We, the 95 States which met in Kyoto from 4 to 9 December 1995 on the occasion of the International Conference on the Sustainable Contribution of Fisheries to Food Security,
Note: In this Declaration and Plan of Action the reference to States includes the European Community in matters within its competence.
Appreciating the initiative taken by the Government of Japan to host the Conference and the technical assistance provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO);
Recalling that this initiative was welcomed at the 27th Session of the FAO Conference held in November 1993;
Also recalling the Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development established by the FAO World Fisheries Conference in 1984;
Also recalling the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration of Cancun, the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the United Nations Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, including the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas;
Note: Agreement of 4 December 1995 for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (A/CONF.164/37, 8 September 1995).
Also recalling the decision on conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biological diversity adopted in November 1995 by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;
Also recalling the Rome Consensus on World Fisheries adopted at the FAO Ministerial Conference on Fisheries in March 1995;
Noting a continuously growing world population and the need to secure enough food for the people in present and future generations, and the significant contribution of fisheries to income, wealth and food security for all people, and its critical importance in some low- income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs);
Recognizing the responsibility of the present generation regarding the needs of future generations;
Also recognizing the role of living aquatic resources as an important natural renewable source of food and the traditional and essential role played by fisheries in providing high quality protein required for human use;
Deeply concerned that 800 million people suffer from chronic malnutrition;
Mindful that, unless appropriate action is taken very soon, the combination, at the global level, of population increase and economic growth, in conjunction with continued overfishing, excess fishing capacity and degradation of the aquatic environment, will place enormous strains upon the fishery sector's capability to sustain its necessary contribution to food security;
Affirming that effective and integrated fisheries management and conservation policies will result in long-term and significant gains in food supply, income and wealth, as well as in economic growth;
Also affirming that achieving an optimum long-term contribution of fisheries to economic and social well-being - a concept which includes nutritional and environmental values, as well as poverty alleviation - will contribute to achieving food security;
Mindful that initiatives which respect the concept of sustainable use of resources will promote the objective of optimizing the availability of aquatic products, and thus support efforts to achieve food security;
Recognizing the importance of inland fisheries and freshwater aquaculture, in particular for land-locked countries, in many of which freshwater fish is important for food security;
Mindful that environmentally sound and sustainable stock enhancement, combined with integrated management of freshwater catchment areas, could significantly increase supplies of freshwater fish, particularly in LIFDCs;
Aware that the world's aquaculture, while showing steady and rapid growth in production, needs appropriate institutional and legal frameworks to fulfil its potential in ways which are compatible with sustainable development;
Noting that responsible post-harvest use of fish and fishery products is necessary for the sustainable contribution of fisheries to food security;
Recognizing that trade in fish and fishery products is of great importance, in particular for a number of developing countries, and should be conducted in accordance with the principles, rights and obligations established in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement;
Also recognizing that many developing countries, and in particular LIFDCs and small island developing States, face major challenges in ensuring a sustainable contribution from subsistence, artisanal and commercial fisheries to their food security, and recognizing that international cooperation and support will be important in ensuring capacity building, information exchange and the provision of technical and financial assistance;
DECLARE that we should, without prejudice to the rights and obligations of States under international law:
1. Recognize and appreciate the significant role which marine fisheries, inland fisheries and aquaculture play in providing food security for the world, both through food supplies and through economic and social well-being;
2. Recognize and appreciate the important economic and social role of subsistence, artisanal and commercial fishers and other fishers throughout the world, and seek to provide an environment in which they can make an optimum contribution to economic and social welfare;
3. Recognize that FAO projects a potential substantial shortfall by 2010 of the supply of fish and fishery products to meet demands from an increased human population, which in turn will adversely affect world food security;
4. Recognize that the projected shortfall of supply of fish and fishery products by 2010 can substantially be reduced and the marine and inland waters maintained as a sustainable source of renewable food resources, if a combination of measures, set forth below, are taken;
5. Take steps for effective application of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and consider becoming parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the United Nations Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas, and enact, correspondingly, appropriate domestic legislation and regulations in a timely manner;
6. Call for an increase in the respect and understanding of social, economic and cultural differences among States and regions in the use of living aquatic resources, especially cultural diversity in dietary habits, consistent with management objectives;
7. Undertake in-depth studies to assess the social, economic and cultural importance of fisheries and fishery products;
8. Promote and strengthen scientific research as the fundamental basis for sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture activities to ensure food security, as well as provide scientific and technical cooperation and support for those countries with lesser research capabilities;
9. Base policies, strategies and resource management and utilization for sustainable development of the fisheries sector on the following: (i) maintenance of ecological systems; (ii) use of the best scientific evidence available; (iii) improvement in economic and social well-being; and (iv) inter- and intra-generational equity;
10. Apply the precautionary approach as referred to in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the United Nations Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks;
11. Assess the stock productivity in the waters under national jurisdiction, both inland and marine, adjust the fishing capacity in these waters to a level commensurate with long-term stock productivity and take appropriate measures as soon as possible to restore overexploited stocks to sustainable levels; and cooperate in accordance with international law to take similar measures regarding stocks occurring in the high seas;
12. Conserve and sustainably use biological diversity and its components in the aquatic environment and, in particular, prevent practices leading to irreversible changes, such as extinction of genes and species, genetic erosion and/or large-scale destruction of habitats;
13. Study the effectiveness of multispecies management;
14. When and where appropriate, consider harvesting a multiple trophic levels in a manner consistent with sustainable development of these resources;
