South Africa is set to host the 22nd session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC) scheduled to take place at the Kruger National Park, Skukuza, Mpumalanga, from 9 – 13 March.
The session will be officially opened by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Makhotso Sotyu.
Ministers responsible for environment from Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Gambia, South Sudan, Lesotho and Guinea are expected to attend the Session.
The Department’s Albi Modise said the session will be convened under the theme “Forests and Wildlife: Africa’s Diversity for shared prosperity and security”.
The theme highlights the abundance and diversity of Africa’s resources, holistically capturing their value and key role in maintaining millions of people’s livelihoods, through contribution to water-energy-food security and nutrition, building a foundation for resilience, nations’ economies and prosperity.
The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission gathers heads of forestry and wildlife from 53 member countries in Africa.
“It is a statutory body of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) to advise on the formulation of forest and wildlife management policy and to review and coordinate its implementation at the regional level; to exchange information and, generally through special Subsidiary Bodies, advise on suitable practices and action in regard to technical problems; and to make appropriate recommendations in relation to the foregoing,” said Modise.
The forum meets every two years, and is hosted in collaboration with the FAO by a member state. The Commission is open to other countries and organizations as observers.
The 6th African Forestry and Wildlife Week will be held simultaneously with the Commission Session to showcase progress and advancement in African forestry and wildlife sectors.
“It will provide an opportunity for South Africa to showcase its rich biodiversity and benefits derived through sustainable use of natural resources. It will further enable networking, collaboration and exchange of experience and knowledge among policymakers, technicians, practitioners, academia, civil society and development partners from different countries at local, regional and international levels.” The Week will include several exhibitions, multisectoral dialogues, and side events.