Maldives Among 46 Countries in Asia-Pacific to Participate in Major Food and Agriculture forum on COVID-19 Recovery

A high-level delegation from Maldives is expected to join government Ministers and officials from 46 Asia-Pacific countries next month (8 – 11 March) to address the damage done to economies and livelihoods in the food and agriculture sectors, by the global pandemic, animal and crop diseases, and the ongoing disruption caused by the climate crisis.   

Advancing the application of innovation, science and digitalization to help an agrifood systems transformation in the world’s biggest and hungriest region is among the main points for consideration.

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The 36th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC36), convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), will be hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, in the capital Dhaka. Her Excellency, Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, will welcome delegates to the Conference, which is convened in Hybrid modality. The Maldivian delegation set to participate at the APRC includes Hon. Hussain Rasheed Hassan, Minister for Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Mr Adam Ziad, Director General (Fisheries) and Mr Ismail Rasheed, Director General (Agriculture).

International, regional and national media may also participate, either in-person or virtually (a media registration link is here).

The Issues at Hand

While a significant focus of #APRC36 deliberations will be on COVID-19 recovery efforts, the Ministers and Officials attending #APRC36 will also consider responses to both emerging and ongoing issues.

On the table for discussion will be future responses to longstanding threats to livestock such as Avian Influenza, African swine fever and weakened immune responses caused by inappropriate and overuse of antimicrobials in animal production.

Ways and means to mitigate reoccurring threats to plants and crops, such as Locusts and Fall Armyworm will also be examined. Ecosystem responses in the Pacific Islands is another top priority.

Implementing the new FAO strategy on dealing with climate change as well as opportunities that are emerging from applications of innovation, science and digitalization in the food and agriculture sectors to provide solutions will form a major part of the discussions.

Ultimately, the goal will be to reach a consensus that balances the needs of people, domestic animals, wildlife, biodiversity, and ecosystems through One Health approaches.  The aim of the Conference is to build back better, with Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life for all – leaving no one behind. The 46 Member Nations in Asia and the Pacific, as FAO’s regional Governing Body, will set in motion a two-year course of work for the FAO Regional Office and its technical specialists, through direction of a set of prioritized country and regional needs.

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