On 30 January, biodiversity experts from more than 20 African countries will meet in Harare to discuss the state of biodiversity for food and agriculture in the region and consider action to strengthen the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. National Focal Points will share experiences at national and regional levels with the aim of strengthening efforts to halt the loss of this key resource.
“Biodiversity is crucial to our African way of life. We must take action to preserve it and halt the ongoing loss of diversity in our agrifood systems. Our landraces, such as sorghum and millets, are declining in number. Urgent steps need to be taken to conserve and sustainably manage them. Let’s work together to preserve our planet’s precious resources and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come,” said Patrice Talla, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa, and FAO Representative in Zimbabwe.
One of the main objectives of the workshop, co-organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations, will be to discuss ways and means to strengthen the implementation of the Framework for Action on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture in Africa. The framework, adopted in 2021 by FAO, is intended to put the brakes on the loss of biodiversity for food and agriculture. Country representatives attending the event will share lessons learned and discuss the challenges involved in converting the words of the framework into action on the ground.
The FAO Framework for Action on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture is the response of FAO Members to the first ever report on The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture launched by FAO in 2019. The framework addresses the whole of biodiversity for food and agriculture, including plant, animal, forest and aquatic genetic resources, as well as the range of ecosystem services they provide. It promotes a coordinated approach to the management of biodiversity across the different sectors . “Biodiversity is critical for the transformation of agrifood systems so that they become more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind,” said Dan Leskien, Officer in Charge of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
The regional workshop provides an opportunity for country representatives to exchange information and facilitate the sharing of best biodiversity-friendly practices and strategies to effectively implement the main priorities of the framework within the region.
Biodiversity loss has a variety of causes and poses a severe threat to the future of agriculture and world food security. Many species and ecosystems are in decline. Bees, for example, are key pollinators and vital to the production of many crops. In many African countries, their survival is being jeopardized.
“Bees are a treasure that needs to be cherished. It is critical to allow bees and other pollinators to continue to carry out their vital pollination work in our environment,” said David Mukomana, President of the Apimondia Regional Commission for Africa.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.