202207 ABCG at APAC2

January 2023

Happy new year 2023!

2022 was a critical year for the environment as the global community convened in various major fora to address environmental degradation. Among the key events was the inaugural IUCN Africa Protected Area Congress (APAC) held in Kigali, Rwanda in July, providing an exceptional opportunity for Africa to have critical dialogues on the future of protected areas for the millions of Africans. The Kigali Call to Action prioritizes conservation of at least 30% of the continent’s land and waters, acknowledging and respecting the rights and custodianship of indigenous peoples and local communities.

The 27th session of the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) resulted in breakthrough agreements to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries devastated by climate disasters. The agreement also addresses impacts of climate change on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been affected the most. Finally, in December the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) was held in Montreal Canada, culminating with the adoption of The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The 30x30 agreement aims to protect 30 percent of the world’s land, water, and marine areas by 2030 and emphasizes the urgent need for global action to protect biodiversity in all forms.  

As we reflect on our goals in the new year, we urge all stakeholders to collaborate to deliver on the commitments made at these fora and make our planet better for all.  

 Events Highlights
UN Conference on Biodiversity, COP 15

ABCG Director, Rubina James (second from left) and colleagues at COP15, side event

ABCG at COP15 Side Event: The Future of The Protected Areas in The Congo Basin

ABCG Director, Rubina James participated in a panel organized by the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) and Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) to discuss the future of protected areas in the Congo Basin. The session focused on the biodiversity “Fair Deal”, advocating for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of Congo Basin forests in exchange for an adequate share of international biodiversity financing. One crucial element in achieving a fair deal on biodiversity conservation and protected areas is that protected areas continue to be economically valuable to the communities. Importantly, the means for implementing the new Global Biodiversity Framework should incentivize communities to protect these areas by providing adequate financial and technical resources. 

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework was adopted at COP 15 in December 2022. This new framework represents an agreement by parties to halt the human destruction of nature and restore what has already been lost by 2030. A key global target of the framework is the restoration and protection of 30 percent of the world’s land, water, and marine areas. Resource mobilization is one of the means to achieving the framework, and these resources should be sourced from both domestic and international biodiversity funding.

Partners' Reflection on the new GBF 

Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, COP 27  

The 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022 resulted in countries delivering a package of decisions that reaffirmed their commitment to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The package also strengthened action by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change, as well as boosting the support of finance, technology, and capacity building needed in developing countries. Read more

RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands, COP14

COP14 closes with 21 resolutions adopted to advance wetlands action for people and nature, Source RAMSAR

The RAMSAR convention on Wetlands, COP14 took place in Wuhan (China) and Geneva (Switzerland) from 5 to 13 November 2022 which led to the adoption of the Wuhan Declaration: a statement of political will to mobilize more resources for wetland conservation; integrate wetland protection and conservation into sustainable development, climate, and biodiversity plans and national policies; and support stronger protection of wetland protection through legislation. Read more

CITES Conference, COP 19

A landmark moment for sharks and rays as doors close on CITES CoP19, source WWF

The 19th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Conference took place in Panama, from 14 to 25 November 2022. The conference was a success, particularly for sharks and rays as around 90 percent of all internationally traded species can now only be traded if their stocks are not endangered, compared to only 20 percent before the start of the conference. Read more

ABCG at APAC Kigali Rwanda 2022

Time For Africa Conservation Leaders to Have the Much-Needed Dialogue on The Future of its Protected Areas

ABCG recognizes that African landscapes are being rapidly reshaped by a collection of drivers including population growth, changing resource utilization patterns, expanding infrastructure, and climate change. To deal with these complex drivers of change, we jointly recommend that land use planning frameworks are applied across Africa to identify robust sustainable development and conservation interventions, that balance the objectives of conservationists, communities, the private sector, and the government. Read more

ABCG Shares Innovative Solutions for Safeguarding Nature at APAC

ABCG convened a conservation clinic on land-use planning with the objectives of maximizing the use of the research and tools developed for land use planning across Africa; building land use planning capacity; promoting the land use planning training course to improve land-use planning skills across Africa, and lastly to build connections among land use planning stakeholder. Read more

ABCG Podcast Series

ABCG Launches Breathe Podcast

ABCG launched a new podcast series called BREATHE. BREATHE is a podcast series that illuminates discussions around conservation by highlighting the work of individuals and organizations across Africa who are changing the planet for the better one day at a time. Listen to all our podcast episodes here

Podcast Episodes

Episode 1: The seed savers. Listen here

Episode 2: Dreams from our fathers. Listen here

Episode 3: Changemakers. Listen here

Episode 4: Guardians of the land. Listen here

Episode 5: Turn down the heat. Listen here

"Show me a healthy community with a healthy economy and I will show you a community that has its green infrastructure in order and understands the relationship between the built and the unbuilt environment."  Will Rogers

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ABCG is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development to advance understanding of critical biodiversity conservation challenges and their solutions in sub-Saharan Africa.