Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Beating Famine in Southern Africa Conference

14 to 17 April 2015. Lilongwe, Malawi. Southern African Beating Famine conference. More than 400 participants from 38 countries attended this conference. The aim of the conference was to provide more information on the impact of climate change and highlight how widespread land degradation is in the SADC region and especially in the face of climate change and how it could affect food security in the region.
"Malawi lost nearly 13 percent of its total forest cover due to fuel wood collection as well as expansion of the agricultural land. The loss of primary forest since 1990 is about 198 thousand hectares. Many households in the rural areas of Malawi consider charcoal as their only source of income and this has resulted into complete deforestation of some forest. Indeed many solutions are needed to avert the extent of deforestation in all countries of the Sub-Saharan region" Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Dr Allan Chiyembekeza
“What we do here will be remembered as the launching pad for many new partnerships, initiatives, programs, projects, and action plans to reverse the alarming trends in land degradation in southern Africa. Southern Africa has been experiencing an alarming downward trend in land degradation over the past 25 years. The real issue is assisting the rural poor to increase their own productivity, so they can grow more for the family and sell more on the market to purchase their basic needs.” Dr. Dennis Garrity, UN Drylands Ambassador and Senior Fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
The conference shared insights from surveys done in Malawi on Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) to prompt a discussion about ways to accelerate the widespread adoption of these methods that help in preserving trees.

March 2015. 44 pages

According to reports the Farmer managed natural generation has proven to be a rapid, low cost and easily replicated approach to restoring and improving agricultural forestry and pasture lands.

Although FMNR has gained widespread recognition and demonstrated results, there is still need to generate new evidence. This new study reviews the impacts of FMNR throughout its history across the globe. It is the most comprehensive work on FMNR to date.

Authors Rob Francis (World Vision Australia’s Project Manager FMNR) and Peter Weston (formerly World Vision Australia’s Research and Evaluation Advisor) have identified 24 different social, environmental and economic benefits that stem from the practice of FMNR.

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