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Helping smallholders restore degraded forests

 

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Ochieng’ Ogodo

African initiative calls for focus on land restoration

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Ochieng’ Ogodo

Speed read

  • A meeting has called for a need to create evidence to restore Africa’s forests
  • Collaborations among universities could help generate more evidence
  • Governments should be committed to helping smallholders restore degraded forests

Generating sufficient scientific knowledge to restore degraded land is critical in Africa because the continent largely depends on land and other natural resources for socioeconomic development, experts say.

Most populations, it was noted at the 1st African Forest Landscape Restoration (AFR100) Regional Conference this month (11-12 October) in Ethiopia, depend on land for livelihoods, but there has been massive degradation and this calls for, among others, adequate knowledge for restoration, particularly by small-scale farmers.

“Rivers are drying, Lake Chad is gone, Lake Turkana in Kenya is receding and [thus] people have to take restoration very seriously.”

Alice Akinyi Kaudia, Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

“This requires inter-universities collaborations because not all African universities are well endowed with enough resources to generate needed knowledge and tools,” says Alice Akinyi Kaudia, environmentsecretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. “It will [also] be useful to develop centres of excellence within them to address this urgently.”

The AFR100 conference was organised by the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development, Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, and the World Resources Institute.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.