(Sponsored by Australia and the Philippines)
We the parliamentarians of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), gathering in Canberra, Australia, for the 28th Annual Meeting of the APPF under the theme Parliamentary Partnerships for 2020 and Beyond:
Acknowledging the important links between food security, poverty alleviation, climate change and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific;
Concerned that the fight against malnutrition in the Asia-Pacific is slowing and some 486 million people in the region–around one in nine–are still hungry, while nearly 15 million children are at risk from over-nutrition, along with around one in eight adults;
Conscious that climate variability and change is already affecting agriculture and food security and it disproportionately affects the poor, many of whom rely on the agricultural sectors for their livelihoods, and that impacts on rural incomes and nutrition can be particularly serious for women and children;
Aware that the region is a major food producer, that food trade is significant and has the potential to expand and that agriculture and fisheries provide a source of income for a significant proportion of the region’s poor;
Acknowledging that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a roadmap for global development to address food insecurity including targets to end hunger and malnutrition, improve agricultural productivity and sustainability and maintaining and sharing the genetic diversity of seeds and cultivated plants; and
Bearing in mind that 2020 is the International Year of Plant Health in recognition of the economic and social disruption caused by plant pest and disease outbreaks and the importance of global efforts to manage such outbreaks.
Convinced that Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, as well as the destruction of coral reefs, severely impact commercial fish stocks;
Concerned that the depletion of fish stocks has serious implications on food security in the region as the demand for seafood is outpacing the ability of fish stocks to recover and likewise threatens the livelihood of millions of people who work in the fisheries sector;
Acknowledge that many small-scale farmers and artisanal fishermen (smallholders) lack access to technology and do not possess the necessary agricultural and financial knowledge to be competitive and sustainable; and
Taking into account the Can Tho Statement on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change and the Food Security and Climate Change Multi-Year Action Plan (MYAP) 2018-2020, endorsed at the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change on 25 August 2017 in Viet Nam.
1. Encourage cooperation across governments and between government, private sector and civil society to address food and nutrition security and sustainable agricultural development;
2. Urge APPF Member Countries to continue to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
3. Affirm the importance of promoting the sustainable management of natural resources to achieving food security and the importance of increasing productivity in the agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sectors;
4. Recognise that whilst the climate challenges that APPF Member Countries face are different, a common thread is that the business of food security now carries more risk, and decisions around production are now less predictable and that supporting farmers, fishers, businesses, communities and governments to prepare for and adapt to a more variable climate is vital to addressing this risk;
5. Encourage a comprehensive approach to food security that fosters open and efficient markets, ensures sustainable production and food safety, and supports efficient connectivity and investment along food chains;
6. Recognise the private sector as a crucial partner in expanding farming and fishery opportunities and revitalising rural communities for the sustainable development of food security; and
7. Embrace the 2020 International Year of Plant Health as a platform for building awareness of plant pests and diseases, their potential impacts on food security and agricultural production and the steps that can be taken to effectively detect and respond to plant pests and diseases.
8. Encourage APPF Members to pursue reforms that would address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and impose appropriate penalties on those who destroy coral reefs which serve as vital breeding areas for fish and other marine animals;
9. Recommend APPF Member Parliaments to take a more proactive role in the prevention and mitigation of marine pollution, including marine plastic pollution, that poses a serious health risk and endangers marine life;
10. Support the education of fishermen and commercial fishing fleets on sustainable and smarter fishing practices to eliminate catching juvenile and spawning fish, and bycatch;
11. Call upon APPF Member States to become parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and urge them to intensify efforts to assess and address, as appropriate, the impacts of global climate change and on the sustainability of fish stocks and the habitats that support them;
12. Encourage APPF Member States to adopt the International Plan of Action (IPOA) to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF); and
13. Support regional and global agricultural initiatives in order to establish competitive agricultural value chains that can actively contribute to food security in the Asia-Pacific.