PARIS, December 6, 2015 – The African Union New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) launched today the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI). This initiative will be implemented through forest and ecosystem restoration, biodiversity conservation, climate smart agriculture, and rangeland management. The World Bank Group and World Resources Institute will, as main partners, support the mobilization of financial and technical resources from multiple sources to design and implement country-specific strategies.
“The ARLI will mobilize African countries and partners to leverage sectorial interventions and collectively ensure the integrity, resilience, restoration and sustainable management of landscapes across regions,” said Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Executive Secretary of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, an African Union strategic framework for pan-African socio-economic development.
ARLI will leverage previous experience from Africa-led partnerships such as TerrAfrica and work through various platforms. It will be implemented through the African Landscapes Action Plan, a roadmap prepared by African Union NEPAD and partners from the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative to advance landscape governance, research, and finance through priority actions that embrace all land actors and all sectors. It will work with the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) to bring 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested land under restoration by 2030.
"Restoration is one pathway to help improve the resilience of landscapes. The AFR100 platform seeks to help bring together government leaders, impact investors, development banks, bilateral donors, technical support providers and others to restore degraded and deforested landscapes," said Sean DeWitt, Director of the Global Restoration Initiative, World Resources Institute.
Priority actions will be based on analytical work such as the report on Confronting Drought in Africa’s Drylands: Opportunities for Enhancing Resilience prepared by the World Bank and partners, which describes cost-effective measures to reduce the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of populations living in drylands.
“Hot spots of natural disasters, social conflict and poverty, drylands are at the core of Africa’s development challenge. Reducing the vulnerability of the people living in drylands and enhancing their resilience will require sustained efforts to address the underlying root causes of the problems,” said Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region.
Endorsed by the African Union in October 2015, the ARLI and its supporting initiatives will contribute to improved soil fertility and food security, improve access to clean water, combat desertification, increase biodiversity and habitat, create green jobs, bolster economic growth and livelihood diversification, and increase the capacity for climate change resilience and adaptation.
The value added of the new transformative initiative is that it connects agriculture land, forest land and rangeland under one single management concept - the landscape approach – in order to boost the resilience of both ecosystems and livelihoods.
The Global Landscape Forum organized alongside the UNFCCC COP in Paris, hosted the launch and created a platform for positioning landscapes in the new international agreements on climate and sustainable development. While the initial focus of the initiative is Sub-Saharan Africa, the program aims to expand globally in order to draw synergies and share experiences with other regions.