During the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (IYAFA 2022) the International Planning Committee (IPC) Working Group on Fisheries, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), Small-Scale Fisheries Resource and Collaboration Hub (SSF Hub) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) joined forces to organise a Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) Summit on 2-4 September 2022 in Rome, Italy.

The organising committee made up of the above groups plus SwedBio has drafted the below preliminary draft concept note for discussion after reviewing the input and feedback received after the first SSF Summit. In the participatory spirit of the SSF Guidelines, this draft concept note is presented for discussion and feedback as part of a collective planning process for the SSF Summit 2024.

Concept Note

Please follow these links for official translations of the concept note or see full text below for translation provided by the SSF Hub platform. 

Small-Scale Fisheries Summit - Concept Note: English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Summit Concept Note
SSF Summit 2024 Concept Note

PDF versions of the Concept Note are available for download in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic using the links above. Provided below is the content of the Concept Note so you can automatically translate the text into any of the languages supported by the SSF Hub website by using the language dropdown in the navigation bar at the top of the SSF Hub page.

Introduction and context 

During the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (IYAFA 2022) the International Planning Committee (IPC) Working Group on Fisheries, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), Small-Scale Fisheries Resource and Collaboration Hub (SSF Hub) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) joined forces to organise a Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) Summit on 2-4 September 2022 in Rome, Italy.

The main purpose of this event was to create a true opportunity to promote dialogue among small-scale fishers and fish workers, key partners and decision-makers in advance of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) 35th Session on 5-9 September 2002 in Rome, Italy. The SSF Summit 2022 brought together over 140 participants from over 40 countries and took place over the course of three days, using a phased approach that first provided a secure space for small-scale fisheries actors and social movements and then opened up to other stakeholders.

The 35th COFI Session was informed about the SSF Summit 2022 and ‘emphasised the unique opportunity to gather commitments and recommendations at a summit on small-scale fisheries, which is encouraged to be held every two years prior to COFI, subject to resourcing, to sustain and inform continued support to the sub-sectors.’

This means that the IYAFA 2022 SSF Summit has prepared the ground for a regular platform for the small-scale fisheries community to exchange, discuss and collectively act to advance the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines), which will have their 10 year anniversary in 2024.

In the participatory spirit of the SSF Guidelines this draft concept note is presented by the SSF Summit organising committee for a collective planning process for the SSF Summit 2024.

Purpose of this document

The purpose of this document is to support the inclusive, transparent, participatory development of the concept for the SSF Summit 2024, as well as future SSF Summits in general. This draft concept note is informed by the IYAFA 2022 SSF Summit, input from a survey of participants of that Summit and other relevant consultations.  

The participatory planning process seeks to primarily offer representatives of small-scale artisanal fisher and fishworker organisations as right bearers, as well as Civil Society Organisations and NGOs dedicated to support the cause of small-scale fisheries and that work to implement the SSF Guidelines, academia and governments, as duty bearers, the opportunity and space to share perspectives on actions needed, opportunities and solutions to problems and challenges faced by small-scale fisheries to be discussed at the SSF Summits. The intention would be to ensure that the SSF Summit brings together participants for advancing a common understanding of and increasing synergies for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines.

The intention is also to finalise a concept note for the SSF Summit that can be used to raise funds for the next SSF Summit in 2024 and to support engagement of key actors in the lead up to the next Summit to collectively design the event. Both the planning process and the SSF Summits themselves are expected to foster equity and usefulness for all involved. This is envisaged as an ongoing process that allows for reflection and learning, and adaptation over time.

The following sections provide the basis for discussion in the participatory planning process and the planning committee welcomes the feedback, views and comments of all relevant parties as a part of this process. There are guiding questions in the document for your consideration.

Please send responses to ssf-guidelines@fao.org

Objectives of the SSF Summit 2024, and beyond

According to the SSF Summit 2022 survey, the majority of participants found that key objectives of the SSF Summit are to provide a platform for small-scale fisheries actors to engage and coordinate, as well as inform and facilitate the inclusion of small-scale fisheries in relevant policy processes at global, regional and national level. Most participants said that their favourite part of the SSF Summit was “information sharing and exchanges on small-scale fisheries – with fisherfolk, stakeholders and scientists”.

Based on this feedback, the following objectives are proposed for the SSF Summit:

  • The overarching objective of the SSF Summit is to sustain and inform continued support to small-scale artisanal fishers and fish workers for implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication.
  • The SSF Summit aims to offer a space, in particular for small-scale artisanal fishers, fish workers and their affiliated organisations, but also for other key partners on various levels (global, regional and national) to:
    • ‘Collectively plan and advise’- create momentum, coordinate for possible collaboration, campaigns, policy engagements, improve communication, gather commitments and recommendations in political processes, in particular the FAO Committee on Fisheries
    • ‘Get to know each other’”- interact, organise peer-to-peer exchanges and strengthen movements, networks and organisations
    • ‘Share and learn’ - advance collective knowledge about challenges and related solutions to implement the SSF Guidelines and other relevant policy instruments through exchanges and dialogues, with research, studies, and other relevant activities
  • The SSF Summit also aims to further develop and consolidate the Global Strategic Framework in Support of the Implementation of the SSF Guidelines (SSF-GSF), as a partnership mechanism giving small-scale fishery actors, government representatives and other stakeholders a space to collaborate at a global level. 

