Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Online GLF Africa: Restoring Africa’s Drylands

2-3 June 2021
Online GLF Africa: Restoring Africa’s Drylands

02/06 Rangelands Atlas: Bringing an essential, globally neglected ecosystem into focus 

The session will introduce the new global Rangelands Atlas. To scale up dryland restoration and rehabilitation, science-based maps and data are essential. The Atlas includes a series of 16 sets of maps demonstrating how much of rangelands is key biodiversity or protected area, where threatened species are located, and what climate change impacts are predicted over the coming years. This is the first of its kind of data.

The maps show African countries that are at risk from climate change and where urgent action is required. Rangelands have rarely featured on international agendas. Just 10 percent of national climate plans (as part of the Paris Climate Agreement) include references to rangelands; comparatively 70 percent include references to forests. Although rangelands are known to play a key role in storing carbon, providing habitat for diverse wildlife and nature, and supporting the world’s largest rivers and wetlands, part of the reason they have been undervalued is the lack of definitive data on their extent and value. 54% percent of the world’s terrestrial surface consists of rangelands, which are home to some of the earth’s most precious habitats and support the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.

This new data can equip policymakers to better manage rangelands, with major benefits for pastoralists, nature, and climate. We will discuss how rangeland restoration and improvement of data on rangelands must be made priorities in UN conventions and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, if drylands and dryland communities are to strengthen their resilience to climate change and other stresses and shocks.

For more information, visit the Rangelands Atlas website or download it directly here.

  • Abdelkader Bensada (Speaker) Programme Management Officer, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Fiona Flintan (Speaker) Governance Scientist and Technical Coordinator, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
  • Jonathan Davies (Speaker) Global Drylands Coordinator / Senior Agriculture Advisor, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • Fernando García Dory (Speaker) Pastoralists Focal Point, Rangelands Initiative Co-ordination Team, Rangelands Initiative
  • Martina Fleckenstein (Speaker) Global Policy Manager, Food Practice, WWF International
  • Bora Masumbuko (Speaker) Senior Programme Officer, Drylands, IUCN
  • Gregorio Juan Velasco Gil (Speaker) Coordinator of the Pastoralist Knowledge Hub, FAO
  • Mordecai Ogada (Inspirational speaker) Executive Director, Conservation Solutions Afrika

02/06 CGIAR WLE: Restoration of degraded landscapes in Africa: Lessons for the future

The session:
  • Provided evidence to inform restoration policy and practice and achieve the vision of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
  • Synthesized factors affecting the success or failure of restoration initiatives, leading to recommendations for the design of new restoration initiatives.
  • Shared lessons learned in terms of outcomes in the restoration impact pathway: 1) policies catalyzing change; 2) investments supporting change; 3) awareness of the need for change; 4) adoption of solutions; and 5) synergies and tradeoffs with other development outcomes.
  • Discussed the potential of existing scientific evidence, data, metrics, tools, methods and partnerships that CGIAR has generated as leveraging points for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
  • Lulseged Tamene Desta (Speaker) Senior Soil Scientist, Biodiversity-CIAT
  • Ermias Betemariam (Speaker) Land Health Scientist, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
  • Stefan Uhlenbrook (Speaker) Program Director, CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), IWMI
  • Marlène Elias (Speaker) Senior Scientist-Multifunctional Landscapes, Alliance and Gender Research Coordinator for the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, Biodiversity-CIAT
  • Chris Dickens (Speaker) Principal Researcher Ecosystems, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
  • Marcela Quintero (Speaker) Director, Agroecosystems and Sustainable Landscapes Research, Biodiversity-CIAT
  • Natalia Estrada-Carmona (Speaker) Associate Scientist, Biodiversity-CIAT
  • Kalifa Traoré (Speaker) Scientific Director, Mali Agricultural Research Institute (IER)
  • Birhanu Zemadim Birhanu (Speaker) Senior Scientist and Project Leader, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
  • Heizal Nagginda (Speaker) Founder, Climate Operation
  • Anthony Whitbread (Speaker) Research Program Director, Innovation Systems for the Drylands and Country Representative, Tanzania, ICRISAT
  • Mordecai Ogada (Inspirational speaker) Executive Director, Conservation Solutions Afrika

02/06 GLF: Framing the UN Decade: An African perspective on ecosystem restoration

This Opening Plenary framed and defined the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration through the African perspective. Leading figures layed out their vision for ecosystem restoration. A series of keynote speeches, interspersed by an inter-generational dialogue, were followed by a discussion with experts who reflected on how ecosystem restoration can be achieved from the ground up.


02/06 ILRI: Virtual Tour: Journey to the drylands of East Africa, the last lands of Eden

Take a virtual trip to the great savanna lands of East Africa—cradle of humankind, home to traditional nomadic pastoralists, and last refuge of some of the most spectacular wildlife populations on earth. 

Experts from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) including rangelands specialist Fiona Flintan, ecosystem ecologist Jason Sircely and gender scientist Renee Bullock told ‘myth-busting’ facts about East Africa’s extraordinary drylands and dryland peoples, to discover why Africa’s rangelands are now in a big transition, and to learn how we can best support local pastoral communities to continue their stewardship of these exceptional landscapes as they continually refine their adaptations to a changing physical, political and socio-economic climate.

East African pastoralists explained some of the major challenges they face. As agricultural ecologist Ian Scoones said: ‘As we confront uncertainties in today’s complex and turbulent world, we could all learn from pastoralists, who continue to navigate uncertainties with deep knowledge and practised skill.’


