BLANTYRE, Malawi 27th June, 2022 (AEJ) - The sixth AFR100 Partnership Platform being held in the chilly and cold city of Blantyre, Malawi themed monitoring to attract investment into landscape restoration has ranked monitoring, investment and landscape information digizitation high on the agenda in Africa. In her opening speech Principal Secretary for Natural Resources and Climate Change in Yanira Ntupanyama explained that Malawi has not been spared with the impacts of land degradation.
“The hydro electricity production capacity has gone down to below 50 percent. Food production capacity is heavily dependent on fertilizers, floods and droughts are very common annually to the extent that survival of a common person in the village is becoming impossible because poverty levels are rising resulting in more destruction due to scramble for natural resources to survive,” Ntupanyama told the participants.
In order to address these challenges, she added, Malawi has developed policies and strategies like the National Forestry Policy (2016), National Forest Landscape Restoration strategy (2017) and the National Charcoal strategy (2017-27) aimed at restoring all degraded lands through an integrated (landscape) approach.
Furthermore, Malawi has committed to restore 4.5 million hectares under the AFR100 and the Bonn Challenge by the year 2030. I am happy to report that the restoration barometer assessment just completed has indicated that we have put over 1.5 million hectares under restoration with support from various partners.
“It is common knowledge that restoring degraded lands will bring back the lost ecosystem services and increase land productivity resulting into food security. However, the challenge is the lack of financial resources to the restoration agenda,” Ntupanyama lamented the meagre financing in the sector.
She urged for more private sector financing arguing that it is common knowledge that Government alone cannot manage to provide enough resources due to multiplicity of needs requiring resources from government.
In any case, restoration is an investment therefore the best approach for providing such an investment should be a business model which can only be provided by the private sector.
I would therefore like to challenge you experts to include those in economic planning and finance not only in forestry who are prioritizing the issue in the country to ensure the right finances are channeled to the sector, she explained.
In one of the sessions on monitoring landscapes restoration Mamadou Diakhite AUDA-NEPAD Head of Environmental Sustainability it is time African nations experts in forestry were trained in digitization using state of the art geo mapping tools to check progressing through on trees planted or through natural regeneration.
To facilitate AFR100’s transition from commitments/pledges to implementation, AUDA-NEPAD has designed a first iteration monitoring platform to track changes on land (using earth observation solutions) and assess its impact on people. Systematic and standardized monitoring of FLR activities across all 32 participating countries ensures transparency and credibility of AFR100 activities, which will also be analyzed and reported annually. This information will also enable stakeholders and partners to provide targeted support to address gender and youth disparities and raise Africa’s profile regarding the inclusion of women and youth in Forest Landscape Restoration.