The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Human-Wildlife Conflicts and Climate Crisis topping agendas at IUCN Africa Conservation Forum in Nairobi

Climate crisis and cases of Human-Wildlife conflict are the top issues dominating the African Conservation Forum of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The IUCN Africa Conservation Forum, taking place in Nairobi, Kenya runs under the theme of ‘African Solutions for Nature and People: Creating transformative responses to the biodiversity and climate crisis in Africa.’

The three-day forum, which has brought together more than 500 delegates including IUCN Members and stakeholders from across Africa and beyond to discuss biodiversity, conservation and the sustainable development challenges faced by the continent.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Dr Alfred Mutua, who officiated the opening session, emphasized the importance of placing local communities at the heart of all conservation efforts.

“For conservation to be truly effective and sustainable, we must ensure that local communities are not only involved but are also primary beneficiaries,” Dr Mutua stated.

Regarding Human-Wildlife conflicts, the Cabinet secretary attributed Kenya’s situation to the lack of adequate funding for conservation and used the platform to advocate for innovative partnerships to enhance Africa’s conservation efforts.

“Kenya, with its rich biodiversity, is actively implementing the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, focusing on locally- led and appropriate solutions for nature and people,” Mutua stated.

The President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Razan Al Mubarak said as a Union, the IUCN was glad to see the growing recognition of the need for inclusive conservation in the African region.

“We are impressed by the engagement of so many different organizations and individuals in achieving our common goal of ensuring equity, justice and rights during its implementation,” added Mubarak.

On his part the IUCN Director General “United, we can create solutions that help people and nature thrive, recognizing the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities,” said IUCN Director General Dr Grethel Aguilar at the Forum’s opening ceremony.

“It is the first time we are holding a forum as one African continent, and I know this was the correct decision, because the voices of Africa are better and stronger together. People must be at the center of our actions,” the IUCN Director General pointed out.

The event, held under the theme ‘African solutions for nature and people – creating transformative responses to the biodiversity and climate crisis in Africa’, gives participants the opportunity to use the Union’s platform to amplify their voice and influence policy at regional and global levels.

It is one of several IUCN Regional Conservation Foras, held across the globe this year, that offer Members an opportunity to shape the agenda for the IUCN World Conservation Congress, to be held in the United Arab Emirates in 2025.

The IUCN Congress in turn sets the global conservation agenda for the years ahead.

In the past, the three IUCN sub-regions of Africa, under the auspices of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESARO), West and Central Africa (PACO) and the Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (MED), each held their own Regional Conservation Forum.

This year, inspired by the impact of the first-ever IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress held in July 2022 in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, IUCN hosts one Forum for the entire continent.

Africa is facing significant challenges due to the dual crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss. 

The continent is severely impacted, necessitating the need for coordinated nature-climate action at the regional level. With the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) signed in 2022, several ambitious targets have been set. Meeting these will require collaborative efforts.

“We need to create transformative responses to the biodiversity and climate crisis in Africa. 

Fostering cooperation and dialogue across countries and sectors is of utmost importance if we are to help nature bounce back,” said Dr David Obura, Chair, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and Director of CORDIO East Africa as he addressed delegates at the opening ceremony.

The event features engaging high-level panels comprising African government representatives, scientific experts, Indigenous peoples and local community representatives – in plenary and thematic side event sessions – to address critical conservation challenges and trends in Africa.

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organizations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organizations and around 16,000 experts. 

It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

You might also like

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.