Speech by the Director of Forestry, Mr. Patrick Mung'alla on the occasion of the Official Closing of the Workshop on the Formation of the Forest Pest Management Network at KEFRI, Muguga, on 28th April, 1995
Directors of Forestry and Forestry Research Institutions, Representatives of International Organizations, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
As we mark the end of a week-long meeting on the formation of an African Forest Pest Management Network, I wish to commend you all for having made time out of your busy schedules to attend this important meeting.
I am informed that in your deliberations, you set out to consider the state of the art, analyse pest management problems inherent in the Region and to arrive, by consensus, at a workable solution to the current situation. Your vigorous participation in the discussions that have taken place in the last week is a reflection of your commitment and desire to develop and belong to a sustainable network. You have as result of your concerted efforts, created a framework for the proposed network. Do accept my congratulations for the excellent results of this meeting.
Looking back at the manner in which you set out to accomplish this enormous task, it is clear that the Workshop organizers were careful to get objective facilitators to run the week's programme.
Thus, regardless of background and experience, participants were on a level playing ground and each one's opinion received the attention or criticism it well deserved.
It is no wonder that the document you have finally developed addresses the issues that appeared of most urgency in pest management in the region. We believe that it also provides a capacity to respond to different circumstances in the future. Most important of all, you have considered the constraints under which the network will operate and have recognized mechanisms by which many of such constraints can be overcome.
I am told that your deliberations took into account the existing relations between several interested parties in this problem of pest management in the African region. Through participation analysis, you were better able to determine the role that each interested party can continue to play for the common good of all in the proposed network. Although financial and technical resources available to tackle problems are clearly limited, a realistic way to cope with the situation is to share the meagre resources as much as possible. You have realistically analyzed your own strengths and weakness and I doubt that you have considered the best manner in which you can maximise on existing infrastructure while anticipating continuing growth of your organizations.
On the question of the priority areas for the attention of the pest management network, your deliberations saw you consider what regional issues are related to pest management, ongoing activities and who is involved so that you could identify areas whereby the network could assist. It was thus possible to focus on what the network could achieve and set realistic objectives for it.
Despite having had the benefit and the knowledge about some existing networks, you treated the task before you as one which required you to address pest management us a unique issue. Thus you resisted the temptation to borrow heavily on what others have done but took up the challenge to develop an organization structure, terms of reference for different offices within the structure as well as the major inputs and the budget required for sustainable network. I hope that the indicators of success that you have agreed upon will bring back to you the necessary feedback to enable you to review the progress of the process of networking.
For now let it suffice to say that for true formation of network on pest management the task has been well tackled by all of you.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I also take this opportunity to recognize the role played by a network of other organizations that have enabled us to form an African Forest Pest Management Network. We are very grateful to FAO, CIDA, IIBC and KEFRI for sponsoring this Workshop. I hope that we can still rely on you for continued support as we put the different mechanisms of networking into gear.
I would also like to sincerely thank the organisers of the event, and in particular KEFRI and IIBC for ensuring that little details and requirements on the ground were taken care of.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is no secret that the success of this Workshop is your active participation. We are very grateful to you for taking time off from your busy schedules to attend the Workshop. So thank you for coming.
Let us all go away from here with one mind that the best way to combat common problems is to work together. With the formation of the African Forest Pest Management Network we shall be able to reap more benefits from shared efforts within the newly born network.
With these few words, ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour and pleasant duty for me declare the workshop on African Forest Pest Management Network officially closed.