At the global climate summit in Paris on December 10, the Government of Italy announced a USD 8-million contribution to the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). Italy’s capital infusion substantially raises the value of SEFA from USD 87 million to nearly USD 95 million, enabling it to continue scaling up its assistance to African nations to unlock private investments in sustainable energy. Italy joins the Governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States in support of SEFA.
The Italian contribution comes at a critical point for climate change. As Governments meet in Paris to map out their evolving approach to global climate response, practical actions such as Italy’s announcement can help ensure that developing countries have the support they need for building their renewable energy sectors in their quest for fundamental sustainable development.
“Italy is pleased to contribute to Africa’s sustainable energy development, particularly by supporting the development of more renewable energy projects, as well as AfDB President Adesina’s ambitious ‘New Deal’ to electrify the whole continent in the next 10 years,” stated Francesco La Camera, Italy’s Director General, Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea. “SEFA’s objectives are fully in line with our Government’s commitment to support African countries’ work to achieve economic development which is both green and inclusive. As our Prime Minister Renzi said during this summit gathering, Italy wants to ‘be among the protagonists of the fight against selfishness, on the side of those who choose non-negotiable values like the defence of our Mother Earth.’ We believe that joining forces in SEFA is an opportunity to do that.”
SEFA is an important element in the AfDB’s landmark New Deal on Energy for Africa, which looks to solve Africa’s huge energy deficit by 2025 under the pivotal leadership of AfDB’s new President, Akinwumi Adesina. SEFA was launched in 2012 to address several constraints to the development of Africa’s renewable energy sector, including a lack of bankable projects coming to market, limited access to finance for small and medium-sized projects, and challenging policy environments for private investment in the energy sector.
“AfDB deeply welcomes Italy and is grateful for its contribution to the SEFA partnership,” said Alex Rugamba, AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Director. “SEFA plays critical role in opening the door for more private sector engagement in delivering energy infrastructure as well as connecting more Africans to modern energy sources, using technologies which are not damaging to our global environment.”
PARIS (December 6, 2015)—African countries launched AFR100 (African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative), a pan-African, country-led effort to restore 100 million hectares (386 thousand square miles) of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2030. The AFR100 target of 100 million hectares has been endorsed by the African Union. So far 10 African countries have agreed to join AFR100 and committed at least 31.7 million hectares of land for forest landscape restoration. AFR100 partners are earmarking more than USD $1 billion in development finance and more than $540 million in private sector impact investment to support restoration activities.
The announcement was made during the Global Landscapes Forum at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, where forest landscape restoration is a key ingredient of the global movement to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Commitments made through AFR100 build on significant climate pledges made by many African countries to support a binding global climate agreement.
“Restoring our landscapes brings prosperity, security and opportunity,” said Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Natural Resources in Rwanda. “With forest landscape restoration we’ve seen agricultural yields rise and farmers in our rural communities diversify their livelihoods and improve their well-being. Forest landscape restoration is not just an environmental strategy, it is an economic and social development strategy as well.”
For the first time, AFR100 brings together political leadership with an ambitious package of financial and technical resources to support a large-scale forest landscape restoration effort across Africa. Nine financial partners and 10 technical assistance providers have pledged support, led by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and World Resources Institute (WRI).
“The scale of these new restoration commitments is unprecedented,” said Wanjira Mathai, Chair of the Green Belt Movement and daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai. “I have seen restoration in communities both large and small across Africa, but the promise of a continent-wide movement is truly inspiring. Restoring landscapes will empower and enrich rural communities while providing downstream benefits to those in cities. Everybody wins. ”
Countries that have agreed to join the AFR100 initiative include:
• Democratic Republic of Congo | 8 million hectares
• Ethiopia | 15 million hectares
• Kenya | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Liberia | 1 million hectares
• Madagascar | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Malawi | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Niger | 3.2 million hectares
• Rwanda | 2 million hectares
• Togo | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Uganda | 2.5 million hectares
AFR100 builds on the climate commitments made by African countries. So far, 13 of the INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) submitted by African countries include restoration, conservation of standing forests, or “climate-smart” agriculture. According to WRI analysis, following through on the commitments would cumulatively reduce emissions by 1.2 Gt CO2eq over the next 10 years, or 36 percent of Africa’s annual emissions and 0.25 percent of global emissions.
“Restoration is really Africa’s gift to the world,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO, World Resources Institute. “As the world forges a climate agreement in Paris, African countries— which bear the least historic responsibility for climate change– are showing leadership with ambitious pledges to restore land. These countries are well on their way to meet the goal of restoring 100 million hectares of land, which will help sequester carbon and bring economic benefits to low-income, rural communities. These African leaders are turning their words into action and making a real contribution to respond to the global threat of climate change.”
