Reshaping Africa’s food security and climate resilience through leveraging Ecosystem based Adaptation Assembly Policy Framework
Offshoots from EBAFOSA Ivory Coast National Branch Launch
Following the 2nd Africa EBA for food security conference convened on 30-31 July 2015 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) Africa and partners where over 1200 delegates from all across Africa adopted the Nairobi Action Agenda and the Constitution of the Ecosystems Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), the instruments establishing the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly, the EBAFOSA Ivory Coast National Branch has been launched. EBAFOSA is an inclusive pan-African policy framework and implementation platform to ensure EBA driven agriculture and its value-chains, especially clean energy access to catalyze rural agro-industrialization, enhanced access to markets and enhanced access to affordable agro-financing, are up-scaled to being the norm in policy and practice across the entire continent and to ensure that grandeur development blueprints, especially Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, COP21 outcomes and the AU Agenda 2063 are adequately domesticated and implemented, - all these through a country driven process. The aim is to achieve 5 distinct benefits in countries, and ultimately across Africa – food & nutritional security, climate adaptation, enhanced ecosystems capacity and creation of income and job opportunities.
Article 7 of the EBAFOSA constitution establishes the structure of EBAFOSA and Country branches are the critical component where impactful activities are undertaken in a country led process. Country branches register local, continental and global actors within the country and facilitate their interactions and partnership to achieve implementation.
It is against this backdrop that the Ivory Coast National Branch hosted by the National Support Agency for Rural Development (ANADER), a public institution that cuts across ministries to actualize rural development in Ivory Coast was launched on 17th June at the Chambre de commerce et des Industries de Côte d’Ivoire in Abidjan, under the theme “Re-shaping Ivory Coast food security and climate resilience through EBAFOSA”. The launch event under the leadership of the EBAFOSA Ivory Coast officials, and the government, academia, the private sector, and the non-governmental, attracted over 100 stakeholders representing multiple sectors from government, academia, NGOs, CSOs, individual professionals & citizens, farmers, UN agencies with strong media coverage to enhance awareness across the country.
The EBAFOSA Ivory Coast was officially launched by Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development. In his statement the minister applauded the innovative idea of EBAFOSA and assured the framework of his full support and that of the government support.
The minister congratulated UNEP and endorsed EBAFOSA innovative approach to assist the government to solve issue related to food insecurity as a result of environmental and ecological degradation. The Minister further applauded EBAFOSA linkage of climate change actions with economic and income generation priority areas of government, pointing out that EBAFOSA mandate includes job creation for the youth and increasing women revenue. He therefore called on the national branch to be concrete and result oriented on ground with the rollout of phase 2 EBAFOSA strategy which involves fomenting concrete mutual partnerships for policy and ground action solutions.
He thanked participants, private sector, National and international organizations for their commitment to overcome food insecurity. He appreciated the good relationship between the government and the UN Agencies and the private sector.
The Ministry of Agriculture also participated in launch activities. The minister congratulated UNEP and the EBAFOSA National branch for the innovative approach and assured of the commitment of the Ministry to fully support the National branch’s activities. He noted that food security under the changing climate was among priorities of national development in Ivory Coast and the integrated approach of EBAFOSA in tackling these related challenges was timely. The Director General at the Agriculture Ministry was equally in sync. He observed that with the changing climate, it had become impossible to satisfy current demand for indigenous foods, especially Attikié. He therefore lauded EBAFOSA launch in the country as a timely intervention that provided an implementation platform to cross hybridize solutions towards alleviating this malice and build resilient food systems as well as create jobs for the youth while sustainably managing the environment.
As noted earlier, the host of EBAFOSA Ivory Coast is ANADER, a public institution that cuts across ministries to actualize rural development in Ivory Coast. This is an ideal host, given the cross-cutting nature of the environment and the need to break inter-ministerial silos to actualize enabling policies for sustainable agro-industrialization, which is EBAFOSA ultimate goal. Speaking on behalf of ANADER, the Director General affirmed his commitment and that of the entire institution to support the EBAFOSA national branch to succeed. A sign board of EBAFOSA was erected as a sign of national ownership both at the entrance and inside of the Institution to officially indicate the ownership. Furthermore, ANADER accepted to use all its 57 stations across the country to be the focal point of EBAFOSA. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance solutions mobilization and dissemination across all regions of Ivory Coast.
The private sector also engaged significantly through the chamber of commerce and industry, and will be key to policies and actions for enabling markets and agro-industrialization in Ivory Coast. The launch venue was sponsored by the private sector through the chamber of commerce.
The launch also featured significant participation of the UN and regional intergovernmental bodies. The United Nations Resident Coordinator applauded EBAFOSA and assured the country and UNEP of his support noting that EBAFOSA is a timely policy framework and an implementation framework which is vital for the domestication of the SDGs and Agenda 2063 as well as the Paris Agreement. He indicated EBAFOSA fits very well into the framework of the UNDAF concluded between the government and the UN System as well as in the National Development Plan 2016 -2020.
The UNEP sub-regional Office in Abidjan is strategically position to leverage on the enthusiasm from the country and build partnership through this implementation platform to deliver UNEP’s work in the country.
IFAD applauded the EBAFOSA idea and assured the institution is fully open to collaborate and share practices on value chain development. The National Branch requested to be associated to all their activities to build synergy and enhance their capacity.
FAO, one of the key organizations in the implementation of EBAFOSA, accepted to contribute to the activities of EBAFOSA Côte d’Ivoire. The link with REDD+ was also noted, and FAO noted the need to work with EBAFOSA to enhance sharing of best practices in the linkage of agriculture production and protection of ecosystems from degradation, and minimizing forest related emissions. This broad support by UN resident bodies ensures EBAFOSA enhances UNEP’s actualization of the “delivery as one UN in countries” principle, towards a coherent, synergistic UN wide support for actualizing climate resilient, economic development in Ivory Coast.
The African Development Bank on its part applauded the EBAFOSA approach and advised the country national branch to work with them to ensure EBAFOSA activities are integrated in the support framework document the country has with the bank to ensure the bank can assist easily on EBAFOSA country activities.
The broad participation in the launch, especially cross-cutting policy level, UN and other development partners, academia, individual professionals & citizens, private sector coupled with significant media coverage was crucial achievement for the EBAFOSA Ivory Coast branch. This in ensuring the launch catalyzes progress in the EBAFOSA stakeholder promotion & mobilization and strategic partnership building, the crucial tenets towards EBAFOSA’s mandate of building targeted policy & action solutions for optimized, climate resilient food systems in Ivory Coast and Africa.
EBAFOSA Ivory Coast becomes the 7th National branch to be launched.
Congratulations EBAFOSA Ivory Coast!