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Africa Leaders, Stakeholders Rally Support For Land Restoration At COP15


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – African heads of state and stakeholders have unanimously expressed their support for land restoration at the on-going fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, holding in Abidjan.

The conference builds on the Great Green Wall programme and intends to offer a concrete response to the interconnected challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss as we enter the “UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration”.

Notably, the COP 15 on desertification sets the stage for the COP27 climate conference in November in Egypt.

No fewer than nine African heads of state, senior officials of pan-African and international organizations attended the opening of a high-level summit on drought and land restoration at the event.

The summit, an initiative of Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, was held on the sidelines of COP15, which is held under the theme, “Earth. Life. Legacy: From Scarcity to Prosperity,” is a call to action so that the earth continues to benefit present and future generations.

Presidents Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, George Weah of Liberia, Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mohamed Cheikh El Ghazouani of Mauritania, among others, were present at the summit.

In his remarks, President Ouattara harped on the need for unity and collective action against land degradation, drought and other similar challenges.

“Our people have high hopes for us. We have no right to disappoint them. Let us act quickly, let us act together to give new life to our land. Our summit must be one of hope”, he said



He told his peers that the impact of climate change on the land is acute in his country. He also used the occasion to inaugurate the Abidjan Legacy Programme to restore degraded forest ecosystems and promote sustainable land management approaches in the country, the world’s largest cocoa producer.

The Abidjan Legacy Programme aims to mobilize $1.5 billion to boost long-term environmental sustainability in key value chains, while protecting and restoring forests and land. It also aims to improve community resilience to climate change in Côte d’Ivoire and sustainably increase the country’s agricultural production.

Calling on world leaders “not to cross their fingers” the UN Under-Secretary General stressed that it is essential to restore land, as “all countries are affected by land degradation and the advance of the desert due to climate change.

Similarly, Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, said: “Land feeds us. The land provides the water we drink as well as the air we breathe. The health of our economy depends on the resources of the land. According to him, land degradation is not inevitable”.

African Development Bank Group’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Kevin Kariuki expressed his delight for the Bank’s resolve to support the Abidjan Legacy Programme.

“I am honored to announce that the African Development Bank will mobilize $500 million for the successful implementation of the Abidjan Legacy Programme.

“I would like to call on all development partners to support the program. Let us ensure that our present meeting opens up promising prospects for land and forest resources that benefit African populations”, he stressed


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