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Calls to boost food security to protect Congo Basin as summit kicks off in Kinshasa

Dr. Million Belay, General Coordinator of AFSA (Advocates for food sovereignty in Africa) on Aug. 29, 2023.   -  
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AFSA via Facebook

Democratic Republic Of Congo

A summit in Dr Congo's capital aimed at protecting central Africa's rainforest kicked off Tuesday. It is attended by activists and politicians.

Calls to boost food security at DR Congo rainforest summit

Delegates convened under the theme "Reconciling Food Production with Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Emergency in the Congo Basin."

The forests of central Africa represent the planet's second-largest carbon sink after the Amazon, covering 1.62 million square kilometres (more than 625,000 square miles).

Several speakers highlighted the needs of people living near the forest at the opening of the three-day summi.

"I think it's very important that we think about, especially for the Congo Basin, the relationship between forest conservation, climate change and food systems. Because if we don't address the issue of food systems, we cannot address the issue of conservation because people will destroy the forest in search of food."

Th summit is attended by over 200 participants "from the Congo Basin Region, partners in #Africa, and international allies" according to organizers Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA).

The summit aims to "embark on crucial discussions and collaborative efforts to envision and shape a sustainable and resilient future for the Congo Basin and its inhabitants," Charles Mulozi, AFSA's advocacy and campaign coordinator said in a video published on Facebook.

AFSA is a "broad alliance of different civil society actors that are part of the struggle for food sovereignty and agroecology in Africa."

The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to 60 percent of the vast Congo Basin rainforest, is one of the world's poorest countries.

Kinshasa has faced criticism for launching an auction last year for oil and gas blocks, some of which are in sensitive forest areas.

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