The World Bank in partnership with the Government of Indonesia has launched the Coastal Fisheries Initiative Challenge Fund. With financing of USD$1 million from the Global Environment Facility, the Challenge Fund will support sustainable investments into Indonesia’s coastal fisheries sector.
The new initiative, part of the World Bank’s Indonesia Sustainable Oceans Program (ISOP), will work with potential investors on developing business plans for sustainable fisheries, promote private-sector investment opportunities in sustainable fisheries, share lessons learned from past investment successes, and build partnerships between fishing communities and sustainability-minded businesses.
Indonesia is the world’s second largest fisheries producer. The sector generates approximately US$4.1 billion in annual export earnings, supports more than 7 million jobs, and provides over 50% of Indonesia’s animal-based dietary protein. The industry is facing uncertainty, however, with some coastal fisheries stocks at risk from overfishing and management challenges, including limitations to effective management plans, insufficient data and research, and limited opportunities for investment in socially and environmentally responsible fishing.
“The goal of the Challenge Fund is to increase the economic and social value of the sector and support the well-being and livelihoods of people reliant on coastal fisheries,” said Ann Jeannette Glauber, Practice Manager for Environment, Natural Resources and the Blue Economy at the World Bank.
Socially and environmentally responsible seafood not only supports healthy fish populations and marine habitats, but is also considered higher–value on the international market — thus increasing revenue for coastal communities involved in the industry and supporting profitable businesses over the long term.
The primary focus of the initiative will be on snapper and tuna fisheries in the Arafura and Savu Seas and surrounding archipelagic waters. This work is guided by an advisory committee comprising the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, the Ministry of National Development Planning and the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment.
Despite COVID-19 connectivity boost, world’s poorest left far behind
Some 2.9 billion people still have never used the internet, and 96 per cent live in developing countries, a new UN report has found. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the estimated number of people who have gone online this year actually went up, to 4.9 billion, partially because of a “COVID connectivity boost”.
This is good news for global development, but ITU said that people’s ability to connect remains profoundly unequal – as many hundreds of millions might only go online infrequently, using shared devices or facing connection speeds that hamper their internet use.
“While almost two-thirds of the world’s population is now online, there is a lot more to do to get everyone connected to the Internet,” Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General said.
“ITU will work with all parties to make sure that the building blocks are in place to connect the remaining 2.9 billion. We are determined to ensure no one will be left behind.”
The UN agency’s report found that the unusually sharp rise in the number of people online suggests that measures taken during the pandemic contributed to the “COVID connectivity boost.”
There were an estimated 782 million additional people who went online since 2019, an increase of 17 per cent due to measures such as lockdowns, school closures and the need to access services like remote banking.
According to the document, users globally grew by more than 10 per cent in the first year of the COVID crisis, which was the largest annual increase in a decade. But it pointed out that growth has been uneven.
Internet access is often unaffordable in poorer nations and almost three-quarters of people have never been online in the 46 least-developed countries.
A ‘connectivity Grand Canyon’
Speaking in Geneva, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the ITU said: “The internet divide runs deep between developed and developing countries. Only a third of the population in Africa is using the internet.
“In Europe, the shares are almost 90 per cent, which is the gap between those two regions of almost 60 percentage points. And there is what the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, has called in his Common Agenda blueprint for the future, “a connectivity Grand Canyon”.
The report found that younger people, men and urban dwellers are more likely to use the Internet than older adults, women and those in rural areas, with the gender gap more pronounced in developing nations.
Poverty, illiteracy, limited electricity access and a lack of digital skills continued to hinder “digitally excluded” communities, ITU noted.
World Bank Group and Azerbaijan Sign Agreement to Strengthen Partnership
The Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the World Bank Group signed today an Agreement on Establishing and Operation of Offices in Azerbaijan.
The Agreement was signed by Minister of Finance Samir Sharifov, on behalf of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Anna Bjerde, on behalf of the World Bank Group. Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov and Governor of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Elman Rustamov also took part in the signing event.
The signing of the new Establishment Agreement will greatly facilitate the work of the World Bank Group in Azerbaijan, including administration of its offices in Baku, to support joint efforts to achieve a green and resilient recovery through sustainable, inclusive and equitable growth.
“Our partnership with the World Bank has seen Azerbaijan’s incredible transition from a lower-income country to a donor of the International Development Association, the part of the World Bank Group that helps the world’s poorest countries,” said Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan. “This agreement will help augment these achievements.”
The World Bank has financed over 50 projects, with total commitments of $4.4 billion, spanning many national development priorities, including building human capital, strengthening access to infrastructure, public services and jobs, investing in agricultural competitiveness and rural development, and supporting the livelihoods of internally displaced persons.
“We look forward to continuing to grow and develop our collaboration with the Government of Azerbaijan and to bringing the best experience and expertise the World Bank can offer in support of Azerbaijan’s 2030 vision and development goals,” said Anna Bjerde, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia.
As the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has been supporting the private sector in Azerbaijan and has invested around $850 million in the country, including mobilization.
“A vibrant private sector is crucial for economic growth. The signing of this agreement with Azerbaijan comes at a time when the country is taking steps to have the private sector drive economic diversification. IFC is committed to continue supporting sustainable growth in Azerbaijan by helping mobilize the power of the private sector,” said Wiebke Schloemer, IFC’s Acting Vice President for Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
2022 will mark the 30th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s membership in the World Bank.
ILO launches new tool on social dialogue
The ILO has launched a new tool to help its constituents enhance the effectiveness and inclusiveness of their national social dialogue institutions.
The tool was developed as part of the Plan of Action on social dialogue and tripartism (2019-2023) that was endorsed by the ILO Governing Body at its March 2019 session . The Plan also implements the resolution and conclusions on social dialogue of the International Labour Conference (ILC) held in June 2018 .
The self-assessment method for social dialogue institutions (SAM-SDI) guides the social dialogue actors – governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations – through a process that analyses the inclusiveness and effectiveness of their social dialogue institutions. Based on this analysis, they can devise and implement an action plan to increase the institution’s impact on policy-making.
Social dialogue, based on respect for freedom of association and the right to effective collective bargaining, has a crucial role in designing policies to promote social justice and social and economic progress.
Social dialogue institutions have a key role to play in the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 16, which promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, access to justice for all and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Social dialogue is also an essential component of SDG 8 , which promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. It is also central to the achievement of SDG 5, on gender equality.
The SAM-SDI consists of six inter-linked steps. It is available online in English, French and Spanish, on a self-contained USB card and through an interactive e-Platform hosted by the ILO’s International Training Centre.
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