Rome -- The Prime Minister of the Republic of Cabo Verde, José Maria Pereira Neves, underlined the critical importance of sustainable marine resource management as he visited FAO headquarters in Rome today.
“Cabo Verde is a country with more sea than land and good sustainable management of our marine sector is crucial for our future, for the planet, and as a strategic pillar for sustainable development in all Small Island Developing States,” Pereira said.
This is in line with FAO’s appeal for a new approach to marine resources management, vital to safeguard the world’s food security and promote sustainable development, which was made made at the Blue Economy Summit in Abu Dhabi in January.
The Prime Minister requested FAO’s support in the preparation of his country’s participation in the upcoming UN Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to be held in Apia, Samoa.
Prime Minister Pereira was welcomed by FAO Deputy Director-General, Coordinator for Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo and Deputy Director-General for Operations Daniel Gustafson.
“We are pleased to welcome Cabo Verde to FAO today, and to discuss with them the progress they have made in their New Agriculture governmental programme – creating stronger links between rural development, poverty alleviation and economic growth,” said Semedo.
“We believe Cabo Verde, with its capacity development initiatives and its involvement within the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, is poised to play a key role in the region through South-South cooperation programmes,” Semedo added.
Prime Minister Pereira was accompanied by Cabo Verde’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Alberto Da Silva Borges; the Minister of Territorial Development, Housing and Urban Planning, Emanuel Antero Garcia da Veiga; the advisor to the President, Jaqueline Pires ; and the Permanent Representative to FAO, Ambassador Manuel Amante da Rosa.
Pereira commended FAO’s reform and decentralization process and reiterated: “FAO is a strategic partner for Cabo Verde’s development, especially now when our main transformation pillar is agri-business and fisheries development.”
“FAO’s support can play a fundamental role as we are developing watershed management and agro-industries, introducing new technologies for agricultural production and developing our forests. FAO is our main ally in the development of all these projects to boost economic growth and improve the quality of life of our population.’’
The Cabo Verde delegation was informed on the ongoing Technical Cooperation Programme with the country, with emphasis on policy-making and governance assistance, fisheries, the development of agriculture-based small enterprises for income and employment creation, and social protection.
Presentations also highlighted the potential of South-South knowledge exchange, Blue Growth and the International Year of Family Farming in 2014.
The discussion illustrated the convergence between the government’s priorities and FAO’s strategic objectives.
As Gustafson commented, “many of the problems that Cabo Verde has dealt with for some time are also emerging in a number of other countries, as incomes grow and there is greater stress on natural resources. There is a lot to learn on both sides from our collaboration.”
Towards a Hunger Free Community of Portuguese Language Countries
The delegation was briefed on FAO’s work with the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) towards the establishment of a Hunger Free Community of Portuguese Language Countries in the framework of the Food Security and Nutrition Strategy approved in 2012.
Other subjects covered included sustainable management of water, land and forests and strategies for peri-urban agriculture – ‘Food for the Cities’- to adequately face the challenge of an increasingly urban population.