environmental, socio-cultural impact assessments, and (iii) fair and equitable benefit-sharing. Elisa and Julia also engaged in the practical group exercises, respectively with the Namibia and the South Africa’s groups. 

Following up on this workshop, the SSF Policy and Legal Diagnostic Tool has been revised in collaboration with the OOH and will be soon published by FAO. In addition, FAO and the OOH are co-developing two e-learning courses to support the use of the Diagnostic Tool and raise awareness about the human rights of small-scale fishers and their communities. 

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