AFR100 recognizes the benefits that forests and trees can provide in African landscapes: improved soil fertility and food security, greater availability and quality of water resources, reduced desertification, increased biodiversity, green jobs, economic growth, and increased capacity for climate change resilience and mitigation. Forest landscape restoration has the potential to improve livelihoods, especially for women. For example, 20 years ago, women in southern Niger spent an average of 2.5 hours daily collecting firewood, which was scarce in the degraded landscape. Now they prune on-farm trees saving two hours a day, time that can be spent on other income generating activities.
Commitments announced through AFR100 also support the Bonn Challenge, a global target to bring 150 million hectares of land into restoration by 2020 adopted in Germany in 2011, the New York Declaration on Forests that extends that challenge to 350 million hectares by 2030, and the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI), an initiative to promote integrated landscape management with the goal of adapting to and mitigating climate change. With these new partners, the Bonn Challenge process has surpassed the 100 m hectare mark, on track to meet its goal well ahead of the 2020 target date.
AFR100 builds on a strong tradition of successful forest landscape restoration in Africa. In Ethiopia’s Tigray region, local communities have already restored over 1 million hectares, making the land more drought-resistant. In Niger, farmers have increased the number of on-farm trees across 5 million hectares of agricultural landscapes, improving food security for 2.5 million people. AFR100 will provide a forum for countries and communities to share knowledge and resources to achieve restoration at a greater scale.
“We know that restoration works for Africa. We’ve seen it work in countries as diverse as Malawi, Ethiopia, and Mali,” said Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD and former Prime Minister of Niger. “But we need to scale up restoration across the whole continent- more than 700 million hectares of land in Africa have potential for restoration. AFR100 provides a platform to work together more effectively to accelerate the achievement of restoration successes to benefit tens of millions of people who are currently searching for ways to adapt to climate change and improve their well-being.”
AFR100 will help to translate ambitious commitments into action with support from private sector investors, foundations, development banks, and bilateral and multilateral funders. AFR100 will leverage a variety of financing, including grants, equity investments, loans, risk management guarantees and funds for specific interventions.
So far, AFR100 partners have set forth over USD $1 billion of development financing:
Impact investors have already earmarked USD $546.5 million for restoration under AFR100:
Through AFR100, we expect to trigger one of the largest investments in forest landscape restoration the world has ever seen,” said H.E. Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany. “This investment is vital for empowering local communities to scale up the inspiring restoration successes we’ve seen in Africa over the last decade.”
In addition to new financing, a coalition of organizations will provide technical assistance on a wide range of activities, including the mapping of restoration opportunities, securing further financing, and implementing restoration efforts on the ground. Partners include World Resources Institute (WRI), Clinton Foundation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), Kijani, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (LPFN), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The Greenbelt Movement.
Well, I know that I’m as European man, and never the less, I am very moved by this speech! Hope you are as well my brother. If not, I don’t know what gives! Listen to the wise words of Professor PLO Lumumba! Peace!
5. November 2014:
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gary Quinlan (Australia):
The Security Council heard a briefing on 4 November 2014 by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, on the political crisis in Burkina Faso.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern over the political and security crisis in Burkina Faso and over reports of the loss of life resulting from recent events surrounding the resignation of Blaise Compaoré from his post of President of Burkina Faso. They called for calm and urged all parties to refrain from violence. They called on the Burkina Faso authorities to respect the right of peaceful assembly and right to life and to protect citizen’s safety and property.
The members of the Security Council called on all actors involved in Burkina Faso to respect the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on democracy and good governance and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, notably the rejection of unconstitutional changes of Government.
The members of the Security Council acknowledged the democratic aspiration of the people of Burkina Faso. They urged the security forces of Burkina Faso to hand over power to a civilian-led transition and to take immediate steps to restore constitutional order without delay.
The members of the Security Council called on all stakeholders in Burkina Faso to collaborate together to launch a peaceful, civilian-led and democratic transition process leading to the holding of free, fair, inclusive and credible elections as soon as possible, consistent with the Constitution of Burkina Faso.
The members of the Security Council took note of the Declaration of the Chairman of ECOWAS of 2 November 2014 and of the African Union Peace and Security Council communiqué of 4 November 2014 on Burkina Faso.
The members of the Security Council expressed their full support to the Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and for the mission conducted jointly with the African Union and ECOWAS, and called on all parties in Burkina Faso to extend full cooperation to the joint mission. They commended the efforts of regional and international actors, in particular ECOWAS and the African Union, towards the restoration of constitutional order in Burkina Faso.