Nairobi Conference inspires exciting action for future of landscapes in Africa
CEWG Director, Louise Buck, represented the CEWG at the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Conference in Africa from July 1st-3rd, 2014. The conference opened with Richard Munang, the Africa Regional Climate Change Coordinator at the United Nations Environment Programme and Tony Simons, the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre who each challenged participants to create a vision for the future. Simons urged “The time for dialogue is over. Now what we need is action, and action, and nothing but action.” Other speakers, such as Hon. Joshua Irungu, the Governor for Laikipia County and Verrah Otiende, a scientist from the World Agroforestry Centre pointed to the threats of urbanization to creating integrated landscapes, but were hopeful that existing and future efforts could make an impact.
Parallel sessions on a variety of topics took place throughout the conference that sparked lively conversations and resulted in concrete actions plans. During a session on strategies for financing integrated landscape development in Africa, participants created action plans to enable mobilization of resources. Key actions included bringing an investment mindset into landscapes, mobilization of resources through microfinance institutions and local funding, sourcing support from the public sector and sensitizing communities to embrace investments for landscapes. In a session on national policies to support integrated landscape management, participants noted the importance of focusing on both rural and urban areas and addressing land tenure policies. Business panel attendees searched for ways to encourage businesses to take action on African integrated landscape management by drawing connections between ecosystem health and profitability. Participants had the chance to learn about over 20 tools for integrated landscape management at the Tool Bazaar on the last day of the conference.