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The Arab Group for the Protection of Nature
shmeisani' Prince shaker Bin Zaid st.
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T. +962 6 567 3331
F. +962 6 569 9777

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"Towards people's sovereignty over food and natural resources"

APN seeks to strengthen the capacity of the Arab peoples to sustain the region's natural resources and gain sovereignty over them , particularly in areas suffering from war and occupation.

2,154,983

Trees Planted

112,386

Dunam

23,398

Farmers

Arab Network for Food Sovereignty

The Arab Network for Food Sovereignty, Uniting Regional Efforts

In 2012, APN cofounded the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty (ANFS) to work on issues of food sovereignty and resilience building against the underlying causes of economic, social, agricultural and environmental vulnerabilities that plague the region. The network consists of 30 non-governmental organizations, farmers unions, fishermen, pastoralists, women, youth and consumer associations from across 13 Arab countries.

Why the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty?

Arab countries have among the highest food import dependency rates, making the region highly vulnerable to fluctuations in the supply and price of the international food market. Despite the fact that agriculture employs between 53 percent and 84 percent of the Arab labour force, the region imports approximately half its caloric intake and is the largest cereal importer in the world.

There are several factors that contribute to the agricultural incompetence in the region. Environmental factors, particularly water scarcity and climate change, as well as high birth rates of over 2% undoubtedly play a role in reducing productive potential. More importantly, however, are the nutrition, environmental and agricultural policies that primarily determine the level of regional food security; the decline in investment in agricultural productivity and the absence of governmental support for infrastructure and extension services have caused detrimental effects on the state of production and sustainability. Moreover, the high import dependency ratio has dire consequences of food stability, considering the high likelihood of disruption in trade due to chronic regional conflicts and crises.

The sector requires targeted investment on agriculture, research and development, and technology at the national and regional levels. Governments must empower smallholder farmers and work to reduce losses and wastes from the sector. New policies are needed to harness a sustainable agricultural sector that protects essential natural resources, including water, land and seed. The region, the birthplace of agriculture, has incredible potential to boost productivity and enhance food security, and in order to work towards achieving that potential, the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty was initiated. 

ANFS strategic goals

The Arab Network for Food Sovereignty aims to achieve the following goals

  1. Promote concepts, practices, and strategies for food and natural resource sovereignty in the Arab world;
  2. Improve institutional and community capacity to enhance the role and effectiveness of civil society organizations working in the fields of agriculture and food security;
  3. Embrace, encourage, and mobilize innovative and creative initiatives, activities, and campaigns in the areas of food security and food sovereignty at the community and institutional levels
  4. Strengthen the cooperation and coordination of Arab, regional and global networking to exchange expertise and to serve the vision and strategy of the Network;
  5. Influence governmental and non-governmental policies and regulations on the local, national, and international levels to achieve food and natural resource sovereignty.

Executive committee

The General Assembly of the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty met in Beirut on the 30th of March, 2018, and voted for the following executive committee:

  1. President : The Arab Group for the Protection of Nature – Jordan
  2. Vice president:  National Confederation  for Traditional Fishing in Morocco – Morocco
  3. Secretary: Al Awzai Fishermen Cooperative – Lebanon
  4. Treasurer: Palestine Farmers Union – Palestine
  5. Public relations: Qatar Program for Sustainable Development – Qatar
  6. Member:  The National Fishing Federation – Artisanal section (FNP) – Mauritania
  7. Member: National Observatory of Participatory Citizenship – Tunisia
  8. Member: Hawa Association – Sudan
  9. Member: Iraq Group for Consumer Protection – Iraq

Membership

The Network's members represent Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Mauritania and Morocco.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Laying down the foundation for an Arab institutional policy action incorporating food concepts, strategies and practices
  • Creating changes in the policies, strategies and interventions of the main actors concerned with the issue of Arab food security
  • Collecting and disseminating information on food security using a variety of means and techniques
  • Preparing and disseminating information, applied studies and researche to facilitate achievement of the goals of the Network and its members
  • Providing a program for rapid intervention regarding aid during crises and emergency situations.
  • Enhancing the process of developing the capacities of human resources by working to set up a special program to raise efficiency of Arab cadres in agriculture
  • Building pan-Arab and regional relations of cooperation and partnerships to play a more active role in international unions and organizations
  • Engaging rural women in the planning and implementation of agricultural programs and projects.
  • Developing a program of activities to encourage rural youth initiatives relating to the institutionalization of the methodology of sovereignty over Arab food and its practices

Activities

  • In 2016, ANFS held its General Assembly in Amman, Jordan. The network also organized an open meeting titled “the Institutionalization of partnerships to enhance food security and nutrition in Jordan and the Arab World”.
  • In 2016, ANFS and APN participated and spoke on the right to self-determination a series of events in Manila and Davao, Philippines
  • In 2013, ANFS co-organized The FAO Second Arab Civil Society Consultative Workshop on Food Security and Nutrition in Amman. Find a copy of the Final Declaration of the Arab Civil Society Consultation here.
  • In 2013, the Economic and Social Commission in West Asia and North Africa (ESCWA) organized an Expert Group Meeting organized in partnership with ANFS on Green Agricultural Value Chains for Improving Livelihood in the Arab Region
  • In 2012, ANFS co-organized the first Arab Civil Society Consultative Workshop on Food Security and Nutrition in Beirut. Major recommendations reached by the participants were presented to the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East held in Rome.