Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

International Conference on Food Security in Dry lands closes with the Doha Declaration 

17 November 2012 08:15:23 nm

International Conference on Food Security in Dry lands closes with the Doha Declaration

A renewed call is made for the formation of a Global Dry Land Alliance

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the two day International Conference on Food Security in Dry Lands (FSDL) drew to a close this evening.

Today’s programme included a Ministerial Dialogue with the participation of 13 Ministers. Two sessions were held to focus on the Energy-Water-Food Nexus and Financing Dry Land Agriculture and Food Production.

 

During the ministerial discussions it was acknowledged that an urgent need exists to 
“Promote sound policies for agricultural and rural development, and call upon respective governments for the allocation of 10 percent of national budgetary resources for the implementation of a declaration that came out of this conference. The Declaration calls for increased allocations of national expenditure through agriculture and food production. The Support of Qatar’s initiative at national, regional and international levels to establish a Global Dry Land Alliance (GDLA) was also acknowledged and the need to Establish a permanent secretariat for the FSDL under the Qatar National Food Security Programme, to support and enhance food security in dry lands, in partnership with governments, multilateral organizations, business, research and academic institutions” was also brought to the table.

Therefore, the ministers present at the dialogue earnestly called for the “Creation a mechanism using reliable indicators to monitor and evaluate the implementation of this declaration, in close collaboration with FAO and AWC.”

Further, it was highlighted that a need exists to “ Establish, with the support of FAO, the World Bank, UNESCO and others, an information system in the field of agricultural production for food security and the trading of commodities between markets and countries in dry lands and Establish and enhance Early Warning Systems at national and regional levels to minimize the negative impacts of droughts, floods, desertification, and pests.”


The Conference concluded with a presentation and adoption of the “Doha Declaration”, which reflects the consensus of delegates on the necessary actions to combat food and water insecurity in the dry lands. It will be the action plan to inform and steer national and regional food security programmes.

 

Presenting the Declaration to the gathering, the Chairperson of the drafting committee, H.E. Salah Abdel Moumen, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt, called for the spirit of collaboration and cooperation experienced at the conference to continue beyond.

Speaking at the closing of the Conference, Executive Director of the Global Dry Land Alliance GDLA Ambassador Bader Al Dafa underlined that the conference and its Doha Declaration will enhance the ongoing efforts to establish the GDLA. H.E. Miguel Moratinos, Co-Chair of the drafting committee, reminded delegates that the conclusions of the FSDL Conference and the recommendations from the Ministerial dialogue, in particular, could now be held up against the discussions on agriculture at the COP 18 to ensure that the desired negotiated outcomes are secured. The Doha Declaration supports climate change goals and calls for responsible investment and financing of agricultural adaptation measures necessitated by climate change.

 

In his closing address, QNFSP Executive Chairperson, Fahad Al-Attiya, reaffirmed that the Global Dry Alliance (GDLA) would continue to work tirelessly and with renewed focus until its ultimate goal of eradication food insecurity would become a reality.


He highlighted that this Qatar-led initiative will continue its aims to foster and strengthen a platform for collaboration among dry land countries working to overcome the challenges of food and water insecurity by collectively harnessing their science, technology and finance capabilities.

A copy of the Doha Declaration will be available on the official conference website shortly.

Speeches, presentations and other conference materials can be accessed at www.fsdl.qa

About Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP)

Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) is a national initiative established in 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Heir Apparent of the State of Qatar. QNFSP is a policy initiative consisting of an inter-governmental task force to develop the Food Security Master Plan for Qatar.

 

The Master Plan will lay out a holistic sustainable solution that will be implemented by the executive branch of the Qatari government through the QNFSP Task Force. Implementation of the Master Plan will assist the State of Qatar in the fulfillment of the goals and objectives set by the Qatar National Vision (QNV) of 2030, leading to human, social, economic and environmental development.

 

QNFSP’s task is to develop a comprehensive, long-term solution to the challenges that Qatar faces with regards to its Food Security. The objective is to increase and enhance domestic agricultural production and, in parallel, strengthening the security of food imports to alleviate the food supply deficit that Qatar faces. QNFSP could also serve as a model to other dry land countries in the region and globally. The programme will implement the usage of solar energy to desalinate seawater, which will then be used for its agricultural production and present its findings to the State of Qatar in the form of a Master Plan.

 

Qatar National Food Security Programme has been a catalyst of change stemming from the need to address critical national concerns with measures that will help growth in green and sustainable development. In addition to its national effort; QNFSP seeks joint international collaboration towards global food security for all nations and believes that a better global food security for all would inevitably improve food security in Qatar.