Food systems on agenda at Pacific Agricultural Ministers meeting in Apia
Developing nutrition-sensitive food systems in the Pacific islands is extremely important.
The point was highlighted by the Acting Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, at the opening of the 2nd Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O.) and Pacific Community (S.P.C.) joint Pacific Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Meeting on Friday.
Held at the T.A.T.T.E. Conference Centre, Sogi, the meeting is one of the main events for the Pacific Week of Agriculture (P.W.A.) where agricultural leaders from 28 Pacific nations have gathered in Samoa to discuss major challenges facing agriculture and forestry.
Fiame said that developing nutrition-sensitive food systems aims to deliver coordinated multi-sectoral actions through a sustainable food systems approach for healthy diets.
“The theme of the meeting is on enhancement of partnerships to sustainably develop agriculture and forestry systems in the Pacific,” she said.
“As key decision makers and influencers, your work and concerted efforts ensure sustainable food systems and well-coordinated multi-sectoral actions, including in the implementation of our Food and Nutrition Framework.
“As Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry, your respective roles and responsibilities are therefore central to the development of decisions for the sustainable development of our Blue Pacific Continent.”
She said that the importance of the Pacific Ministers work deals with food and the challenges of carbon emissions and climate change are detriment to the survival of all living things, if not addressed.
“Some of the agenda for today include: the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, which focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation; and other reports to discuss and establish the best resolutions for this Pacific Ministers’ Meeting.
“You have endorsed the F.A.O. Multi-Country Programming Framework for the Pacific Islands for 2018 – 2022 at your First Joint Meeting during the inaugural Pacific Week of Agriculture in Vanuatu two years ago.”
She added that the document guides the work of the Pacific region in positive results, as well as informs discussion of key resolutions to promote the sustainable production of safe and nutritious food.
“We acknowledge that the Framework outputs are linked to the objectives of the Global Action Plan for Small Island Development States (S.I.D.S.), which represents the F.A.O.’s specific input into the Pacific Food and Nutrition Framework.
“These in turn are effectively integrated into programmes that are coordinated by the SPC for our Pacific communities.
“It is also worth mentioning again the vital links between the Samoa Pathway and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism to the Pacific Multi-Country Programming Framework (2018 – 2022) in guiding the work of the F.A.O. and regional organisations in the Pacific, for the sustainable development of the Pacific.”
The Acting Prime Minister said that the Framework affirms the enhanced partnerships that Pacific region has established through the F.A.O. leadership support and the United Nations family, with specific Sustainable Development Goals that we are to achieve by the year 2030.