First gathering of the Regional Advisory Group in Asia and the Pacific: Enhancing social movements perspectives to implement the SSF Voluntary Guidelines

May 26, 2022

From the 10th to the 13nd of May the members of the Regional Advisory Group (RAG) of the Asia and the Pacific Region met face to face in Ampawa District, Samutsongkram province, in Thailand. Social movements were finally able to meet physically after two years of lockdowns and impossibility to travel.

Members of the World Forum of Fishers People (WFFP), the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers (WFF) and La Via Campesina (LVC), coming from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, gathered together with two representatives of the SSF-GSF Advisory Group and other regional civil society organizations to advance on the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines)

The four days meeting included a field visit to the SSF community in Bang Taboon, a coastal community based on fisheries and shell fish production located in the Bay of Bangkok, in the Ban Leam district, Phetchaburee province in western Thailand. During the field visit the participants visited Maeklong Fisheries Cooperative Limited and Bang Taboon Bay to view shellfish cultivation.

The remaining days were entirely dedicated to an in-depth discussion revolving around the main objectives of the meeting, namely: review the IPC SSF People Centred Methodology to assess the implementation of the SSF Guidelines; define contributions from the national level to this exercise and define the national, regional and global strategy and related workplan.

As a results of these 3 intensive days of discussion, the RAG Asia and Pacific and the other attendees drafted a final statement reiterating the need and role of a SFF People Centred Methodology to assess the violations of the SSF Guidelines at national, regional and global levels, to make government accountable and improve the political impact of the SSF social movements