Countries intending to be formally recognised as an FiTI implementing country must initiate the process by completing six sign-up steps, as listed in Part I, Section A of the FiTI Standard (Requirements A.1 – A.6).
STEP 1: Public Commitment (FiTI Standard section A.1)
STEP 2: Enabling Environment for Stakeholder Participation (FiTI Standard section A.2)
STEP 3: FiTI Lead Ministry and FiTI National Lead (FiTI Standard section A.3)
STEP 4: FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group (FiTI Standard section A.4)
STEP 5: FiTI National Secretariat (FiTI Standard section A.5)
STEP 6: Workplan (FiTI Standard section A.6)
Public commitment vs. FiTI implementing country
For a country to be recognised as an official FiTI implementing country (i.e. either a FiTI Candidate country or a FiTI Compliant country), it must complete the six sign-up steps, as outlined above. This process begins with a public commitment from the government that it intends to join the FiTI.
While such a public commitment demonstrates a sincere intention of the country’s government to increase transparency in fisheries management through the FiTI, such a commitment should not be misinterpreted as official acceptance into the initiative. Only when such a commitment is followed by concrete implementation activities (such as the establishment of a FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group or the agreement on the country’s first FiTI workplan) and the subsequent approval of the country’s Candidate Application by the FiTI International Board will the country be formally recognised as an FiTI implementing country.
FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group
The FiTI is implemented in countries through National Multi-Stakeholder Groups, consisting of representatives from government, business and organised civil society. These groups make decisions on how the FiTI is implemented in their countries.
They must also work collectively to assess whether information in the public domain is perceived as accessible and complete and make recommendations on how to improve information published by national authorities.
Roles and responsibilities of the FiTI Lead Ministry and the National Multi-Stakeholder Group
The government must designate a ministry to officially lead and assume overall responsibility of the FiTI implementation. Such a ministry is referred to as the FiTI Lead Ministry. The FiTI Lead Ministry does not necessarily have to be directly related to fisheries, but can also be another ministerial body (e.g. Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development) or directly located in the President’s or Prime Minister’s office. It is important that the FiTI Lead Ministry has the appropriate powers and resources to take the overall responsibility of the FiTI implementation.
From this ministry, a senior government official needs to be appointed to lead the implementation of the FiTI in the country. This public official is referred to as the FiTI National Lead.
The FiTI National Lead must, typically as one of her/his first tasks, coordinate the establishment of a FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group. This National Multi-Stakeholder Group is tasked with overseeing the actual implementation of the FiTI in the country.
|Responsibilities||Frequency||FiTI National Lead||National Multi-Stakeholder Group|
|Mobilising political and financial support for the FiTI implementation||Ongoing||X|
|Coordinating the establishment of a National Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG)||Once||X|
|Agreeing on clear, formally documented, public and accessible Terms of Reference (ToR) for the National MSG||Once||X|
|Establishing a FiTI National Secretariat||Once||X|
|Coordinating action across relevant ministries and agencies||Ongoing||X|
|Acting as the national decision-making body in charge of applying the global FiTI Standard to the national context||Ongoing||X|
|Overseeing the implementation of the FiTI||Ongoing||X|
|Developing the country’s FiTI workplan||Regularly (e.g. annual)||X|
|Appointing a Report Compiler||Annual||X|
|Agreeing on public ToR for the FiTI reporting process||Annual||X|
|Determining recommendations for transparency improvements over time||Annual||X|
|Ensuring that FiTI contributes to public debates||Ongoing||X|
|Publishing an impact report||Every 3 years||X|
|Serve as the national escalation point regarding the FiTI implementation||On request||X|
|Representing the country vis-à-vis the FiTI International Board||On request||X|
Guidance Note #1 – Implementing the sign-up steps
The FiTI International Secretariat has prepared a Guidance Note for the benefit of countries intending to implement the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI). This Guidance Note provides practical guidance to countries intending to implement the FiTI on how to complete the requirements set out in Part I, Section A of the FiTI Standard.
This Guidance Note states the objectives of each of these requirements (what needs to be achieved). These objectives are then further elaborated with short descriptions on their purpose and relevance.
Countries are free to choose different implementation activities to reach the objectives of each FiTI Requirement. This Guidance Note supports countries in doing so by providing guidance on how to implement the FiTI Requirements in practice.
When the country has completed these requirements and wishes to be recognised as a FiTI Candidate, the government must – with the approval of the National MSG – submit a FiTI Candidate Application to the FiTI International Board.