Pascal Lamy on globalisation and the future of the Pacific: What role for the EU?

Pascal Lamy, whose distinguished career includes former European Union Commissioner for Trade and former head of the World Trade Organization, was recently in Australia to discuss the future of the European Union’s relationship with the Pacific.

The EU’s partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries has been guided by the so-called ‘Cotonou Agreement’, which expires in 2020. Negotiations on a new agreement will commence soon and present an opportunity to reflect a changing world and new landmark international agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

On 3rd August Mr Lamy addressed the Lowy Institute on how the Pacific may evolve: in the new era of Trumponomics (and end of the Trans-Pacific Partnership); in light of the rise of China; and in the context of new international trade agreements and shifting paradigms in development assistance – with a focus on the European Union.

Listen: www.acast.com/thelowyinstitute/pascal-lamy-on-globalisation-and-the-future-of-the-pacific-what-role-for-the-eu

EU launches ocean research partnership with Brazil and South Africa

The European Commission is teaming up with South Africa and Brazil in ‘the South Atlantic research and innovation flagship’, a partnership which will pool funding for climate science, marine litter, ocean observation, food security, fisheries management and ocean technology, and the development of joint data centres where scientists can share research outcomes.

The agreement was signed by EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas, Brazil’s minister for science, Gilberto Kassab, and minister of science and technology of South Africa Naledi Pandor at a conference in Lisbon.

“[The agreement] moves our cooperation with Brazil and South Africa up a gear, enabling us to better coordinate our research agendas and to make best use of our research and innovation funding,” Moedas said.

The collaboration stems from Brussels’ growing interest in Atlantic Ocean-based research, with the Commission planning to invest over €60 million from the EU Horizon 2020 research programme over the next two years. This funding will go towards studying ecosystems, seafloor mapping and new aquaculture systems.

“By 2020 we expect to have more than 500 research teams working from Antarctica to the Arctic funded by Horizon 2020,” Moedas said.

The deal also follows on from a Commission push to attract more foreign researchers to Horizon 2020 after the number of international grant winners fell to a lowly 2.2%.

There has been “a substantial drop” from the previous EU research programme, said Maria Cristina Russo, director for international cooperation at the European Commission’s research directorate, speaking at a Science|Business conference last month. In Framework Programme 7, almost 5% of grants were awarded to researchers in countries outside the EU.

The Commission will try to regain this level of international participation with up to 15 new flagship projects worth €1 billion during the final three years of Horizon 2020.

South Africa is the 2nd biggest foreign participant in Horizon 2020; Brazil is the 5th.

Further details: www.atlanticresource.org/aora/site-area/news-events/press-releases/save-date-–-new-era-blue-enlightenment

Horizon 2020 found to be meeting its objectives, but is underfunded

A new assessment of the first years of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, shows that it is on track to help create jobs and growth, tackle our biggest societal challenges and improve people’s lives. Horizon 2020 has clear European added value by producing demonstrable benefits compared to national or regional-level support, but it has been so successful in attracting the best researchers and innovators that it could have spent four times its budget in support of excellent projects.

Press release: ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?pg=newsalert&year=2017&na=na-300517

Read the full report: ec.europa.eu/research/evaluations/index_en.cfm?pg=h2020evaluation

UNESCO Individual Consultancy: Bringing the International Hydrological Programme to the Pacific SIDS

The UNESCO Office for the Pacific States seeks a consultant to deliver a scoping and mapping report and proposed work plan with a view to increasing the support that UNESCO’s water programmes, particularly the International Hydrological Programme, provide to Pacific SIDS. The successful applicant will possess technical expertise in water resources management, water governance and water security, knowledge of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme and the unique context of the Pacific Small Island Developing States.

Deadline for submission of bids is 26 May, and detailed information can be found online at http://www.unesco.org/new/index.php?id=43606.

Tender: Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac)

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology requires the contracting of management services for COSPPac Project Management through a Pacific (Fiji or Samoa) based provider until 30 June 2018. The provider of these services will:

  • Finalise the transition of COSPPac products to relevant Pacific agencies in close collaboration with the Program’s partners, the National Meteorological Services of 14 Pacific countries and the in-country users of COSPPac products and services.
  • Report to the Bureau Program Board, COSPPac Steering Committee and Planning Meetings, support Melbourne based staff, facilitate and contribute to the Program Completion Report.
  • Monitor related activities supported by Pacific countries and other development partners to ensure effective coordination.

Further information: www.tenders.gov.au/?event=public.atm.show&ATMUUID=6A8121A1-EBFA-A8E4-339E0838718ECA11

2017 Call for Proposals: Programme for Strengthening Non-state Actors (NSAs) Engagement in Regional Policy Development and Implementation

The Programme for Strengthening NSA Engagement in Regional Policy Development and Implementation seeks to promote good governance in the Pacific by opening up spaces for policy dialogue and by building capacity and ability of NSAs to participate effectively in regional policy and implementation.

Non-state Actors (NSAs) are defined as civil society organisations, non-government organisations, research institutes, think tanks, networks, issues-based coalitions, and organisations that represent the private sector. Refer to the footnote1 for an expanded definition of NSAs according to the EU.

The main stakeholders of the programme will be regionally focused NSAs and national NSA umbrella organisations in 14 Forum Island Countries (FICs) and in Timor Leste, and indirectly the communities and groups they represent. This programme will ultimately support policies that reflect the needs and perspectives of civil society and that have been developed through a participatory process.

The programme will provide capacity development through a variety of training avenues and stakeholder workshops for NSAs to strengthen their engagement in policy development processes at the regional level, with positive flow-on impacts for the national level. It will also support NSAs to contribute to policy making processes, to monitor policies and, ultimately to help implement those policies. The programme will also support the development of an enabling environment for policy engagement through structured dialogue mechanisms between NSAs, PIFS and Development Partners.

Further information: grants.forumsec.org/index.php/2-uncategorised/26-gr03-guidelines-for-grant-applicants

What is required to build capacity for science advice in developing countries?

Building capacity for providing science advice requires simultaneously building capacity for doing science. Local context and understanding matter. In parallel to giving science advice, we need to continue to build capacity to do science.

The credibility and weight of the organizations in which individual scientists work and engage with a broader community is important. Organizations need to come together into research networks that accelerate the production of knowledge.

The ability of researchers to communicate science is critical.

The ability to provide effective science advice to governments needs to operate within an effective science and innovation system. Building individual and organizational scientific capacity is insufficient if the overall system, the key players, and the linkages between them are weak.

Read more: www.ingsa.org/ingsa-blog/what-is-required-to-build-capacity-for-science-advice-in-developing-countries

Innovation systems: Towards effective strategies in support of smallholder farmers

The result of an expert consultation, this publication examines ‘innovations systems’ – a concept suggested as underpinning industrial development – as a strategy for agricultural development. Innovation systems approaches conceptualise change as a long-term, socially-embedded process, and recognise the important role policy plays in shaping the parameters within which decisions are made. Providing a collection of papers and commentaries from the world’s top scholars and practitioners, this book looks at the strengths – but also the weaknesses and challenges – of the innovations systems approach and how it may be applied to benefit smallholder farmers.

Download the publication from CTA: publications.cta.int/en/publications/publication/1829

28 new projects to be funded through BEST 2.0

Following a positive and large response to the two calls for proposals launched in 2016 the European Commission has selected 28 new projects – 24 small scale and 4 medium scale – to be funded under the BEST 2.0 Programme.

The small grant call targeted the Caribbean and Pacific regions and resulted in the submission of 35 eligible proposals, while 16 eligible proposals were received in response to the medium grant call targeting the Indian Ocean, Polar/Subpolar and South Atlantic regions. All 5 regions will benefit again from at least one project with a total of 19 territories targeted.

The projects aim to achieve tangible results on the ground for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation. All of the projects are aligned with relevant territorial and regional strategies.

Led by, and involving partnerships between an array of different actors, including international NGOs, territorial governments’ departments, municipalities, local socio-professional associations and local Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organisations, the projects address a range of issues indicated as priority areas for action in the Regional Ecosystem Profiles. These include the control of invasive alien species, management of marine ecosystems, sustainable use of water resources, restoration of coral reefs and terrestrial ecosystems and the conservation of endangered fauna and flora. A large number of the projects are implemented within priority Key Biodiversity Areas identified in the Regional Ecosystem Profiles. In addition, there is a strong focus on building capacity within the territories as well as communication and outreach activities targeting the general public.

Further information: portals.iucn.org/best