Friday, September 20, 2019

AFRICAN FARM FORESTRY PRODUCER ORGANIZATIONS CONFERENCE

Forests constitute a vital natural resource in Africa with over 70% of rural households  depending on them for their livelihoods, domestic fuel requirements and timber, Environment and Natural Resources CS prof Judi Wakhungu has said.

She noted that forests are critical in conservation of biodiversity and are increasingly becoming increasingly important in bio-prospecting for pharmaceutical and other bio-products industries, and in alternative medicines (herbal medicine).

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing participants of the African Farm Forestry producers organizations Conference  at Laico Regency, Nairobi.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing participants of the African Farm Forestry producers organizations Conference
at Laico Regency, Nairobi.

Speaking during she opened the First African Farm Forestry Producers organizations Conference in Nairobi, the CS added that Forests are   critical in providing a variety of environmental services for human wellbeing alongside underpinning many sectors of the continent’s growing economies.

Said Prof wakhungu “ It is for this reason that most African governments have prioritized enhancing conservation of forests and promotion of farm forestry as a strategy of reducing pressure on existing natural forestry resources’’.

The CS observed that conference was taking place at the right time in Africa when most governments are reforming their national forestry policies to effectively contribute to the livelihoods of the people.

She noted that the development of farm forestry producer organizations faces great challenges ranging from inadequate policy and legal frameworks, inadequate institutional capacity for the producer organizations to conduct business and engage in the market economy, inadequate quality standards for products and overall lack of emphasis by most governments on the contribution of this sector to the economy

The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC) was established by the Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the united Nations in 1959 and it has continued to provide   a policy and technical forum for the countries of the African region to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis

AFWC’s   purpose is to advise on the formulation of forest and wildlife management policies and to review and coordinate its implementation at the regional level, to exchange information and, generally through special Subsidiary Bodies, advise on suitable practices and action in regard to technical problems; and to make appropriate recommendations.

The participants were drawn from organizations representing farm/family forestry in Africa, as well as government forest managers, forest technical agencies, NGOs, donor agencies, academic institutions, and general forestry groups committed to encourage the development of family farm forestry producer organizations and federations in their countries.

Group photo of the attendance of the conference at Laico Hotel, Nairobi

Group photo of the attendance of the conference at Laico Hotel, Nairobi

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