First training of trainers’ workshop on Think.Coop and Start.Coop for the aquaculture sector held in Lima

The ILO and UNIDO organized a regional training of trainers’ workshop on the adaptation of ILO’s Think.Coop and Start.Coop tools to the aquaculture sector in the ILO Office in Lima, Peru, on 21-25 August, 2023.

Actualité | 1 septembre 2023
Aquaculture is an important source of income and livelihoods, especially for many rural communities. Globally, it provides direct employment to more than 20 million people, with many more people employed along the supply chain. Despite its growing contribution to employment and decent work opportunities, food security and nutrition, and economic development, in many countries, aquaculture faces decent work deficits alongside other important social and environmental challenges.

As a contribution to improving the conditions of producers and workers in the aquaculture sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, and taking into account the 2021 Conclusions on the future of work in aquaculture in the context of the rural economy and the 2022 Conclusions on decent work and the social and solidarity economy, the ILO and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are collaborating on the adaptation and institutionalization of the ILO’s Think.Coop and Start.Coop tools in the aquaculture sector in the region, with a view to promote formalization and decent work in the sector.

After the initial adaptation of the two tools, ILO (Regional Office for the Americas, Sectoral Policies Department and the Cooperatives, Social and Solidarity Economy Unit), and UNIDO organized a regional training of trainers’ workshop in the ILO Office in Lima, Peru, on 21-25 August, 2023. The objectives of the workshop were to:
  • Transfer the ILO methodologies of Think.Coop and Start.Coop adapted to the aquaculture sector to a group of facilitators and future replicators from the Latin American and Caribbean region.
  • Have the participants complete the first part of the certification process on the two methodologies.
  • Pilot test and validate the adapted Think.Coop and Start.Coop tools for the aquaculture sector.
Prior to the workshop, a set of webinars were organized, to ensure at least a basic knowledge of the tools in advance and to familiarize the group with the facilitators and other participants. This turned out to be a useful way of allowing for effective organization of the workshop from the beginning.

The workshop had 16 participants, seven women and nine men, from nine countries of the region, in most cases representing Ministries and government institutions responsible for the development of the aquaculture sector, including in relation to training. Regional workers’ and employers’ organizations were also invited.

The workshop was opened by the Director of the Office for the Andean Countries, Mr Italo Cardona, on behalf of the Regional Office. He emphasized the important role that the aquaculture sector has for supporting the economic and social development in the region and noted how cooperatives can be a key tool for addressing some of the challenges the sector is facing. From UNIDO, Ms Carolina Gonzalez, UNIDO Representative for Colombia, Guyana, Peru and Suriname, and from the host country Peru, Ms Monica Saavedra Chumbe, General Director of Aquaculture, from the Ministry of Production, joined the opening session. This was followed by presentations from UNIDO on their activities in aquaculture in the region, and from the ILO on providing context for cooperatives and decent work in aquaculture and the rural economy more in general.

The main part of the workshop focused on the transfer of knowledge on Think.Coop and Start.Coop tools, with the participants taking the lead of most of the sessions, each being responsible for one specific module of the tools. In addition, participants provided valuable input towards finalizing the tools that were now used for training for the first time and developed action plans towards both completion of the certification cycle, as well as institutionalization of the approaches in their institutions and countries.

As next steps, the manuals will be finalized based on the inputs received from the workshop participants. Then, the participants will continue with the certification process, through training national trainers, with a view to institutionalizing the Think.Coop and Start.Coop tools as a key offer for training aquaculture producers and associations and to promote decent work in this sector that is critical for food security in many countries.