It is estimated that by 2050 climate impact in Africa could cost the continent US$50 million annually, which calls for international cooperation and tangible solutions.
The inaugural Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) opened in Rwanda's capital Kigali on Monday with a call on participants to chart pathways toward resilient and sustainable conservation of the continent's biodiversity.
"Given the huge social and economic benefits of protected areas, it is my conviction that this congress will chart pathways towards resilient and sustainable conservation of our biodiversity for economies' transformation," Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said, adding that "it is high time that African policymakers put in place strong measures and strategies to ensure that the devastation of our rich biodiversity is stopped."
Delegates are discussing the crucial role Africa's protected areas play in conserving nature, safeguarding Africa's iconic wildlife, delivering vital life-supporting ecosystem services, and promoting sustainable development. The conference was co-organized by Rwanda in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).
"Protected areas are critical for the survival of the planet. And the more we manage them for the benefit of people and nature, the more we will build a future where everyone - human and animal- thrives," IUCN Director Bruno Oberle said, noting that protected and conserved areas, when managed well, can contribute immensely to sustainable development.
Across Africa we've ensured that biodiversity is protected, that governments hold polluters accountable, and that people come before profit. Social & environmental justice is what we're after! Help us fight for a just future ��>> https://t.co/K7MP7eeFMr#NelsonMandelaDay pic.twitter.com/9zKZWgNYy2— Greenpeace Africa (@Greenpeaceafric) July 18, 2022
Protected and conserved areas are critical to safeguarding Africa's wildlife, eco-systems services as well as promoting sustainable development and building resilience, said Mami Mizutori, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
It is estimated that by 2050 climate impact in Africa could cost the continent US$50 million annually, which calls for international cooperation and tangible solutions to reduce disaster risks, according to the UN.
There are more than 1,200 national parks in Africa but they are not well managed due to financing gaps, according to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). It requires US$2.5 billion for the national parks in Africa but less than US$500 million are currently allocated to run these parks, said Kaddu Sebunya, the chief executive officer of AWF.
Amazon #Indigenous groups want to create the world’s biggest protected area to fight #ClimateChange and protect #biodiversity. pic.twitter.com/INqXBv67x1— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) May 10, 2019