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Local communities to save Africa’s drylands - Experts

Ottilie Balz Senior vice president of the Robert Bosch Stiflung, Ottilie Balz

Tue, 8 Jun 2021 Source: Lambert Donkor, Contributor

Senior vice president of the Robert Bosch Stiflung, Ottilie Balz, has indicated that healthy ecosystems are prerequisite for sustainable development and climate resilience and therefore the Global Landscape Forum must provide much-needed support for local actors by building communities of practice and connecting the local level to international networks and resources.

Speaking at the 2021 GLF Africa Digital Conference, he expressed his excitement about the commitment seen throughout the GLF Africa conference and also stated that they are proud to support the establishment of five new GLFx chapters in the greater Sahel region.

While sharing his view, the Director-General of the Center for Internal Forestry Research, Robert Nasi said, “the restoration of the African drylands is about restoring the balance between people, animals, and the environment to sustain productivity in these fragile ecosystems while supporting aspirations of the next generation for a modern life.”

Experts at the GLF Africa Conference on restoring Africa’s Drylands said, nearly half of Africa’s population could face a future of widespread drought, hunger, and mass migration due to the effects of climate change – but there is still time to prevent catastrophe by restoring the continent’s drylands. Bonn, Germany (7 June 2021) GLF Africa: Restoring Africa’s Drylands.

Restoration experts say, there’s hope that the dryland degradation can be reversed, recreating more resilient and productive landscapes that will fix more carbon especially in the soil, restore ecosystem service, promote new viable enterprises, and create employment while reducing conflicts and migration.

Over 200 speakers, including Nigerian Environment Minister H.E. Sharon Ikeazor, Fridays for Future activist Adenike Oladosu, and Ghanaian Sakoya chief Sintaro Iddrisu Mahama, called for a concerted effort to restore the world's drylands, nearly half of which are located in Africa, to protect millions of livelihoods.

The fully online event on the 2–3 June 2021, hosted by the Global Landscapes Forum, brought together thousands of participants from 186 countries, including pastoralists, scientists, youth activists, restoration practitioners, and government officials, and reached over 22 million people via social media.

The conference provided critical insights on dryland restoration for policymakers ahead of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which kicks off on World Environment Day, June 5, 2021, with 47 sessions, the release of 12 white papers, and the launch of several major initiatives.

The UN Decade will help to protect, halt, and reverse ecosystem degradation around the world, including grasslands and savannas, peatlands, forests, farmlands, mountains, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems, and urban areas.

Source: Lambert Donkor, Contributor