Alliances parlementaires

Ismahane Elouafi, FAO's Chief Scientist, draws the attention of Central African parliamentarians to the dangerous rise in food and nutrition insecurity in Central Africa

01/03/2023 - 

Addressing the 350 participants of the joint conferences of the Presidents of the Parliamentary Alliances of Central Africa and the International Conference of Parliamentarians on the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa, FAO Chief Scientist, Ismahane Elouafi, reminded the Assembly that, according to predictions, the world is still far from achieving the goal of ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.

With only seven years to go, the African continent, in particular the Central African sub-region, is still far from meeting the United Nations’ 2030 deadline for reaching Zero Hunger. The latest data suggests that severe food insecurity has increased in every region globally, and indicates that by 2030, at least 670 million people could still suffer from hunger. 

Addressing sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa, Elouafi noted that the forests of the Congo Basin – the second largest equatorial forest basin in the world after the Amazon – are under increasing pressure to meet the different needs of several actors. Particularly valuable for the richness of their biodiversity, their enormous carbon storage potential and their contribution to the economic development of the Central African countries, these forests must keep public action oriented towards their sustainable management. 

As a primary source of scientific information in all domains related to agriculture and forest management, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has the capacity to produce data that can draw the world’s attention to the critical condition of food security and nutrition, the existing threats to ecosystems and forest over-exploitation. 

In the face of similar threats, parliamentarians, through their national and regional alliances, have a key role in supporting the achievement of food and nutrition security and ensuring the sustainable management of Central African forest ecosystems. This goal is achievable through the adoption of policies, the establishment of appropriate legislative and regulatory frameworks, awareness raising, promotion of dialogue between stakeholders, and resource allocation.

FAO has directly supported the establishment of more than 45 parliamentary alliances in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Additionally, it has contributed to the draft and adoption of over 40 laws on issues related to food security, nutrition and agriculture in these regions.

For the forests of the Congo Basin, FAO’s commitment in Central Africa focuses on supporting countries in improving forest governance, which remains an important tool to guarantee these forests’ sustainable management, the conservation of their biodiversity, the improvement of forest carbon stocks and a better contribution of their revenues to national economies.

Concluding the conference, Elouafi once again affirmed FAO’s willingness to support the efforts of parliamentarians in the Central African sub-region towards a world free of hunger and malnutrition.