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Leading thinkers in agriculture, climate change and the environment will gather in Nairobi, Kenya this April to review innovative ways to tackle Africa's unending cycle of drought and food insecurity. The Beating Famine conference comes as yet another food crisis sweeps across the Sahel region of Africa, this time through Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania.
The conference will take place on April 10-13 at the World Agroforesty Centre in Nairobi. A joint initiative by World Vision and the World Agroforestry Centre, the forum will bring together policy-makers from across Africa, leading agriculture/food security/environment experts, international NGOs, donors, academia, practitioners and the media.
"The world watched as millions suffered from famine in the Horn of Africa last year and now that suffering is spreading to parts of West Africa," said conference organiser Rob Francis. "These crises are calling for a long-term sustainable approach to food insecurity and famine, and we believe the answer lies with a greater emphasis on the environment and better agricultural practices."
The conference will focus on practical, low cost and proven techniques to reverse land degradation and deforestation, lift incomes, adapt and mitigate against climate change, and ultimately prevent famine.
Dennis Garrity, UN Drylands Ambassador and senior fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre noted that "The national planning segment of the conference will be particularly significant. Governments and NGOs throughout the East African region are now partnering to implement national scaling-up programmes to create an evergreen agriculture based on smallholder adoption of trees for enhanced soil fertility, and fodder, fruit and fuelwood production. Accelerating the widespread use of these practices would have an enormous impact."
"In essence, we hope to spark a regreening movement that transforms thinking across the world," said World Vision East Africa climate change and environment specialist Assefa Tofu. "Governments, development organisations and also the community must learn to see the power of simple, effective environmental techniques as a new way of tackling hunger."
The conference will consist of presentations by high level delegates, as well field trips and demonstrations. Participants will also be encouraged to develop action plans for their country or region.
A demonstration of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) will be conducted by FMNR pioneer Tony Rinaudo on Friday April 13 in Kijabe, Kenya. FMNR has helped make great advances for the food security and economic sustainability of farmers in eight countries across Africa and three in Asia.
Beating Famine: Sustainable Food Security through Land Regeneration in a Changing Climate.
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