The ways in which Africa’s natural resources are managed have a direct impact on countries’ ability to meet development objectives. Over 30 percent of the income of the poorest population quintile in Sub-Saharan Africa is derived from forest and environmental resources, making them particularly vulnerable to resource degradation exacerbated by the impacts of climate. Excluding deserts, salt pans, lakes and mountains, soil degradation affects more than 22 percent of the continent’s land. This impacts the ability of land to cycle nutrients, filter and absorb water, and maintain vegetative cover – and threatens therefore, millions of families’ ability to feed themselves and thrive.
Innovative approaches to land degradation
A decade of interventions, supported by the TerrAfrica partnership, has shown that the fight against land degradation is achievable and replicable at scale. Created in 2005 with the support of the World Bank and other partners, TerrAfrica brings together African countries and partners to share a common vision, exchange knowledge, and scale up investment for transformative results. The African Union NEPAD, as Secretariat of TerrAfrica, with strong support from the World Bank and partners including the EU and the Governments of the Netherlands and Norway, used its convening power to bring forward-thinking and innovative approaches to land degradation.
"A colossal amount of human energy is being deployed to overcome the obstacles of land degradation, with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable development for Africa. The main result has been the generation of an ambitious agenda to scale up landscape initiatives, by integrating policies and services required from land, biodiversity, water and other resources, while addressing critical issues such as climate change, land degradation, poverty, and resource scarcity,” said Ibrahim Mayaki, Executive Secretary of the Africa Union NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency.