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New €45 million initiative seeks to curb unsustainable wildlife hunting, conserve biodiversity and improve food security

Photo: ©FAO/Steve Maines

Wildlife migration to one of the few remaining waterholes in the southeast of Senegal - one of the 12 countries participating in the project.

10 October 2017, Rome - A €45 million multi-partner programme launched today at FAO seeks to help African, Caribbean and Pacific countries halt unsustainable wildlife hunting, conserve their natural heritage and strengthen people's livelihoods and food security.

Funded by the European Commission, the seven-year programme is an initiative of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).  Led by FAO, it will also rely on the expertise of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).   

The programme will contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in forests, savannas and wetlands by regulating wildlife hunting, strengthening the management capacities of indigenous and rural communities and increasing the supply of sustainably produced meat products and farmed fish. This will help to avert a looming protein deficit for poor rural families and meet the growing rural and urban demand for food.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva speaking at today's launch said: "Wildlife has ecological, social and economic value. It is important for rural development, land-use planning, food supply, tourism, scientific research and cultural heritage. This programme will protect wildlife species, conserve biodiversity, and maintain the essential ecological roles of wildlife. It will also help to secure the stocks and ecosystems services that are essential to the livelihoods of the poorest communities on the planet".

"This is the first time we have tackled these two issues - conservation and food security - hand-in-hand," said Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development at the launch ceremony. "This kind of collective effort and comprehensive approach is essential for meeting our dual aims of protecting the biodiversity of forests and savannahs, while ensuring the food security of some of the most vulnerable and politically marginalised people on the planet".

 "The challenges this initiative seeks to address are significant and numerous, including health and nutrition, economic development and biodiversity," reminded Patrick I. Gomes, Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States. "None of these challenges can be solved by a single intervention, so that is why this new partnership of FAO, CIFOR, CIRAD and WCS is well positioned to provide the multi-sector solutions we desperately need."

Participating countries in the project include Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guyana, Madagascar, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.   

"Wildmeat crisis"

The level of hunting and fishing in the target countries is often unsustainable, affecting wild animal populations in forests and savannas.

Many countries are already facing a "wildmeat crisis". The programme estimates that, for example, in the Congo Basin, some 4.6 million tonnes of wildmeat are consumed annually, an equivalent of approximately half of the beef produced in the European Union.

If hunting wildlife for food is not reduced to sustainable levels, not only will biodiversity be lost, but also countless numbers of families, whose livelihoods depend on natural resources, will suffer soaring levels of food insecurity and debilitating child malnutrition.    

Shifting from wildmeat to other sources of animal protein

The Sustainable Wildlife Management programme will work closely with national authorities to provide rural communities with alternative protein sources such as chicken, livestock or farmed fish. Doing so will help deter hunting of endangered species, support recovery of their populations and reduce food safety risks that can be associated with the consumption of wild meat.   

In places where production of livestock is limited due to unfavourable climate conditions, or where imported meat is unavailable or unaffordable, people will continue relying on wild animals to feed their families. However, measures like recognition of people's customary tenure rights may encourage them to engage more in wildlife conservation on their land and avoid unnecessary hunting. 

In contrast, in large urban areas, wild meat is sold and consumed less as a nutritional necessity, but more as a luxury item. Although the proportion of city dwellers consuming wild meat is often low, net demand can be enormous. In such cases, restrictions on wild meat consumption need to be put in place.

Improving wildlife management

The programme aims to help governments develop proactive policies and strengthen legal frameworks to reduce wildmeat consumption to sustainable levels without compromising food security of people who depend on wildlife hunting for their livelihoods and nutritional needs.  

The initiative also focuses on creating jobs in the farming sector, empowering women, and securing the rights of indigenous and traditional people to access the natural resources their livelihoods and cultures depend upon.   

The programme contributes to several targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to food security, sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation, specifically supporting SDG15, this year's review of which notes that "poaching and trafficking of wildlife remain serious concerns". 

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WFP Welcomes US$21 Million Contribution From China For Emergency Food Assistance Across Eight Countries

BEIJING – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$21 million contribution from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to provide urgent food and nutrition assistance to people affected by food crises across eight countries in Africa and Asia.