 

Suggested question for feedback/views/comments:

  • Do you agree on these objectives? 
  • Is anything crucial missing here or should be taken out?
  • Any other suggestions? 

The SSF Summit will contribute to the following proposed expected outcomes:

  1. Strengthened small-scale artisanal fishers and fish worker and their affiliated organisations
  2. Improved communication between small-scale fisheries organisations themselves and between these organisations and other key partners implementing the SSF Guidelines 
  3. All actors better prepared to contribute to the implementation of the SSF Guidelines, in line with their guiding principles and respectful of small-scale fisheries people’s rights

Suggested question for feedback/views/comments:

  • Do you agree on these suggested expected outcomes? 
  • Is anything crucial missing here or should be taken out? 
  • Any other suggestions?

Proposed elements for the SSF Summit format

Building of the SSF Summit in 2022, this concept seeks to outline a general format and topics to cover in the next SSF Summit. Detailed agenda setting will happen in the lead up to the SSF Summit.  

The SSF Summit 2022 took place over the course of three days, using a phased approach that first provided a secure space for small-scale fisheries actors and social movements and then opened up to other stakeholders:

  • DAY 1 (by invitation only) 
    • Led by the IPC Working Group on Fisheries
    • Opportunity for invited representatives of small-scale fisheries organisations from around the world, both IPC members and non-members, to meet and engage in dialogue. 
    • Concluded with a dinner and a concert open to other stakeholders. 
  • DAY 2 (open to other key partners)
    • Shared plenary and followed by parallel sessions in three separate rooms (free to be organised by any of the participating organisations).
  • DAY 3 
    • Morning: Open for informal bilateral and preparatory meetings in advance of COFI
    • Afternoon: Concluding dialogue and a reception open to COFI delegations

Based on the SSF Summit 2022 survey results, the majority of participants (89%) found the staged approach useful, which included one day dedicated entirely to small-scale fisheries actors only, followed by two days of sessions with other actors. Majority of participants reported through the SSF Summit 2022 survey preference of a 3-days SSF Summit duration and majority of participants (62%) suggested holding the next SSF Summit 2024 directly prior to COFI 2024. Key elements or formats suggested included more time for dialogue in the sessions, poster sessions to share the work participants are engaged in, opportunities to exchange ideas between countries/regions, and cultural/social events.

Suggested question for feedback/views/comments: 

  • What elements or formats would you like to see at a future SSF Summit? 
  • The SSF Summit 2022 took a staged approach, with one day dedicated entirely to small-scale fisheries actors only, followed by two days of sessions with other actors. Is this a useful approach?
  • How long should the SSF Summit be? 
  • The next FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) will take place on 8-12  July 2024 in Rome, Italy. When should the SSF Summit take place?

Proposed key themes of the agenda

The SSF Summit 2022 summit covered a number of relevant thematic issues (see Annex of the report here), but there is room for improvement, to ensure future SSF Summits inform the implementation of the SSF Guidelines in a participatory manner, grounded in a human-rights based approach, as well as to facilitate the voice of small-scale fisheries actors and their supporters in relevant policy processes, such as those related to fisheries, biodiversity, gender, human rights, climate change etc.

Top priorities or topics for discussion reported through the SSF Summit 2022 survey included ensuring an enabling environment, stock taking of SSF Guidelines implementation, sustainable resource management and governance of tenure in small-scale fisheries and implementation of human rights-based approach.

Suggested question for feedback/views/comments:

  • Which priorities/topics would you like to see addressed in the next SSF Summit in 2024

Proposed participants

The SSF Summit 2022 was organised as part of the celebrations of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022, with the intention to create a space where small-scale fisheries actors themselves could interact, complementing existing spaces where they have less direct voice, such as the FAO Committee on Fisheries. It was attended by over 140 participants from over 40 countries, representing small-scale fisheries organisations and social movements at local, national, regional and global level, non-governmental organisations, government, academia as well as inter-governmental organisations. The survey confirmed that these are the categories of stakeholders that should be at the next SSF Summit.    

Suggested question for feedback/views/comments:

  • Who would you like to see participate? (Please add specific stakeholders types and feel free to suggest names of organisations etc.)

Proposed pathway in between summits

The SSF Summit 2024 is likely taking place in July 2024. We seek your inputs on how we can use the time until then to engage in the planning process.

Through the SSF Summit 2022 survey, more than half of the participants recommended the organisation of regional meetings, studies, seminars and webinars on key topics to address and articulate interventions at the next meeting, to support engagement and dialogue among SSF Summit participants prior to the next SSF Summit.

Suggested question for feedback/views/comments:

  • Do you have recommendations of activities and initiatives that can support engagement and dialogue among SSF Summit participants prior to the next Summit, e.g. regional meetings, studies, webinars…

Do you have any other recommendations for the next SSF Summit 2024 event?

If so, please add a comment or write to us at SSF-Guidelines@fao.org.