Arusha, Tanzania, November 3, 2023 - The 24th Session of the African Forest and Wildlife Commission and the 8th African Forest and Wildlife Week, held at the Gran Melia Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania, concluded today, November 3, 2023, with a message of unity, commitment, and determination to protect Africa's natural resources.
Hon. Shamata Shaame Khamis, the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources, and Livestock for the Government of Zanzibar, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the people and government of the United Republic of Tanzania for hosting this vital event. In his opening address, he thanked the attendees for their dedication and participation in discussions throughout the week.
The event gathered a distinguished audience, including Hon. Mba Eyono, Fidel Esono, Minister of Forests and Environment from Equatorial Guinea, and Hon. Adan Mohamed Ali, Faduma Ali Adan, Deputy Minister of Livestock, Forests, and Pasture Resources from the Federal Republic of Somalia. Also present were Hon. John Mongella, Regional Commissioner of Arusha, Prof. Dos Santos Silayo, Commissioner for Conservation, and Chair of the African Forest and Wildlife Commission, as well as Mr. Ade Freeman, Representative of the Director of FAO Africa Region.
The Minister emphasized the importance of the meeting, which served as an essential platform for African experts in Forestry and Wildlife to exchange experiences and knowledge on issues of concern and significance to the region's resources. The delegates discussed a wide range of topics, including Integrated Fire Management, Policy and Governance, Sustainable Financing, Climate Change, and the Resilience of Forests and the Environment in Africa.
The Commission operates with a shared commitment, and the delegates expressed their determination to address conservation challenges in the African region. Minister Khamis called for continued collaboration through the Commission, recognizing that working together significantly increases the chances of success.
In closing, the Minister expressed his country's commitment and cooperation in promoting the conservation of natural resources in Africa. He announced that Tanzania had been appointed as the Chair of AFWC 24 under the leadership of Prof. Dos Santos Silayo.
The Minister also extended his gratitude to the preparation team, FAO, and various stakeholders for their technical and financial support, which contributed to the meeting's success.
The event provided an opportunity for attendees to explore the beautiful city of Arusha and its tourist attractions. With this, the 24th Session of the African Forest and Wildlife Commission and the 8th African Forest and Wildlife Week officially came to a close.
During this significant event, Professor Dos Santos Silayo, the Chief Conservation Commissioner and Chair of AFWC-24 from the Tanzania Forest Service Agency, delivered a remarkable speech expressed that this gathering allowed top-notch experts, conservation practitioners, and natural resources managers to share valuable insights and experiences.
Tanzania was appointed the Chair of AFWC-24, reflecting the collective trust in its leadership. Professor Silayo accepted this role on behalf of Tanzania, acknowledging the environmental challenges and the impact of climate change that Africa faces. He stressed the importance of unity among AFWC members in achieving conservation objectives. The outgoing Chairperson, Mr. Jose Ilanga Lofonga, was commended for his exceptional leadership.
The commission expressed gratitude for the support provided by various stakeholders, including the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Her Excellency Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, and government officials. The event's success was also attributed to the contributions of observer organizations, support teams, and the enthusiastic participation of member countries.
In conclusion, Professor Dos Santos Silayo assured that the commitments made during this session would be implemented with a renewed spirit, aiming to advance the sustainable management of Africa's natural resources. The meeting served as a platform for collective dedication to environmental conservation.
The closing ceremony featured remarks from the FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Africa, who extended his gratitude to the Honourable Minister, Chairperson of the Commission, government officials, and all the attendees who contributed to making the event a reality. He commended the extensive discussions held throughout the week, highlighting the exceptional work and commitments of the members, the government of the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Secretariat.