"A sustainable management of marine resources is necessary, particularly in the Small Island Developing States"Prime Minister of Cape Verde visits the Headquarters of the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization)
Nacoes Unidas, Praia, March, April 3, 2014– –“In a country that has more sea than land, the marine industry is essential to our future," said Jose Maria Neves, during a visit to the FAO headquarters yesterday in Rome. "Cape Verde is a country that has more sea than land, and good sustainable management of our marine industry is essential to our future, to the planet, and as a strategic pillar of sustainable development in all Small Island Developing States (SIDS) ", he said.
The assertion of the Cape Verdian Prime Minister is in line with the FAO's appeal for a new approach to the marine resources management. It is a vital tool to safeguard the world's food security and promote sustainable development, broadcast at the Blue Economy Summit in Abu Dhabi last January.
The Cape Verdian PM requested assistance from the FAO in preparation for his country's participation in the next Conference on SIDS to be held in Apia, Samoa.
Jose Maria Neves was welcomed by Deputy Director-General of FAO for Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo, and by Deputy Director-General of Operations, Daniel Gustafson.
"We are very pleased to welcome Cape Verde to FAO this afternoon, and to discuss the progress made in its new agriculture government program- creating closer ties between rural development, poverty reduction and economic growth," said Semedo.
"We believe Cape Verde, with its initiatives for capacity development and its involvement within the Overall Strategy to improve Rural and Agricultural statistics, will play a key role in the region through programs of South-South cooperation," added Semedo.
The PM of Cape Verde was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Alberto da Silva Borges; the Minister of Territorial Development, Housing and Urban Planning, Emanuel Antero Garcia Veiga; the Presidential Adviser, Jaqueline Pires ; and by the Cape Verdian Permanent Representative to the FAO, Ambassador Manuel Amante da Rosa.
José Maria Neves praised the reform and decentralisation process carried out by the FAO, and reiterated: "The FAO is a strategic partner for the development of Cape Verde, especially at this point in time when our main transformation pillar is the agribusiness and the development of the fishing industry," he said.
"The FAO's support can play a fundamental role as we are developing the forest, watershed and agribusiness management and introducing new technologies for agricultural production. The FAO is our main ally in the development of all of these projects to boost economic growth and improve the quality of life for our population," he added.
The delegation of Cape Verde was informed about the current Technical Cooperation Program with the country, which emphasises policy formulation and government assistance, fisheries, development of small agricultural enterprises to create jobs and income, and social protection.
The presentations also addressed the potential of South-South knowledge exchange, the Blue Growth, and the International Year of Family Farming in 2014.
Also the convergence between government priorities and the FAO's strategic objectives were raised.
As Gustafson commented, "many of the problems that Cape Verde has faced for some time are appearing in several other countries, as the income of households increases and there is greater stress on natural resources. There is much to learn on both sides from our collaboration".