4-5 November 2019:
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the support of the Government of Rwanda and in collaboration with the African Union Commission and other partners including the CBD Secretariat, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office for Africa organized African Regional Dialogue on Biodiversity Mainstreaming across Agricultural Sectors The two-day conference took place at Kigali Marriott Hotel
Officially opening this Regional Dialogue meeting ,Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana , the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda congratulated FAO for their vision and leadership in spearheading this biodiversity mainstreaming dialogue, but most importantly for mobilizing high level policy makers and stakeholders for integrating biodiversity across relevant policies, plans and programs.
Mukeshimana said that; it is imperative that we commit to fostering the interaction between Biodiversity and agriculture through integrating actions for sustainable use management and restoration of biological diversity across policies, programs and activities
“Sharing of information on Biodiversity mainstreaming will foster mutual learning among different stakeholders for identifying gaps , needs and priorities , creating synergies in the Region towards biodiversity mainstreaming and reaching consensus on the way forward” Minister Said.
Speaking to participants of African Regional Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue on Biodiversity Mainstreaming Dr. Gualbert Gbehounou FAO Representative to Rwanda emphasized the importance of pollinators for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 2 on Zero Hunger and Sustainable Development Goal 1 on Poverty Eradication.
He emphasized that ,SDG2 largely relies on sustainable agricultural production which itself cannot be achieved without the presence of beneficial insects that ensure pollination, pollination being an ecosystem service that we intuitively consider to be granted by nature and most of the time do not care about. However, pollination service in quality and quantity whether it is performed or not depends on the quality of the farming environment.
Gbehounou said that approximately 80% of all flowering plant species are pollinated by animals, mostly insects and those insects affect 35% of the world’s crop production increasing the yield of 87% of the leading food crops worldwide. Crops that need pollinators include mango, avocado, passion fruit, coffee variety Robusta, pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber, cocoa and palm oil to name but a few.
Pollination is critical and determines production of most crops and awareness of this essential ecosystem service is important for everyone – the general public, farmers but also decision makers from local, national to international levels. Gbehourou said
What’s the role of the Rwandan youth in Biodiversity mainstreaming?
On the second day of African Regional Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue on Biodiversity Mainstreaming across Agricultural Sectors, Jean Baptiste Hategekimana the Chairman of Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) said that RYAF has planted 8000 fruit trees in Kamonyi District with a target to plant 100 million more in the next 5 years countrywide.
The overall objective of this Regional Dialogue was to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity mainstreaming across agricultural sectors, including the forthcoming FAO Strategy on Mainstreaming Biodiversity across Agricultural Sectors, and to exchange knowledge, experiences and lessons learned such as case studies on good practices/effective measures, policies and legislation on biodiversity mainstreaming in countries within the region, fostering mutual learning among different stakeholders, and identifying the roles of different stakeholders including youths and to identify gaps, needs & priorities, creating synergies in the Region towards biodiversity mainstreaming and reaching consensus on actions to be taken at regional and country level.
From Communication Team