By Agusdin Pulungan, President of WAMTI
First, I would like to express my thanks to the Private Sector Mechanism and the SME/Farmer grant, which supported and facilitated my CFS44 attendance as a representative of WAMTI, a farmer and fisher organization that represents the voices of 80,000 small-scale Indonesian fishers and farmers on the global stage.
Knowing the history and development of CFS, and seeing the agendas being put in place to achieve the SDGs, I believe that CFS is a very dynamic forum for diverse stakeholders.
I attended agroforestry negotiations on 5-6 October, where a set of policy recommendations were finalized after tough discussions. Of course, like any negotiation forum, this agenda had to accommodate and incorporate many different perspectives for it to be agreeable to all parties. I found this experience very impressive: changing one word or one sentence of a draft could consume hours of debate. At the negotiations, the PSM’s team was wonderful. The secretariat and the other attendees (Mike May and Dror Avisar of FuturaGene) worked in harmony and were able to deliver meaningful proposals. Each of us was able to intervene with points on the importance of sustainable forests for people, planet, and profit. All in all, I think that PSM put together a great team for the forestry negotiations.
During the week of CFS, the PSM had daily briefings each morning. At these very useful briefings, and throughout the week of CFS, I met many interesting members of the PSM delegation. One was Tiare Boyes, a young fisherwoman from Canada, who reminded me how fishing can be considered an attractive economic activity for women; it is rare in my country, Indonesia, to see women involved in fishing at sea. I also chatted and exchanged ideas with Nicole Rogers, of AgriProcity, about her work and some possible cooperation with farmer enterprises in Indonesia. These are just two examples of good impacts of the PSM network at CFS.
At the High Level Dinner, my table’s discussion on food loss and waste started broad and became very productive, all while we enjoyed a great meal. There were many different interests represented at our table, but we acknowledged our shared goals and certainly broke some tension with laughter.
Last but not least, I gained important new knowledge about agroforestry matters and about the framing of SDG goals within CFS’s agenda.