The contribution will assist approximately 1.65 million vulnerable people, including refugees and internally displaced in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Iran, Niger, Pakistan, Syria and Afghanistan. The funds will enable WFP to provide critical food rations such as rice, wheat, millet, pulses and oil, as well as to distribute specialized nutritious food to prevent malnutrition among refugee children under five.

“China is becoming an increasingly significant and valued donor to WFP, and the government’s generosity comes at a time when increasing numbers of people around the globe are desperately seeking food, safety, shelter and hope for tomorrow,” said Sixi Qu, WFP China Representative. “China’s support is a life-line for these vulnerable people who rely on WFP’s ability to continue covering their most basic food needs.”

WFP requires timely and sufficient funding to address the vital food needs of people left furthest behind in these eight countries. In addition to its emergency operations, WFP is also scaling up support for long-term recovery by focusing on livelihoods, nutrition and improving access to education for children by providing school meals.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @WFP_Media and on Weibo and Wechat:  @联合国世界粮食计划署

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Yiwen Zhang, WFP/China, Tel. +86 10 85325228 ext.5309 Mob. +86 13601169994

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GINKS, ACEPA Organise Workshop for Information Support Staff of Parliament

A two-day workshop on strategic approaches to evidence for information support staff of parliament has ended in Accra.


 
The workshop, which started on Wednesday, aimed to increase the knowledge of the parliamentary staff—drawn from Research, ICT, Hansard, Committees and Library departments—to overcome organizational obstacles that affect the use of evidence.

 
It was organized by the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS) and African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) with support from International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), an international development organisation.

The workshop was also to assist the parliamentary staff to understand the factors affecting evidence in the various departments of parliament and approaches to handling these issues.

 
GINKS is the lead agency for the VakaYiko Consortium in Ghana—a consortium of five organisations working in Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Uganda to build capacity for the use of research evidence—while ACEPA builds the capacity of African parliamentarians and elected representative bodies at all levels of governance.

 
Throwing more light on the training, Dr Rasheed Dramani, Executive Director, ACEPA, said the collaboration with INASP and GINKS is a six month extension phase of the VakaYiko programme, adding that the phase, called the learning and exchange phase, is a peer learning phase where the different parliaments—Ghana, Uganda and Zimbabwe— share the knowledge they had gained from EIPM training, learn together and if there are challenges, the rough edges are smoothen.

 
Over the last three years the information support staff of parliament of Ghana have learnt to generate evidence to support the work of parliament through training programmes organized by GINKS.

According to Dr Dramani, the workshop took participants through practical experiences by choosing strategic issues and examining how evidence could be used to solve those issues. Hence, it was hypothesized that if the genetically modified organism (GMO) bill, which has been on the debating table since 2013, came back to parliament next year, how would the information support staff of parliament help parliament to generate evidence so that parliamentarians argue on the basis of evidence rather than speculation?

Based on this, a working strategy has been developed to guide this thinking, using the information and knowledge the participants already have.

 
Source: ISD (Sule N. Jotie)

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Print article < GINKS, ACEPA Organise Workshop for Information Support Staff of Parliament >

A two-day workshop on strategic approaches to evidence for information support staff of parliament has ended in Accra.

The workshop, which started on Wednesday, aimed to increase the knowledge of the parliamentary staff—drawn from Research, ICT, Hansard, Committees and Library departments—to overcome organizational obstacles that affect the use of evidence.

It was organized by the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS) and African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) with support from International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), an international development organisation.

The workshop was also to assist the parliamentary staff to understand the factors affecting evidence in the various departments of parliament and approaches to handling these issues.

GINKS is the lead agency for the VakaYiko Consortium in Ghana—a consortium of five organisations working in Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Uganda to build capacity for the use of research evidence—while ACEPA builds the capacity of African parliamentarians and elected representative bodies at all levels of governance.

Throwing more light on the training, Dr Rasheed Dramani, Executive Director, ACEPA, said the collaboration with INASP and GINKS is a six month extension phase of the VakaYiko programme, adding that the phase, called the learning and exchange phase, is a peer learning phase where the different parliaments—Ghana, Zimbabwe and Uganda—which is part of the VakaYiko Evidence Information Policy Making (EIPM) learning programme, share the knowledge they had gained from EIPM training, learn together and if there are challenges, the rough edges are smoothen.

