LIFE and the FAO’s Family Farming Knowledge Platform :
working together to raise awareness on small-scale fisheries
Rome and Brussels, 15 November 2017
Teodor Dosa (FFKP) and Claudia Orlandini (LIFE)
During the 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), FAO and various partners and stakeholders expressed the need to go beyond the celebrations and to put in place a set of concrete actions aimed at addressing issues and challenges raised throughout the year. In response to that, the decision was made to implement a web-based knowledge platform that could share information and knowledge on key topics and the state of policy making related to family farming across the world in a user-friendly facility on the web. The platform therefore represents one of the main and long lasting legacies of the IYFF 2014, as a worldwide reference to facilitate informed decision making on family farming policy processes.
The Family Farming Knowledge Platform gathers digitized quality information on family farming from all over the world; including national laws and regulations, public policies, best practices, relevant data and statistics, researches, articles and publications.
It integrates and systematizes existing information to better inform and provide knowledge-based assistance to policy-makers, family farmers’ organizations, development experts, as well as to stakeholders in the field and at the grassroots level.
By spotting a huge amount of diverse information and knowledge, the platform helps giving sense of the enormous contribution that family farms give to address some of the most press challenges we face today, such as food security and the needs of sustainable food systems that preserve natural resources in times of climate change and the challenges they face themselves. In addition, the users can find all kind of information on the work of FAO in HQ and at the field level to help family farms prosper.
The FFKP is directed to all those involved in family farming and rural development related issues: from farmers’ organizations to Governments to universities students, the audience is quite transversal.
In addition, the FFKP allows its worldwide contributors and focal points from national governments to collaborate. Currently the Platform includes more than 100 focal points appointed by their governments and another 100 contributors worldwide. A strong coalition of stakeholders sharing their knowledge is the foundation of this initiative. Contributors and focal points therefore play a vital role in this project, since they are not only FFKP users, but they also regularly feed the database with updated and relevant material. Two years after from its launch, the FFKP databases includes more than 15 000 documents and has already been visited by approximately 170 000 users since its launch, in June 2015. Among these important contributors is the Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE), the association giving voice to the thousands of small-scale fishers that work along Europe’s coast. Thanks to LIFE and FFKP, data and content are now made available to governments, academia and stakeholders so that the latter can get to know better the immense environmental, social and economic value of local fishing communities and that the message of those who for too long have been labelled the “forgotten fleet” is now heard loud and clear worldwide.