The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) gathered representatives from 31African Countries, the private sector, national and international organizations, and youth ambassadors in Kigali, Rwanda, to participate in its Fifth Annual Partnership Meeting.
They have a common goal: tobeginrestoring100 million hectares of land by2030.The hybrid event was a first of its kind for the partnership and featured thelaunch of a documentary film,AFR100 Presents: The Grand African Green Up,which highlights local action for restoring biodiversity, food systems, and theclimate.
“As African countries look for best pathways to build more durable,inclusive and resilient economies, the Fifth AFR100 Annual Partnership Meetingprovides a unique and timely opportunity to stress that our lives are built onhealthy landscapes,” stated Mamadou Diakhite, acting head of Environmental Sustainability at the African Union Development Agency (AUDA NEPAD) as he welcomed the meeting's paerticipants in Kigali and around the world.
“Inclusive economic growth and job creation is fundamental to reduce poverty and safeguard human rights in the continent. Forest and landscape restoration is a cost-effective option for African communities to tackle climate change and create economic opportunities for millions of people.
As Sweden, we’re proud to support this year’s cohort of the Land Accelerator Africaof100 young African entrepreneurs and women that are restoring land and making profit through it,” said Ms Christina Wedekull, Deputy Head of the SwedishEmbassy in Kigali.
“Launched in 2015at the UN climate conference in Paris (COP21), AFR100 is a Pan-African initiative led by AUDA-NEPAD.
The initiative facilitates coordination, knowledge sharing and investment towardrestoring land across the continent, guided by African stakeholders —from community leaders and smallholder farmers, to government representatives at alllevels and investors.
The Government of Rwanda, which has committed to restore2 million hectares, hosted the Annual Partnership Meeting in Kigali.
“The Government of Rwanda recognizes the importance of Bonn Challenge andAFR100 in forest landscape restoration to sustain the country’s economy andpeople’s livelihoods.
The Ministry of Environment has geared up efforts towardstransformative landscape investments in line with the country’s Vision 2050 andNational Transformation Plan (2018-2024), which aim to achieve a sustainable andlow carbon economy through sustainable forest management and the preservationof national forest ecosystems,”said Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Hon.
Minister of Environment of Rwanda. The Secretariat and partners agreed that even though there has been progress since the partnership’s inception, land is not being restored at the pace needed to achieve the committed goals before 2030.
In order to accelerate this process, countries should adopt and implement monitoring tools to track progress, share knowledge and communicate results. “Six years into the AFR100 partnership, it’s time to redouble our effort to restore land and track our progress,” said Susan Chomba, Director of Vital Landscapes, World Resources Institute (WRI) Africa.
“By proving that restoring Africa’s landscapes can have a positive impact on foodsystems, biodiversity, the climate, and rural livelihoods, we can channel billions ofdollars in investment into a brighter future for Africa’s young generation,accompanied by sufficient ground delivery and accountability mechanisms “sheadded.
AFR100 was designed to feed into the larger targets of global restorationinitiatives, such as the Bonn Challenge and New York Declaration on Forests.Now, partners also see it as a main supporting pillar of the overarchingU.N.Decadeon Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030), which will officially begin on WorldEnvironment Day (June 5), as well as the U.N. Decade on Family Farming(2018–2028).