02/06 Crop Trust: Untapped Potential: The Importance of African genebanks in ensuring food security across the continent

The focus of this GLF launchpad event is to highlight the critical importance of genebanks in Africa, their role in ensuring food security, and the challenges they currently face. COVID-19 has exposed how vulnerable and interconnected we are. Without international cooperation, effective safeguarding of plant genetic resources to secure the world's food supply is simply not possible.

Genebanks are full of untapped potential in the incredible wealth of crop diversity they hold, and many are unable to live up to their promise due to an array of challenges, including being under-resourced. By making seeds available to breeders and farmers to develop and use crop varieties adapted to current and future climates, genebanks are fundamental in combatting the effects of climate change and are of critical importance for sustainable farming and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

Using crop varieties that are nutrient-rich, tolerant to environmental stresses like drought and extreme heat, and are resistant to pests and diseases helps smallholder farmers to ensure their food security while putting less pressure on fragile ecosystems. And these varieties are essential factors in securing future food and nutrition across the continent.

  • Stefan Schmitz (Speaker) Executive Director, The Global Crop Diversity Trust
  • Éliane Ubalijoro (Speaker) Executive Board Member, The Global Crop Diversity Trust
  • Damaris Achieng Odeny (Speaker) Global Cluster Leader, Genomics, Pre-breeding and Bioinformatics, ICRISAT
  • Susan Bragdon (Speaker) Policy Advisor, Oxfam Novib
  • Tony Simons (Speaker) Director General, World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Executive Director, CIFOR-ICRAF
  • Agnes Kalibata (Speaker) President, UN Special Envoy, The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), 2021 Food Systems Summit

02/06 Crop Trust: Biodiversity for Resilience: Harnessing crops’ potential for drylands restoration and climate change adaptation

The session explored the power of crop diversity through two lenses: the scientific lens and the gastronomic lens. Two panels included experts working on resilient, drought-resistant crops on the African continent, as well as under-utilized crops, tropical forages, and food trees with the potential to restore drylands (predominantly in the Sahel).

The session also included chefs and entrepreneurs harnessing the potential of these crops to promote

more delicious, nutritious, and climate-friendly options around food.
In the first panel, the experts looked into key crops and food trees that present an astounding potential to tackle the main challenges associated with climate change and land degradation in the region and explored ways to foster greater conservation and sustainable use of these crops to enhance breeding programs and farmers' livelihoods.

The second panel gathered organizations and individuals working on the ground to create nature-based solutions around agrobiodiversity and sustainable agriculture in Africa’s drylands.


03/06 WWF & CIFOR-ICRAF: Translating global processes into action: Leveraging UN Food Systems Summit solutions in the restoration decade

This plenary set the foundation for aligning the UN Decade on Ecosystems Restoration and the UN Food Systems Summit. Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded land are one of the focal areas for Action Track 3 “Boosting nature positive production”.

Bringing together decision-makers from African countries, farmers, scientists, civil society and donors, this session discussed synergies and deliver joint action for African Dryland Restoration. With key partners, 
this session explored linking the UN Food Systems Summit's game-changing solutions on restoration with the targets of the UN Decade, identifying communalities and opportunities for collaboration, and strengthening the importance of restoration in the context of food security for Africa's drylands.


03/06 AUDA-NEPAD: AFR100 Presents: The Grand African Green Up

A brand-new documentary featuring some of Africa’s restoration champions, AFR100 Presents: The Grand African Green Up.

From Ghana to Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar, follow narrator Wanjira Mathai for a narrative journey through a few of Africa’s regenerating landscapes. The Grand African Green Up is co-produced by AUDA-NEPAD and Justdiggit, with support from World Resources Institute.

03/06 GLF: Whose land is it anyways? An intergenerational dialogue exploring solutions to land tenure challenges

Land is soil, land is food, land is life. Women's, youths' and pastoralists' livelihoods and income often depend on it, but limited availability of communal land and challenges to formal ownership are increasingly creating tension between herders, farmers and investors. While formal land security in Africa is increasing, the number of land disputes is also on the rise, with women and youth often on the losing end. This plenary represents an intergenerational conversation among farmers, pastoralists, youth and elders, who will share their challenges and collectively explore solutions.


03/06 FAO: Enhancing restoration capacities in African drylands: A decade for action

This session raised awareness of the existing systemic capacities for restoration as well as the current gaps and barriers and of the opportunities to meet these needs in the context of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The session also highlighted pathways towards enhancing practitioners' capacities through the development or up-scaling of key knowledge products and various capacities development initiatives, such as the Landscape Academy, the FAO-ELTI youth contest, and the Restoration Factory.


02-03/06 The Perspectives on Pastoralism Film Festival

  • Session 1: Mining threats in pastoralist areas (2 June, 08:30 - 9:15) – speaker Loupa Pius
  • Session 2: Pastoralist livelihoods in Africa (2 June, 20:15 - 21:00) – speaker Saverio Krätli
  • Session 3: Speaking truth to power: pastoralists’ advocacy (3 June, 13:00 - 13:45) – speaker Christina (Echi) Gabbert
  • Session 4: Global recognition of pastoralism and its future (3 June, 19:30 - 20:30) – speakers Loupa Pius, Ann Waters-Bayerand Margareta Lelea

News, podcasts and videos related to the conference:

The entrepreneur turning West Africa’s food into its “new gold” - an interview with Ndidi Nwuneli co-
founder of AACE Food Processing & Distribution and GLF Africa 2021 speaker.

Listen to the first episode of the podcast Restoration of the African Drylands Series Trailer - in this first podcast, Sophie Mbugua has an engaging conversation with Lalisa Duguma, a scientist with the World Agroforestry.


Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
"We are all called upon to take action at once... We must redefine business and usual and progress. This may vary from one context to another, yet one thing applies in every case – holistic rural development strategies such as nature based approaches need to play a greater role."

No comments:

Post a Comment