Over the last three years the information support staff of parliament of Ghana has learnt to generate evidence to support the work of parliament through training programmes organized by GINKS.

According to Dr Dramani, the workshop took participants through practical experiences by choosing strategic issues and examining how evidence could be used to solve those issues. Hence, it was hypothesized that if the genetically modified organism (GMO) bill, which has been on the debating table since 2013, came back to parliament next year, how would the information support staff of parliament help parliament to generate evidence so that parliamentarians argue on the basis of evidence rather than speculation?

Base on this, a working strategy has been developed to guide this thinking, using the information and knowledge the participants already have. 

Source: ISD (Sule N. Jotie)

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Print article < GINKS, ASEPA Organise Workshop for Information Support Staff of Parliament >

A two-day workshop on strategic approaches to evidence for information support staff of parliament has ended in Accra.

The workshop, which started on Wednesday, aimed to increase the knowledge of the parliamentary staff—drawn from Research, ICT, Hansard, Committees and Library departments—to overcome organizational obstacles that affect the use of evidence.

It was organized by the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS) and African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) with support from International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), an international development organisation.

The workshop was also to assist the parliamentary staff to understand the factors affecting evidence in the various departments of parliament and approaches to handling these issues.

GINKS is the lead agency for the VakaYiko Consortium in Ghana—a consortium of five organisations working in Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Uganda to build capacity for the use of research evidence—while ACEPA builds the capacity of African parliamentarians and elected representative bodies at all levels of governance.

Throwing more light on the training, Dr Rasheed Dramani, Executive Director, ACEPA, said the collaboration with INASP and GINKS is a six month extension phase of the VakaYiko programme, adding that the phase, called the learning and exchange phase, is a peer learning phase where the different parliaments—Ghana, Zimbabwe and Uganda—which is part of the VakaYiko Evidence Information Policy Making (EIPM) learning programme, share the knowledge they had gained from EIPM training, learn together and if there are challenges, the rough edges are smoothen.

Over the last three years the information support staff of parliament of Ghana has learnt to generate evidence to support the work of parliament through training programmes organized by GINKS.

According to Dr Dramani, the workshop took participants through practical experiences by choosing strategic issues and examining how evidence could be used to solve those issues. Hence, it was hypothesized that if the genetically modified organism (GMO) bill, which has been on the debating table since 2013, came back to parliament next year, how would the information support staff of parliament help parliament to generate evidence so that parliamentarians argue on the basis of evidence rather than speculation?

Base on this, a working strategy has been developed to guide this thinking, using the information and knowledge the participants already have. 

Source: ISD (Sule N. Jotie)

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How Two Junior Professional Officers Showed Their Skills Amid Ebola Outbreak

More than 50 Junior Professional Officers play a vital role in helping WFP carry out its work across the world, and since the Ebola emergency struck in West Africa two of these colleagues have played vital roles in helping Sierra Leone's people and aiding the recovery process. Here, Daniel Ham of Luxembourg and Fortune Maduma of Zimbabwe tell their stories and we see how their skills have seen them taking on increased responsibility. 

DANIEL'S STORY: WFP and the Rice Bag

A WFP rice bag hanging on the wall of Luxembourg's foreign ministry where he worked was enough to develop Daniel Ham's interest in the agency and his wish to gain field experience in international development.

Five months later, he found himself supporting the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit at WFP's Regional Bureau for West Africa, under the JPO programme. 

Held Out for Job with WFP

"I'd already been offered a civil service job, but I was holding out to get the job with WFP instead," Daniel says. "So when I heard that I'd been offered the JPO position in Dakar I was thrilled."

After joining in October 2013, he went on missions to several West African countries to help with training, review preparedness measures for natural disasters and disease, and work on mock-emergencies. 

Then a real emergency struck that was unique and unprecedented for WFP – the Ebola outbreak – and Daniel headed to Sierra Leone to lead food distributions under the Emergency Operation.

Oversaw Efforts to Get Food to Sick People

"I was finally doing ‘real' WFP work on the front lines of an operation," he recalls. "The first time I was involved in a food distribution, I remember hearing an audible sigh of relief from people waiting for their rations when they saw the WFP trucks pull up."

