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First Africa Food Security and Adaptation Conference Focuses on Ecosystem-based Approaches

FAO UNEP21 August 2013: The First Africa Food Security and Adaptation Conference: Harnessing Ecosystem-based Approaches for Food Security and Adaptation to Climate Change in Africa was convened by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), other UN agencies, governments and other stakeholders. The Conference explored ecosystem-based approaches to enhance food security, ecosystem productivity and climate change adaptation in Africa.

The Conference was held from 20-21 August 2013, at UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and brought together over 700 participants from 54 countries, including representatives of governments, civil society and intergovernmental organizations.

The two-day event was divided into plenary and discussion sessions. Participants convened in plenary sessions on Tuesday morning and late afternoon and throughout the day on Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon, four parallel discussion sessions were held to give participants the opportunity to reflect on key questions regarding how to mainstream ecosystem-based approaches to get Africa out of food insecurity in a changing climate.

The event concluded with the adoption of a “Conference Declaration on Ecosystem-based Approaches for Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation,” which among other things recognizes ecosystem-based adaptation approaches as the first step towards building resilient food systems and adapting to climate change in Africa. The Declaration resolves that: ecosystem-based approaches should be up-scaled and funded; requests governments and regional bodies to institutionalize ecosystem-based approaches into national policy frameworks; and urges the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (ACMEN) to adopt the recommendations from the Conference. [IISD RS Coverage] [Conference Website] [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release]