Fisheries Transparency Initiative now headquartered in Seychelles after signing of agreement
The agreement was signed by Racombo and the executive director of the FiTI International Secretariat, Sven Biermann. (The Blue Economy Department)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles is the new home for the Fisheries Transparency Initiative after the signing of a headquarters agreement.
The principal secretary for the Blue Economy, Kenneth Racombo, said that for Seychelles, hosting the International Secretariat for the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) "is an achievement for Seychelles towards promoting transparency and good governance."
FiTI is a global multi-stakeholder partnership where governments, business and civil society collaborate. It seeks to increase transparency and participation for the benefit of more sustainable management of marine fisheries and the well-being of citizens and businesses that depend on the marine environment. The platform is self-funded and does not depend on its host country
In 2018, Seychelles pledged to host the Secretariat at the 'Our Oceans' Conference in Bali. The FiTI International Secretariat Victoria was launched officially at State House on May 28, 2019. The secretariat was formerly hosted by the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform, a not-for-profit organisation in Berlin, Germany. The move makes Seychelles the first host country in the global south.
The agreement was signed by Racombo and the executive director of the FiTI International Secretariat, Sven Biermann, on October 22 in a short ceremony at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Racombo said that the signing reflects the good reputation Seychelles has in promoting sustainable development as a prestigious organisation selected the island nation for its head office.
Fisheries is the second top contributor to the economy of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
Biermann said that he and his team "are proud to call Seychelles our new home for the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), and are grateful to the government of Seychelles for their commitment to the initiative, not only as an implementing country but also as the host country for the FiTI."
"With today's signing of this headquarters agreement, both parties document their long-term commitment for improving the public availability of fisheries management information, in Seychelles as well as globally," he continued.
A press release from the Department of Blue Economy said that FiTI, being the "only global agreement that defines what information on fisheries should be published online by governments, is an ideal tool for the Seychelles to increase not only transparency in this sector but also emphasise on comprehensive endeavours for open government."
In Seychelles, the implementation of FiTI is led by a group of 12 voting members – four representatives each from government, business and civil society. The group is chaired by the Seychelles FiTI national lead, Philippe Michaud, who is also Seychelles' senior advisor to the Blue Economy.
On March 10, Seychelles submitted its official candidate application to the initiative which was subsequently accepted, making Seychelles the second country to do so after Mauritania. This was made possible after almost 18 months of stakeholder discussions.
By the end of 2020, Seychelles is expected to submit its first FiTI report, a step that needs to be taken before the island nation becomes a FiTI compliant country.