Mr John Scanlon, Secretary General of CITES,
Mr Robert Hoft, representative of the Executive Secretary of the CBD,
Mr Eduardo Mansur, Director of the Forest Assessment Management and Conservation Division of FAO,
Representatives of institutions members of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management,
It is a great honour and a pleasure for me to welcome participants on behalf of FAO in this historic first meeting of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management, on behalf of FAO. I am particularly glad to see Mr Jan Heino, former Assistant Director-General Forestry Department of FAO, represent important partners in this meeting. We are also honoured to host this meeting jointly with CBD based on our long standing collaboration.
FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy, while conservation of natural resources is specifically mentioned as a global goal in the Organization’s Constitution.
Indeed the concept of sustainability is deeply rooted in the work of FAO in all its aspects, especially in reference to biodiversity, both when it refers to farmed species, to their wild relatives and to wild species used for human consumption in terrestrial and in aquatic ecosystems.
FAO supports its member countries in mainstreaming biodiversity in sustainable forest management, conservation and sustainable use of wildlife for improved livelihood and food security of rural communities, working in an interdisciplinary manner, including nutrition, food security, health, biodiversity conservation, social, economic, institutional and policy aspects. FAO promotes a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral “One Health” approach to improve animal, human and ecosystem health in a holistic manner, with specific attention given to zoonotic disease risks associated with human and wildlife interface, and the practices of wild meat consumption, trade and marketing, as well as food-borne pathogens impacting the health of people. A new initiative, called FAO-WILD, was recently launched in 2012 as a programmatic framework for these activities, being implemented in collaboration with partners. FAO is currently executing several GEF funded projects on Protected Area and Wildlife conservation and management, including regional projects on protected area management in the Pacific and on Sustainable Management of the Wildlife and Bushmeat Sector in Central Africa, and supporting national-level GEF projects in Mongolia, China, Cambodia and others.
FAO has been participating in the CBD Liaison Group on Bushmeat since it was established, and considers that better coordination and concerted action among organisations working in wildlife management is essential for achieving success. The Organization therefore welcomed the decision of the Conference of Parties to the CBD, in October 2012, in Hyderabad, requesting the establishment of a collaborative partnership on sustainable wildlife management and offered to provide technical and operational support required for its establishment and functioning.
FAO is glad to co-convene with the Secretariat of the CBD this first meeting of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management, which should further define roles and operational procedures, and prepare a program of work for the Partnership for the next few years. I understand that these important agenda items will be discussed today.
With these few words, I wish you a successful and fruitful meeting.