World leaders take note: there is a plan to address climate change in African landscapes

Cultivated hillsides in southwestern Uganda. Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Cultivated hillsides in southwestern Uganda. Neil Palmer (CIAT)

With several high-level international climate meetings underway this week, it is vital to ensure that commitments translate, quickly, into actions that have both climate mitigation as well as adaptation benefits.

The newly released African Landscapes Action Plan provides such practical actions. It includes policy and program recommendations for national, regional and international action in direct response to the challenges of climate change and rapid population growth across Africa.

Based on concrete successes and ongoing best practice from around the continent, the plan includes actions for integrated landscape management programs and practices that can quickly go to scale and have significant impact across Africa in achieving food security and biodiversity and climate objectives.

The plan is a major outcome of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature in Africa Conference which was hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya in July 2014.

During this conference, practitioners, researchers and leaders from more than 20 countries in Africa and from organizations around the world discussed the most pressing problems facing African landscapes and determined the most critical actions needed to address them.

The actions contained in the plan focus on 6 main themes relating to sustainable rural development: policy, finance, governance, research, capacity building and business engagement. Critical actions are identified for each of these areas, and key organizations, who were represented at the conference, have already committed to progressing the actions.

The action plan is being launched as world leaders meet for the UN Climate Summit and the Global Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance is launched. It demonstrates that there are plans in place and projects ready to go – which won’t undermine progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals – when leaders make their commitments to climate action.

The action plan is designed to dovetail with major initiatives of Africa’s landscape coalitions, including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Sustainable Land Management, Desertification, Biodiversity and Ecosystems-based Adaptation to Climate Change (LDBE) flagship program.

Download the African Landscapes Action Plan

Find out more about the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature in Africa Conference'

Kate Langford

Kate Langford is a consultant writer with close to 20 years’ experience in communicating natural resource, environmental and land management issues for various government and non-government organizations. She previously worked as Communications Specialist for the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya and has worked in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Scientific Communication.

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