The future of Africa’s forestry sector is in the spotlight at the 23rd Session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission which opened today in Kinshasa, hosted by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Commission, established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is the most important continental forum to discuss policy, scientific and technical issues relating to forestry and wildlife in Africa.
The 23rd Session opened this morning with a call from the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eve Bazaiba, for qualitative change for Africa’s forests and wildlife.
“This meeting will help us to establish and share practical recommendations for clear and qualitative change for the management of our forests and wildlife in Africa,” she said.
This meeting will help us to establish and share practical recommendations for clear Participants from 53 countries are taking part in the Session, either physically in Kinshasa or joining online.
Africa’s forests a tool to fight climate change
Africa’s forests offer an enormous opportunity not only for prosperity, but also as a tool to help fight climate change and hunger, and build the continent’s resilience against future crises.
But forests in Africa are under enormous pressure as economic demand drives deforestation and other unsustainable practices.
“The Commission is an important opportunity for all countries to have their say on forestry and wildlife issues, so that we can present clear and unified recommendations to policy makers,” said Edward Kilawe, acting Secretary of the Commission.
Over the next five days, technical experts, policy advisors, government decision-makers, academics, civil society and development partners will discuss opportunities and challenges facing Africa’s forests and wildlife. The theme underpinning these discussions is the role of forests and wildlife in strengthening resilience and recovery after crises and threats.
Session topics include forestry and wildlife in COVID-19 recovery programmes in Africa; turning the tide against deforestation in Africa; the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100); sustainable wildlife management in Africa; and sustainable wood and non-wood forest products – towards carbon neutral and resilient bio economies.
Recommendations from the Commission will be shared back to governments through their participating delegations and will inform discussions at the global level within FAO.
The Session ends on 26 August.