Asia Regional Ministerial Meeting on Aquaculture Food Security, Nutrition and Economic Development

For the first time ever a meeting of Honourable Ministers from the Asian region, with purview for fisheries in their portfolios, will convene in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 28-29 July 2011. The idea of convening ministerial meeting has been mooted around for a while, but a firm decision was arrived at the 22nd Governing Council Meeting in 2010, which was transmitted to the FAO for concurrence. At the 29th Meeting of the Committee on Fisheries (CoFI), April 2011, the Honourable Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Government of Sri Lanka, made a formal proposal which was accepted by the CoFI and it is now coming to fruition, according to Russian Fish Insider Report published by

The local host for the meeting will be the Government of Sri Lanka, and convened by the latter in conjunction with FAO and NACA. It is expected that about ten to twelve Honourable Ministers will participate, together with representation from major banks, the European Union, donor agencies and representatives from on-going major regional project managers on fisheries and aquaculture. The meeting will be opened by The President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency, The Honourable Mahinda Rajapakse.

In an era when aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important contributor to the human food basket and to food security, and a provider of many millions of livelihoods, particularly in rural areas in the developing world, it is most opportune to evolve regional policies that will facilitate the sustainable growth of this sector in the region. In view of the region's lead in aquaculture development, currently accounting in excess of 90 percent of global production, this meeting will also have a significant bearing on other region where aquaculture is seen as a major growth sector contributing to food security and national well being.

The meeting is expected to arrive at a declaration encompassing a commitment to regional cooperation in aquaculture development for food security, nutrition and economic development in Asia. The declaration is also expected to prioritise issues for immediate action that will facilitate the above.

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