But the scale and devastation of the crisis really hit home as he flew over a vast Red Cross treatment centre in eastern Sierra Leone: "Seeing the neat rows of graves of Ebola victims really struck a chord about the seriousness and complexity of the response."

Working as a Team Player

Colleagues praised his collaborative spirit. "He was awesome – we never wanted him to go," says Senior Programme Assistant Betty Cooper. "He was committed, hard-working, and his listening skills made him the best team player."

After spending two months in Sierra Leone, Daniel has now moved to WFP's New York office, where he is part of policy discussions with humanitarian partners and follows high-level talks among UN Member States on humanitarian access.

He hopes to continue working with WFP as a Programme Officer once his time as a JPO ends.

"It's been nearly three years since that empty rice bag in Luxembourg inspired me to work for WFP," Daniel adds. "The JPO programme has granted me so many rewarding opportunities."

FORTUNE'S STORY: Entering WFP Amidst Ebola Outbreak

Fortune Maduma clearly remembers his first days at WFP's Country Office in Sierra Leone. That was in November 2014, when the country was in full throes of the Ebola outbreak.

"I was afraid to go out, even to go shopping for food in the supermarket," he says of a time when there was widespread fear about Ebola's transmission.
So began Fortune's job as a Nutrition Officer, under the JPO programme.

Fortune Maduma. Photo: WFP/Anna Soper 

Opportunity to Save Lives

"It was an exciting opportunity to be part of a committed humanitarian organization that is dedicated to saving lives and preventing suffering," says Fortune.
"I already had experience working with NGOs in Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Uganda," he says. "I wanted to look at new opportunities to widen my skill set."

Fortune spoke daily by phone with his worried family, assuring them he was OK. He needed to remain positive, especially for his wife who was nursing their infant daughter in South Africa.

Hard Work is Rewarded

His hard work has seen him become WFP's Head of Nutrition in Sierra Leone. As WFP looks ahead to post-Ebola challenges, Fortune is putting in place a National Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programme, aimed at over 40,000 moderately malnourished children aged between 6 and 59 months.

"I want to strengthen WFP's role as a key nutrition partner," Fortune says. "I want WFP to take a leading role in helping the government fight child and maternal malnutrition."

Fortune has worked with partners to extend nutritional support for HIV and Tuberculosis patients. He also plans to resume WFP's treatment of malnutrition for pregnant and nursing mothers in Sierra Leone. 

"Sierra Leone has improved the nutritional statistics for women and children in recent years," Fortune says, "I want to ensure the Ebola outbreak does not reverse that."

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Training Future Managers Today for Controlling the Insect Pests of Tomorrow

An insect pest birth control to manage many insect pests

SIT has been successfully used on different insect pests including fruit flies, tsetse flies, moths, screwworms and, to some extent, disease-transmitting mosquitos for which the technique is being developed and validated through several field pilot tests. To help participants learn more about the broad applicability of SIT, the course covered a variety of insect pests and brought together scientists with different specializations and different regions, to foster information exchange among experts and participants.

“Even though insect biologies are very different, the technology is the same, and management-wise is the same. I think you can apply what you do with fruit flies to what you do with tsetse, and vice versa,” said Cardoso Pereira. “Looking at a range of insect pests gives the big picture and can help increase management skills because you learn from other examples, other participants, and other situations. It gives you a lot of background for the future.”

Participants had backgrounds in, respectively, fruit flies, tsetse flies, moths, screwworms and mosquitos, and came from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Guatemala, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, Senegal, Sudan, Thailand, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

One participant, Suwannapa Ninphanomchai, a project manager at the Center of Excellence for Vectors and Vector-Borne Diseases in Thailand, explained how one fruit fly expert shared an awareness raising video that she thought could help her address local people as part of her project on mosquitos.

“Mosquitos are a main carrier of dengue fever and malaria in Thailand. Last year, we had about 10,000 cases of dengue in our country and it happens all the time so it is very important that we implement the right measures to deal with this insect,” said Ninphanomchai. “We need cooperation from the local people, and sometimes local people don’t understand why it is their responsibility. A video like this can help.”

The training course was organized by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, in conjunction with the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme, and is expected to reoccur every two years for the next four years. The next course will be held again in 2017.

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