The African Development Bank and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) have called for increased investment in Africa’s biodiversity.
The call came with the launch of the WWF’s regional report on the performance of African countries under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
The report highlights the important role that multilateral development banks can play in meeting biodiversity targets by providing advisory services, capacity building, market research, and linkages with other relevant partners.
The assessment, launched on the sidelines of the UN Biodiversity summit (COP15) in Montreal, Canada, is based on the 6th National Reports on biodiversity submitted by African countries from 2018 to 2020.
Professor Kalemani Jo Mulongoy, president and co-founder of the Institute for Enhanced Livelihoods and former head of the Scientific, Technical and Technological Matters Division of the secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, presented the findings of the report.
Mulongoy said: “For Africa, it is critical to adopt a framework with targets that will not only curb the loss of biodiversity but will enhance opportunities to improve the lives of many Africans, especially those depending on biodiversity for their survival, bearing in mind Africa‘s biodiversity priorities.”
The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 outlines a framework for action by all countries and stakeholders to safeguard biodiversity and the benefits it provides to people.
Conclusions from the synthesis of the 6th national reports on biodiversity underpin Africa’s stance in negotiations over the post-2020 GBF. The reports shed light on the status of biodiversity in Africa regarding implementing national biodiversity strategies and action plans. This information will serve as a baseline, together with Africa’s biodiversity priorities and the Bank’s High Five objectives, which will guide negotiations over the post-2020 global biodiversity targets.
Innocent Maloba of the WWF said: “the immediate goal after the adoption of the GBF is to update NBSAPs to ensure they reflect the ambition of the GBF as well as to start developing national biodiversity financing plans.” He called for a multi-sector approach to biodiversity conservation to achieve the post-2020 GBF goals.
Vanessa Ushie, acting director of the African Development Bank’s African Natural Resources Management and Investment Centre, said: “There is a unique opportunity to finance the implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) in Africa, if we invest in natural capital and build an asset base of nature-sensitive investments that protect, restore, and make sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources.”
During the country panel conversation, Jeanne Ntain, Cote d’Ivoire CBD focal point, highlighted the importance of raising decision-maker awareness of biodiversity issues and the implications of implementing the next GBF: “Otherwise, what we are doing here at COP15 has zero value”.
Prudence Galega, former policy advisor and permanent secretary to the Ministry of Environment in Cameroon, moderated the session. She called on the African Development Bank to strengthen support of African countries to address the challenges of sustainable development and biodiversity loss in an integrated way.