15. Promote fisheries through research and development aiming at: (i) optimum use of unexploited or underexploited resources; (ii) identification of new, harvestable, aquatic resources; (iii) reduction of discard mortality; (iv) development and use of selective, environmentally safe and cost-effective fishing gear and techniques;
16. Increase the available supply of fish and fishery products for human consumption, nationally and internationally, through: (i) making optimum use of harvests and reducing post-harvest losses; (ii) developing, improving and sharing appropriate storage, processing and distribution technology; and (iii) developing and promoting effective systems ensuring the safety of food of aquatic origin, including harmonization of international regulations;
17. Support enhancement of fisheries in coastal marine and inland waters, when and where appropriate, by: (i) assisting in stocking of resources and restocking of depleted resources through providing suitable organisms; (ii) assisting fishers to organize themselves; (iii) promoting the use of integrated community based and/or co-management schemes; and (iv) subject to national priorities, establishing access or user rights in waters exploited under open access regimes;
18. Promote the use of sustainable and environmentally sound aquaculture and ranching in coastal marine and inland waters through, inter alia: (i) establishment of appropriate institutional and legal frameworks; (ii) coordination of the use of lands and waters with other activities; (iii) use of the best and most appropriate genetic material in conformity with the conservation and sustainable use of the environment and conservation of biological diversity; and (iv) application of social and environmental impact assessments;
19. Study the means for responsible post-harvest use of fish and fishery products, compatible with the policies for the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture;
20. Ensure that trade in fish and fishery products promotes food security, does not result in environmental degradation or adversely impact the nutritional rights and needs of people for whom fish and fishery products are critical to their health and well-being, does not undermine applicable global, regional and subregional conservation and management measures and is conducted in accordance with the principles, rights and obligations established in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement;
21. Enhance public awareness of the nutritional and health values of fish and fishery products;
22. Provide, either directly or through regional, subregional or international organizations, technical and financial assistance to developing countries, in particular LIFDCs and small island developing States, in order to assist them to realize the sustainable contribution of fisheries to food security and social and economic development;
AND HAVE AGREED that a set of immediate actions should be taken, without prejudice to the rights and obligations of States under international law, either directly or in cooperation with other States, or through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation with other appropriate intergovernmental organizations and/or regional fishery management organizations or arrangements. These immediate actions are:
1. To assess and monitor the present and future levels of global, regional and national production, supply and demand of fish and fishery products and their effects on food security, employment, consumption, income, trade and sustainability of production.
2. To enhance subregional and regional cooperation and establish, where it is considered appropriate, subregional and regional fishery conservation and management organizations or arrangements for straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks; and cooperate to strengthen, where necessary, existing subregional and regional fishery conservation and management organizations and arrangements in order to carry out their assigned tasks.
3. To conduct, within their competences and, where appropriate, in cooperation with regional and other intergovernmental organizations, integrated assessments of fisheries in order to evaluate opportunities and strengthen the scientific basis for multispecies and ecosystem management.
4. To identify and exchange information on potential mechanisms to reduce excess fishing capacity and implement action on programs to reduce excess capacity, where and when appropriate, as soon as possible
5. To develop, promote and facilitate the exchange of information on the use of efficient and standardized methodologies for the study of social, cultural and economic characteristics of fishing and associated activities; and, in particular, attempt to develop methods designed to permit verifiable indicators of the importance of such characteristics and their interaction and compatibility with management objectives.
6. To promote allocation of human and financial resources for an international program to investigate the effectiveness of multispecies management of commercial fishery resources.
7. To increase efforts to estimate the quantity of fish, marine mammals, sea birds, sea turtles and other sea life which are incidentally caught and discarded in fishing operations; assess the effect on the populations or species; take action to minimize waste and discards through measures including, to the extent practicable, the development and use of selective, environmentally safe and cost- effective fishing gear and techniques; and exchange information on methods and technologies to minimize waste and discards.
8. To promote the exchange of information amongst research institutes and other relevant entities aiming to: (i) increase opportunities for the sustainable use of unexploited or underexploited species as human food; and (ii) promote and support research activities in order to ensure improvement in scientific knowledge of existing fishery resources.
9. To strengthen coordination of national and international research programs aiming to simulate environmentally sound aquaculture and stocking, giving emphasis to the development of international guideline for the development and management of activities in particular on: (i) the impacts on the environment and biodiversity; (ii) the application of biotechnology; and (iii) the health of cultured stocks.
10. To provide and coordinate technical and financial assistance programs for developing countries, in particular low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs) and small island developing States, and encourage cooperation between these countries, in order to achieve the contribution of fisheries to food security through, inter alia: (i) a rapid transfer of technology and know-how in enhancement in inland and marine waters; (ii) an upgrade and increase of the capabilities needed to minimize post-harvest losses; and (iii) ensuring improved control of fishing activities within areas under national jurisdiction.
AND REQUEST the Government of Japan to convey this Declaration and Plan of Action to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, the 1996 FAO World Food Summit and relevant international organizations for their consideration and endorsement.
STATEMENT MADE BY ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND THE UNITED STATES IN RELATION TO THE KYOTO DECLARATION AND PLAN OF ACTION
9 December 1995
The Kyoto Declaration and Plan of Action which was adopted in the Plenary by Consensus represents an excellent outcome.
Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States wish to state our understanding of a solution we reached.
As is stated in the chapeaux, the operative paragraphs of the Kyoto Declaration and Plan of Action are without prejudice to our rights and obligations in international law.
The above countries explicitly stated in the Drafting Committee that we accepted this solution on the basis that it was not intended that the provisions of the Kyoto Declaration and Plan of Action would affect the competency of, or change the current status in, other international organisations, including the International Whaling Commission.