Central African Parliamentarians call for sustainable forest management to ensure food and nutrition security
Libreville, Gabon — Ahead of International Day of Forests in March, the Network of Central African Parliamentary Alliances on Food and Nutrition Security (RAPAC-SAN) and the Network of Parliamentarians for the Sustainable Management of Central Africa Forest Ecosystems (REPAR-AC) held a two-day conference to highlight the importance of sustainable forest management in improving food and nutrition security.
Held on 27 and 28 February 2023 at Gabon’s National Assembly, the conference aimed to assess the progress of the Alliance's implementation in 11 Central African countries, present the current state of food and nutrition security in the region, exchange experiences with other parliamentary alliances, and identify key achievements and challenges while providing recommendations for stakeholders.
Organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and its partners, the event culminated in the creation of the Libreville Declaration, a collection of recommendations aimed at promoting parliamentary diplomacy in support of sustainable forest management and ecological agriculture for the purpose of enhancing food and nutrition security.
The Declaration emphasizes the need for enhanced collaboration among parliaments and partners to ensure the implementation of commitments and policies relating to food security and nutrition. It presents recommendations for promoting sustainable forest management and food and nutrition security in the region, directed towards heads of state, parliamentarians, donors, development partners, and other stakeholders.
The parliamentarians of RAPAC-SAN recommended various actions, including formalizing support for the functioning of national alliances and strengthening advocacy efforts towards northern countries for respecting commitments. Furthermore, the parliamentarians suggested that Central African countries develop capacities to access climate financing for nutrition and food security.
Another main outcome of this meeting was the election of the President of the Gabonese Parliament as the new President of the regional RAPAC-SAN. His role will be to follow the implementation of each action plan for food security and nutrition in the Central Africa Parliamentary Alliances.
At the conference, the SUN Movement Secretariat and four SUN Government Focal Points from countries in the region were invited to share their experiences on nutrition promotion and support parliamentarians in prioritizing adequate in-country activities to influence nutrition budgets and legislation and ensure that the right policies and plans are adopted.
The Libreville Declaration highlights the urgent need for multisectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration in addressing the pressing environmental and nutritional challenges in Central Africa. It is a concrete example of efforts to link climate change and nutrition agendas, an example from which SUN stakeholders can draw.