African ministers adopt a Pan-African action agenda on ecosystem restoration
African Ministers of Environment together with partner organizations committed to an ambitious action agenda taking a coherent approach to addressing the interlinked challenges of biodiversity loss, land degradation and climate change.
The action agenda will accelerate commitments for ecosystem restoration to improve resilience in the region. Their deliberations represented the opening sessions of the 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference.
The African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity was held on 13 November 2018 at Sharm El-Sheikh International Congress Center, under the theme “Land and ecosystem degradation and restoration: priorities for increased resilience in Africa.”
The Summit brought together more than 100 delegates including over 30 ministers responsible for the environment and other sectors, six ambassadors plus other heads of delegation along with key partners.
The delegates discussed Africa’s biodiversity priorities and identified strategic actions and opportunities for upscale commitments for combating land degradation and enhancing ecosystem restoration.
Her Excellency Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment of Egypt, said: “I am honoured to have hosted this first African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity which I am convinced will lead the way to promote nature-based solutions for increased resilience and wellbeing of people in Africa.”
Dr. Cristiana Pașca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “The adoption of the African Ministerial Declaration on Biodiversity and the Pan-African Action Agenda on Ecosystem Restoration for Increased Resilience by the Summit provides an impetus for the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and will contribute to shaping a New Deal for Nature and People in 2020.”
“Your political leadership, paired with the support of the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency, and the United Nations system, has elevated the importance of restoration in achieving our 2050 Vision of “living in harmony with nature”. The Secretariat of the Convention stands ready to further support this work.”
In a series of interactive dialogues, the summit participants reviewed the status and trends in land and ecosystem degradation in Africa and their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services and people’s wellbeing. They shared experiences, successes and lessons learned on ecosystem restoration in the region.
Several Ministers and delegates presented their national commitments and actions taken on ecosystem restoration.
The Pan-African Action Agenda, endorsed by the Summit, will be submitted for adoption by the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its 32nd Ordinary Session in January 2019.
It is expected that the Pan-African Action Agenda will provide a strategic direction for ecosystem restoration in the region, promote continent-wide awareness and political support for restoration efforts, help to accelerate and upscale ecosystem restoration commitments and targets; and galvanize synergetic and integrated action towards the achievement of those commitments and targets.
The UN Biodiversity Conference continues, with the High-Level Segment being held from 14 to 15 November, and the opening of the negotiations by the Parties to the Convention on 17 November 2018.