Halting deforestation and forest degradation, promoting sustainable forest management and agroforestry are key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. The sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) will be convening a special 2-day event on these issues.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, under the auspices of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), EverGreen Agriculture Partnership (EVAP), the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies and Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), are convening the special event on 25 and 26 August 2016.
Hosted by ICRAF at its headquarters in Nairobi, the event will bring together African, Japanese and international participants to focus on two major topics relating to forest and landscape management in Africa:
- The Future of Wood-Based Energy (on 25 August); and
- Forest & Landscape Restoration for Food Security and Resilience to Climate Change (on 26 August).
A major outcome of the event is expected to be the adoption, by TICAD VI, of a message on sustainable forest management from the Ministers responsible for environment, forests and natural resources.
Coupled with other important global commitments, sustainable forest management is a key issue affecting the development trajectory. It is cross-cutting, with environmental, social and economic ramifications. Integrating the forest sector's contribution into national level development agendas and promoting the inclusion of trees on farming landscapes (also known as agroforestry) contribute to forest management, and in turn to the SDGs.
Japan has been implementing a number of technical cooperation projects for improving forest management in African countries. A major priority of these projects is to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as expressed by the Yokohama Action Plan 2013-2017 adopted at TICAD V.
"Japan is one of the most densely populated nations, yet it is one of the most forested (forest area 68.5%). And despite having different agroecological and historical contexts, African countries can borrow lessons from the Japan experience in sustainably managing landscapes," said Miyuki Iiyama, a socio-economics researcher with ICRAF and Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS).
Dennis Garrity, Drylands Ambassador for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, EverGreen Agriculture Partnership Chair and Distinguished Senior Research Fellow, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), is among the event's keynote speakers.
"Hunger and poverty is overwhelmingly rural, so the real challenge is to assist Africa's 100 million smallholders to produce more food and income, and to restore, regenerate and sustain the resource base for future food production," said Garrity.
Indeed, bold initiatives are underway on the continent to promote integrated landscape management with the goal of adapting to and mitigating climate change while at the same time contributing to food security and poverty alleviation.
Among these bold initiatives is the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) launched at the Paris COP21. This pan-African effort aims to restore the productivity of 100 million hectares of degraded land in Africa by 2030. Others are the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI) and the "Durban Declaration – 2050 Vision for Forests and Forestry" launched at the XIV World Forestry Congress in South Africa in 2015. These efforts are related to the Bonn Challenge, a commitment to restore 150 million hectares of land around the world by 2020, and the New York Declaration on Forests that builds on and extends the Bonn Challenge to 350 million hectares by 2030.
Launched by Japan in 1993, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) is a high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners. The conference aims to refocus international attention on the importance and urgency of African development issues. TICAD has evolved into a major global framework to facilitate the implementation of measures for promoting African development under the dual principles of African ownership and international partnership. The sixth TICAD conference (TICAD VI), the first to be held on African soil, will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 27-28August 2016. Sustainable forest management and climate change actions will be addressed in the context of promoting social stability.
About Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – Japan
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries comprehensively undertakes administration related to agriculture, forestry and fisheries products, covering from production to consumption and also to rural development and promotion of the welfare of rural inhabitants, with a view to achieving stable supply of food, sound development of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries and upgrading of the welfare of rural inhabitants. To learn more, visit http://www.maff.go.jp/e/.
About the World Agroforestry Centre
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is a CGIAR Consortium Research Centre. It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with five regional offices located in Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Peru. Its mission is to generate science-based knowledge about the diverse roles that trees play in agricultural landscapes, and to use its research to advance policies and practices, and their implementation, that benefit the poor and the environment. To learn more, visit http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org.
About EverGreen Agriculture Partnership
The EverGreen Agriculture Partnership (EVAP) is an alliance of organizations with a shared vision of integrating trees into agricultural systems and to sustain a productive green cover on the land throughout the year, enhancing the land and livelihoods of smallholder farmers around the world. The Partnership aims at scaling-up EverGreen Agriculture systems to increase food and nutritional security and resilience while enabling climate change adaptation and mitigation across Africa. To learn more, visit http://evergreenagriculture.net/.
About the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences
The Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) is the sole national institute that undertakes comprehensive research on agriculture, forestry and fisheries technology in developing areas of tropical and subtropical regions. JIRCAS also carries out domestic research on agriculture, forestry and fisheries, aimed at providing solutions to international food supply and environmental problems through technology development; and collects, analyzes and publishes information to grasp trends relevant to international agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as farming systems, through international collaboration and cooperation. To learn more, visit http://www.jircas.affrc.go.jp.
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