NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
More than 800 policymakers, scientists and green
advocates will meet in Nairobi later this month to explore
innovative ways to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes,
organizers said on Wednesday.
The two-day forum
organized by Centre for Forestry Research (CIFOR) in conjunction
with the UN Environment and the World Bank, seeks to galvanize
attention to the plight of Africa’s landscapes and forests
grappling with human and climate induced threats.
must be restored to ensure the natural resource needs of the
continent’s rapidly expanding population will one day be met,
but there is no silver bullet,” said Robert Nasi, the director
general of CIFOR.
An estimated 50
million hectares of land is degraded annually across Sub-Saharan
Africa due to a complex inter-play of weak governance, rapid
population growth, climate change and urbanization.
Nasi said the Aug.29
to 30 forum will discuss cost effective interventions that can
hasten restoration of Africa’s degraded landscapes to boost food
security, reduce poverty and resources based conflicts.
experience and knowledge sharing at the forum will revitalize
action on land and forests depletion that has escalated in
Africa in recent times.
Erik Solheim, the
Executive Director of UN Environment, said there is an urgency
to promote restoration of African forests and landscapes given
the continent’s growing demand for food to feed a soaring
growth prospects are one key aspect of the challenge. Another is
that many parts of the world will be looking to Africa for food
production,” said Solheim.
“The key challenge
is therefore how do you provide for job creation and increased
food production, and protect the environment? The answer is
proper land-use planning,” he added.
The World Resources
Institute reckon that two thirds of Africa’s land mass is
degraded while 2.8 million hectares of the continent’s forests
have been cleared to pave way for farming or human settlement.
communities have so far managed to restore over 5 million
hectares of degraded landscapes in Africa while more than 20
nations have pledged to restore 100 million hectares of forest
cover by 2030 through the African Forest Landscape Restoration