Advisory Group

Since the  “Global Conference on Small-Scale Fisheries – Securing Sustainable Small- Scale Fisheries: Bringing together responsible fisheries and social development”, held in 2008 in Bangkok, the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers (WFF) and World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), with the support of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) have been calling to increase efforts and obligations of States towards SSF and Indigenous Peoples and creating the environment for fishing communities to enjoy their rights fully. It has then been officially recognized the need for an international instrument that would guide national and international efforts to secure sustainable small-scale fisheries and create a framework for monitoring and reporting.

In 2008, recognizing the lack of any international UN instrument to protect and promote the human rights of small-scale fisher peoples, the two global fisher movements (WFF and WFFP) decided to advocate for the development of such an instrument. This was the beginning of a long and intensive process that culminated with the endorsement of the UN Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF guidelines) in 2014. 

More than 4000 voices from fishers, fish workers and others in over 120 countries articulated views and positions that shaped to the contents of the SSF guidelines. The final text of the guidelines was negotiated by members of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), and endorsed by Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in 2014. The SSF-Guidelines are deeply anchored in human rights and a holistic integrated approach, explicitly prioritizing marginalized groups and gender equality.


In 2016 COFI welcomed the development of an FAO SSF Umbrella Programme and agreed on the need for a complementary mechanism in the form of an SSF Guidelines Global Strategic Framework (SSF-GSF) to be developed with the full and effective participation of all regions and in consultation with all small-scale fisheries stakeholders.

The Global Strategic Framework is a partnership mechanism with an advisory and facilitative role, steered by the FAO and an Advisory Group composed of small-scale fisher leaders from IPC (WFF, WFFP, LVC and IITC), together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and officials from both the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The SSF-GSF mechanism is also supported by the ‘Friends of the Guidelines’ group, composed of supportive COFI member countries.

Its members can share experiences, mobilize resources together, develop synergies and coordinate efforts to advocate for policies and approaches that favor the implementation of the SSF Guidelines.

The Advisory Group

The Advisory Group main priorities

  • Enhance SSF right-holders empowerment to build their capacity to claim their rights;
  • Ensure that Small-Scale Fishing communities are not arbitrarily evicted and that their legitimate tenure rights are not otherwise extinguished or infringed;
  • Ensure government’s consultations with SSF communities prior to the implementation of large-scale development projects that might impact small-scale fishing;
  • Ensure that the knowledge, culture, tradition, practices and customary rights of small-scale fishing communities, including Indigenous People, are recognized and, as appropriate, supported and that they inform responsible local governance and sustainable development processes;
  • Implementation of a Human rights-based approach in the framework of the fisheries and biodiversity policies, governance and management.

The current IPC members of the Advisory Group are:

  • Ms Nadine Nembhard – WFFP, Belize
  • Ms Christiana Saiti Louwa – WFFP, Kenya
    • Alternates 
    • Mr Jones Spartegus – WFFP, India
    • Ms Jesu Rethinam – WFFP, India
  • Mr Suman Kalyan Mandaland – WFF, India
  • Ms Lorena Ortiz – WFF, Mexico
    • Alternates 
    • Mr Patrick Furtuno – WFF, Mauritius;
    • Ms Margaret Nakato – WFF, Uganda
  • Mr Alex Castillo – La Via Campesina, Nicaragua
  • Mr Chief Gary – IITC, Alaska, and Ms Rochelle Diver – IITC, U.S.A.

What we do

AG tools:

  • The development of the “SSF People-centered methodology to assess the voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication”. This methodology aims to assess the communities and with the communities the progress of the SSF Guidelines implementation and examine the human rights violations of small-scale fisher people worldwide. It aims to be a guiding document for local communities to gather relevant qualitative information on the status of the SSF people concerning the human rights principles endorsed by the SSF Guidelines;
  • The development of a preliminary report based on the People Centred methodology

AG Political processes:

  • Challenging the FAO Committee of the Parties (COFI), read the statements
  • Co-organizing and attending the SSF Summit;
  • Challenging the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, 27 June – 02 July 2022