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 from 9 to 13 March 2020. The session will be officially opened by South Africa’s deputy minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Makhotso Sotyu. Ministers responsible for environment from Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Gambia, South Sudan, Lesotho and Guinea are expected to attend the session.

Shared prosperity and security

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 and 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 (FAO) of the United Nations that advises on the formulation of forest and wildlife management policy and reviews and co-ordinates its implementation at regional level. It exchanges information and, generally through special subsidiary bodies, advises on suitable practices and action regarding technical problems. Lastly, it also makes appropriate recommendations.

Showcasing our rich biodiversity

The forum meets every two years and a member state hosts the session in collaboration with the FAO. The commission is open to other countries and organisations 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 the 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. – Press release, Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries