As we have stated, there are two main reasons why we have structured our proposal around a strong partnership and a broad collaboration network:
 
1. The scale and capacity building requirement of the endeavor
2. Broad participation will accelerate the needed change and ensure sustainability
 
The work being proposed is structured around a consortium of 5 organizations of international reach led by CATIE. We have assembled the most influential and experienced global team for tackling the problem of food limitations via aquatic farming.
Additional support work will also be provided by several other minor/theme partners/project associates (e.g., subcontracts to research or marketing groups to advance some specific topics).
Implementation will be mainly conducted through a network of international, regional and in-country collaborators. While we list several of our international collaborators, including Mary’s Meals, a food relief organization operating in Africa, we have key regional and in-country collaborators identified for all of the flagship countries and most of the other countries as well.
Although, clearly, work with so many organizations from around the world will require an extraordinary networking, administrative and implementation effort, we believe it is a task of paramount importance in order to achieve a global level where aquatic farming and the consumption of aquatic products become ‘commonplace’.
All partners, project associates and collaborators will be involved to varying degrees in implementation, support and training/education/public awareness, as well as in MEL.
In all, even with so many components and participating/collaborating organizations, the effort will have to be unified as one project.

 

Partners and their identified primary roles are:

CATIE, Costa Rica (Lead, and overall coordinator, Dr. Ricardo Radulovich)
(Tropical agriculture center for research and education)
  • Coordinating organization.
  • MEL coordination
  • Fish aquaculture and fisheries enhancement coordination, including environmental and biodiversity sustainability and impact and integration of different components of aquatic farming.
  • Co-leader, together with FAO, of freshwater production and use of aquatic plants, including environmental and biodiversity sustainability and impact.
SAMS, Scotland (Lead Dr. Elizabeth Cottier-Cook)
(Scottish Association for Marine Science), with collaboration from UNU (Institute for Water, Environment and Health UNU-INWEH)
  • Leader, seaweed production and use of seaweeds, including environmental and biodiversity sustainability and impact.
FAO, FIAA, Rome, Italy (Lead Dr. Xinhua Yuan)
(Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Aquaculture Branch)
  • Collaboration in facilitating, promoting and supporting project activities via FAO’s field offices in all countries and regions involved, particularly but not limited to emphasizing the role of Fisheries and Aquaculture regional, sub-regional and in-country officers, as well as via existing fisheries and aquaculture organizational structures operating at regional and topic levels under FAO coordination and participation.
  • Lead the policy component of the project encompassing activities and aims of the five main project axes identified so far:
    • Production via plant aquaculture/aquatic agriculture complemented by fish aquaculture and relations with fisheries.
    • Products/use as food, feed, other uses of products including product development, marketing and socio-cultural aspects related to consumption or lack of.
    • Environment/biodiversity, including ecosystem services, impacts, climate change.
    • Social/legal-regulatory-standards/policy/governance, including gender/youth, economy, finance and organizational models.
    • Education/training/dissemination/extension, including learning-monitoring-evaluation systems.
  • Co-lead together with CATIE efforts towards the characterization for production/use of aquatic genetic resources, emphasizing aquatic macrophytes, and developing aquatic information systems.
  • Additionally, what can be a fourth role, and together with project coordination based at CATIE and input from partners, FAO will facilitate its expertise in publications/dissemination of knowledge to better communicate project outputs and outcomes.
Bioversity International/CIAT Alliance, Rome, Italy (Lead, Dr. Gina Kennedy)
(An alliance of two CGIAR centers)
  • Lead the nutrition and food/security component of the project, cross-cutting the three intermediate outcomes and the three lines of activities, from in-country to global considerations. Participate in MEL and impact assessment, directly as part of the nutrition/food security component and in general and in the form of specific activities not originally included in the primary role of B.I.
    This will include recommending project action and evaluating pertinence/impact based on dietary analysis/promotion of healthy diets, product adequacy, consumption benefits, stimulation of demand, recipes/preparations for seaweeds and aquatic plants, legal/regulatory and socio-cultural considerations, local to country level relations to contribute to food security.
George Mason University, Virginia, USA (Lead, Dr. Diego Valderrama)
  • Lead the socio-cultural, economic and governance elements of the project, including gender and an emphasis on profit as defined for small-scale and low-cost production systems, value chains and value added. This work will be performed mainly as support to in-country implementation and to the work conducted by other partners and project associates, as well as via MEL and other related activities that will be considered necessary during project life.
 
The WorldFish Center, Malaysia (Lead, Dr. Michael Phillips)
(A CGIAR Center)
WorldFish is our most recent partner, that will be later on included in MOUs.
Their participation comes to strengthen our capacity in their fields of expertise, specifically, as agreed to this date, WorldFish will:
  • Support coordination and the integration of results and know-how of aquatic farming systems of the ground projects operating in their focal countries.
  • Contribute to foresight and policy research with FAO and IFPRI.
  • Contribute to the economic analysis and trade-off assessments on carbon emissions and nutrition.
  • Support MEL and measure outcomes and impacts with new bigdata opportunities.