FAO Regional Office for Africa

FAO plays a lead role in GASL to foster the contribution of livestock to eliminate hunger in Africa

FAO delegation at the International Partnership Meeting calls for environment friendly livestock development

Multi-stakeholder Partnership Meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) to promote the potential contribution of livestock to livelihoods, Photo: © FAO/Ethiopia

12 May 2017, Addis Ababa – The high-level Delegation of FAO took part in the 7th Multi-stakeholder Partnership Meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) to promote the potential contribution of livestock to livelihoods and long-term food security, while responding to climate change. The Delegation, led by Ren Wang, Assistant Director General for Agriculture and Consumer Protection at FAO, expressed its commitment to shore up the livestock sector to address food insecurity and malnutrition, thereby ending hunger in Africa and the rest of the world, while reducing the sector’s environmental footprint and resource use.

In his keynote address at the Meeting, which took place from 8th to 12th May, 2017, in in Addis Ababa, Wang said, FAO, along with GASL, strives to ensure the sector continues to yield long-term benefits to the millions of smallholders whose very survival is highly dependent on livestock. By addressing the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, the livestock sector, he said, will significantly contribute to the achievement of FAO’s vision of “a world without hunger”. To this effect, he noted, FAO promotes sustainable development of the livestock sector to improve food and nutrition security in Africa; thereby bolsters peace and gender equity, and contributes to the fight against land degradation and loss of biodiversity.

Explaining the importance of livestock to livelihoods and national economic growth, Fekadu Beyene, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries of Ethiopia, Fritz Schneider, Chair of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, and Jimmy Smith, Director General of ILRI, in their keynote addresses, reiterated that the livestock sector holds huge potential to impact positively the rural and urban populations of Africa through reductions in food prices and increases in the supply, as well as growing availability of employment opportunities in livestock-related sectors. The initiatives taken by GASL, they said, are instrumental to ensure the livestock sector is preforming well to the achievement of food and nutrition security, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability at household, sectorial and national levels.

In briefing the press, Berhe G. Tekola, Director of the Animal Production and Health Division at FAO, underlined the fact that FAO, through GASL, is supporting Africa’s Sustainable Livestock Strategy 2050 and other tools, models and guidelines, such as the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership (LEAP) and the Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM), to nurture and monitor the development of the sector. Berhe further noted that FAO is committed to enhance the contribution of livestock to livelihoods of millions of stallholders in the world, while ensuring the sector’s balanced integration with the environment through GASL’s Action Networks. GASL thematic and regional networks, he said, constitute experts who lead the implementation of priority activities, which target the reduction of emissions from livestock, as well as carbon sequestration.

The 7th Multi-stakeholder Partnership Meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) brought together livestock specialists from over 50 countries and demonstrated the positive contribution of livestock to the lives and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people on the planet, and foster the sustainable development of this rapidly-growing sector. Donors, government and public sector representatives, UN agencies, multilateral and non-government organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector have taken part in the five days meeting, and discussed and proposed how to best foster the sustainable development of this rapidly growing livestock sector.

Background

GASL is a partnership of livestock sector stakeholders committed to the sustainable development of the sector. It unites the forces of the public and private sectors, producers, research and academic institutions, NGOs, social movements and community-based organizations, and foundations to simultaneously address global food security and health, equity and growth, and resources and climate change.