During the AFRAQ 2023 Conference and African Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society Exposition being held in Lusaka, Zambia, AU-IBAR was actively engaged in discussions regarding aquatic animal health, welfare, and biosecurity. Their contributions specifically revolved around key strategies, such as the African Fisheries Reform Mechanism (AFRM) and the Blue Economy Strategy, among other pivotal instruments.
Within the session titled “Strengthening Aquatic Animal Health, Welfare, and Ecosystem Health in Africa for Sustainable Blue Food System Development Amidst Environmental and Climate Change Challenges,” convened on November 14th, 2023, AU-IBAR found a fitting platform to synchronize their initiatives with these strategic frameworks. Dr. Nelly Isyagi, representing AU-IBAR, presented on “Aquatic Genetic Resource Management for Sustainable Blue Food Systems.” Her presentation underscored the pivotal role of the AFRM in fostering sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices across Africa. Highlighting governance reforms, management strategies, and capacity-building initiatives, Dr. Isyagi echoed the significance of harmonizing policies to support the health and welfare of aquatic species in alignment with the AFRM’s principles.
Moreover, AU-IBAR reaffirmed its commitment to the Blue Economy Strategy, aiming to harness aquatic resources for economic growth while ensuring environmental sustainability and societal inclusivity. Emphasizing the integration of aquatic animal health management into this strategy, AU-IBAR stressed the essential link between healthy aquatic ecosystems and the economic prosperity of communities reliant on these resources.
Throughout the discussions, the synergy between these strategies and AU-IBAR’s initiatives became evident. The necessity for collaborative actions, aligning with the principles of the AFRM and the Blue Economy Strategy, to conserve aquatic biodiversity and promote sustainable development echoed strongly.
AU-IBAR’s contributions emphasized the critical interconnections between effective governance, sustainable resource management, and aquatic animal health. The bureau’s proactive engagement in advocating for policies and practices that harmonize with the AFRM and the Blue Economy Strategy highlighted the imperative of holistic approaches for balancing economic growth, environmental conservation, and the well-being of aquatic ecosystems and their inhabitants.
In summary, AU-IBAR’s alignment with the AFRM and the Blue Economy Strategy signifies their concerted effort to integrate considerations for aquatic animal health and welfare into overarching frameworks, ultimately fostering sustainable development and responsible resource utilization in Africa’s aquatic ecosystems. These strategies serve as guiding principles for AU-IBAR, advocating for the health and resilience of aquatic species while fostering a sustainable blue economy across the continent.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).