43rd Meeting of the Expert Panel on Social, Environmental and Economic

Performance (SEEP) of Cotton Production

30 October 2016

Islamabad - Pakistan

14:00 hs (Islamabad time) 75th Plenary Meeting

Members Present: Allan Williams (by telephone), Michel Fok, Jens Soth, Leon Piçon, Kater

Hake, and Georges Yameogo (for Wilfried Yameogo).

Observers: Jose Sette, Terry Townsend, Andrew Macdonald, Fatih Dogan, and Dean Ethridge.

Lorena Ruiz served as Secretariat from ICAC.

Allan Williams, the chairman of SEEP was not able to attend the meeting in person, Michel

Fok from CIRAD was designated to chair the meeting instead.

1. Approval of the Agenda

Michel Fok, opened the meeting by welcoming the members and observers present. The

Chair inquired if there were any proposals for changes or concerns regarding the agenda.

Seeing none, the agenda was approved.

2. Update on the testing of the SEEP framework

Jens Soth pointed out that since the last report of SEEP to the ICAC Plenary in Mumbai -

India, cotton-producing countries continued to test the SEEP sustainability indicators

guidance framework. Eleven countries have tested the framework in the field: Australia,

Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, China, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, Togo, the United States, and

Zambia. In addition, six countries have conducted national workshops to discuss the

framework: Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, and Niger.

The overall conclusion is that the framework has a high potential not only to monitor the

sustainability of cotton production but also to help identify the most problematic practices,

and therefore identify the priority sustainability issues to address.

The pilot testing has also highlighted that it would be helpful to provide further guidance on

the practical implementation of using the various indicators. In this regard, Mr. Soth noted

that SEEP aims to produce a report in 2017 to systematically capture the experiences and

the lessons learned from all the pilot tests, through a focused engagement with each

‘implementing’ agency.

The “lessons learned report” will consist of three methodological steps:

a) A summary table of all indicators, by pilot test activity, showing which of them have

been used, modified for the regional context or which were identified as difficult to implement.

b) An analysis on how the utilized indicators were applied and how corresponding raw

data was collected.

c) An organizational assessment of the roles of different actors in the pilot countries and

how they collaborated to implement the framework.

The report, which is being supported by the German GIZ, will also help to inform the need

for refinements and improvements to the current SEEP framework, including elaborating on

where practical guidance must focus to support the process of collecting relevant raw data

to inform locally adapted indicators. To achieve this goal, the help of all organizations and

people that conducted the pilot tests is very much needed so the consultant can collect the

experiences within each indicator.

Terry Townsend noted the importance for the Textile German Partnership to use a metric

based approach for the evaluation of sustainability. He mentioned that the German

Partnership is proposing that cotton sustainability be defined by the participation in an identity

program, such as BCI, Organic, Fairtrade, etc. Terry Townsend also observed that cotton

initiatives have massive data collection, and it would be ideal to invite those initiatives to work

together with SEEP and therefore avoid duplication of efforts.

Michel Fok, suggested that due to the lack of a harmonized utilization of the indicators on the

pilot tests implemented by the different regions, it might be necessary to repeat or enlarge

the tests implemented so far and to think in the elaboration of a guidance manual. He invited

the GIZ organization to consider this possibility once the synthesis report is finished.

4. Key points for SEEP report to Plenary

The Chair asked if any member had any comments or suggestions on the draft report

distributed beforehand the meeting. With regard to the final report, Jens Soth, Michel Fok,

and the ICAC Secretariat will finalize it, and will include the experiences from the pilot test

conducted by the different countries. Jens Soth will present the final report to the Plenary


5. Other business

Jens Soth suggested that a SEEP meeting should be held prior to the Plenary Meeting in

Uzbekistan to discuss the synthesis report and its results. The proposal was well received

and it will be coordinated with Allan Williams.

Terry Townsend requested that the series of fact sheets provided by SEEP, such as water

use and energy use, should be revised to ensure that they stay current. This information is

highly valuable within discussions with people working in both within and outside the cotton


Georges Yameogo, from Burkina Faso, informed that Wilfried Yameogo, a current member

of SEEP, has been assigned to another important function and he can no longer be part of

the panel. The government of Burkina Faso will send a letter to ICAC to nominate Mr. Wibga

Jean Pierre Guinko as the new SEEP member.

Seeing no other business, the CHAIR thanked delegates and observers for their presence

and declared the meeting closed. The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.