KUNENE ELEPHANT WALK

KUNENE ELEPHANT WALK

KUNENE ELEPHANT WALK – A WORTHY CAUSE TO SUPPORT

From 05 to 09 July 2022, the ‘Kunene Elephant Walk’ team will be walking a distance of 150 kilometers in 5 days through the Kunene conservancies that cover important elephant habitats and are conflict hot-spots.

Join the walk and support the cause. Details below.

Contact: Ms Josephine Kamelo of TOSCO at 081-3883490 or info@tosco.org

 

Read more below:

Desert-adapted elephants in Namibia and their importance

The desert-adapted elephants are African bush elephants that have made their homes in the Namib and Sahara deserts in Africa and can only be found in Namibia and Mali. In Namibia, the desert-adapted elephants are mostly found in the northwest part of the country along the ephemeral rivers, the Hoarusib, Ugab, and Hoanib rivers, that run from the east to the west of the escarpment and up into the highland areas. These unique large desert-adapted creatures can survive without drinking water for several days and also survive by eating vegetation that grows in riverbeds. Sometimes, they must travel long distances to reach a water source. Although not a different subspecies of savannah elephants, they have several adaptations to their desert environment, including smaller body mass, larger feet, which make it easier to walk through sand, and smaller herd sizes, which puts less pressure on their food and water sources.

Human-Elephant conflict, challenges, and solutions

Inconsistent rainfall and increasing temperatures are two impacts that place further pressure on natural resources and such changes will make agriculture difficult and reduce productivity which leads to increased problems with elephants as fewer resources mean elephants push into human settlements. The world-renown desert-adapted elephants of Namibia are few in number (less than 150) and are under tremendous pressure from habitat loss and the associated problems of human-elephant conflict. Human elephant conflict refers to the negative interactions between humans and elephants, with undesirable consequences both for people and their resources, on the one hand, and wildlife and their habitats on the other. The conflict between elephants and human exists due to increased competition for land and water resources, and a lack of knowledge on how to live together peacefully.

Elephants have an incredible sense of smell, therefore they can smell water from miles away, and out of desperation they destroy water pipes or spear their tusks through water tanks to provide water for their herd. They also destroy community gardens in search of food and this behavior is a direct threat to rural livelihoods, as there is only limited access to water and limited food available. The loss of every individual elephant as a result of causing damages to local crops and water infrastructure has long-term consequences such as when older females (matriarchs) are killed, it affects the entire herd, often leading to the loss of the baby elephants, disruption of social dynamics, and the loss of valuable “herd memory” (where to find food and water in a vast desert). Similarly, the loss of older males means there will not always be a male of reproductive age available when a female comes into estrus.

Not only is this population is important in its own right as a part of Namibia’s biodiversity heritage but is essential to tourism, an investment for conservancies and private tourism ventures and if concerted efforts are not applied to prevent further human-elephant conflict, which often leads to mortality of these elephants, their future fate is in danger.

 

Mitigate Human-Elephant Conflict

The Kunene Elephant Walk and other conservation NGOs work hard to increase community understanding of elephants’ behavior as an important natural resource worth conserving. They help mitigate conflict through simple methods, such as:

– Repellants around gardens such as chili fences,

– Constructing protective walls around the communal gardens, to protect crops

– Construction of additional water points away from home and farming areas in order to reduce damage from elephants seeking water,

– Elephant guards, to improve the understanding of rural communities on elephants, their behavior, and how to respond to them

The Kunene Elephant Walk initiative

The Kunene Elephant Walk is a non-profit organisation that aims to help conserve the unique population of desert-adapted elephants through research, monitoring, raising awareness about both the ecological and economic importance of Namibia’s rare desert-adapted elephants and threats to their survival on a local, national and international level, and raising funds for conflict prevention projects. The raised funds will be used for various conflict prevention projects in the conservancies that are within the elephant habitat in this region, such as the construction of water points, elephant-friendly fences around the communal gardens, field allowances for the elephant guards, and field equipment for ten elephant guards which includes binoculars, cameras, and full uniform.

In July 2022, the ‘Kunene Elephant Walk’ team will be walking a distance of 150 kilometers in 5 days through the Kunene conservancies that cover important elephant habitats and are conflict hot-spots.

Join Kunene Elephant Walk fundraising trek

The Elephant Walk was masterminded by John K. Kasaona together with five other members from the communities in the north-western Kunene. The trek route takes you through spectacular scenery in a remote area where amazing desert-adapted animals roam including lions, elephants, rhinos, zebras, oryx, kudus, giraffes, and springboks. The sunsets at the campsites are unbelievable and the chance to be on foot through this landscape is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This route is dominated by rocky and mountainous roads as well as river beds. The Kunene Elephant Walk guides will uncover the secrets of the Kunene region, from the beautiful landscapes to the fauna and flora.

This elephant walk is open to all nature lovers, especially those that have the beautiful and unique Desert Elephants of Namibia at heart.

By walking a distance of 150 kilometers in 5 days through conservancies covering elephant habitats, the Kunene Elephant Walk guards aim to raise awareness on the issue and empower rural communities to live together in peace with the elephants. The funds that are raised are used towards training and HEC mitigation projects such as the construction of additional water points for elephants outside villages, and protective walls around communal crop gardens.

The walk is open to all nature and hiking lovers. The participation fee is N$500, which will go towards the fundraiser. Or join for FREE by joining the fundraiser team, and raise a minimum of N$ 1000. You will be added to our online fundraising team and get a personalised link that you can easily share with your friends, family, and colleagues on social media.
The trekking route uncovers the secrets of the Kunene region, taking you through remote, less-visited areas with spectacular scenery, and home to a wide variety of flora and fauna:

– Day 1: Ongongo conservancy to Onganga (Otjiu-West conservancy): 30 km
– Day 2: Onganga to Ongango (Ombuijokanguindi conservancy): 30 km
– Day 3: Ongango to Epunguue (Ozondundu conservancy): 30 km
– Day 4: Epunguue to Okahua (Okangundumba conservancy): 30 km
– Day 5: Okahua to Otjozongombe (Omatendeka conservancy): 30 km

The group will be further briefed by the KEW team about the challenge, the route, the area, and in particular the desert-adapted elephants, before camping under the impressive starry sky.

  1. FUNDRAISING

Our goal is to reach N$ 400 000 (22,300 euros) that will be spent as follows:

  • Construction of 15 water points in Kunene region N$50 000/water point (2,800 euros/water point)
  • Constructing protective walls around the communal gardens, to protect crops N$20 000/garden *50 gardens (1,200 euros/garden)
  • Field equipment for 10 Kunene Elephant Walk guards (10 binoculars N$10 000 (555 euros), 10 cameras N$ 69 000 (3,830 euros), 10 full uniforms (hat, shirt, trousers, and safety boots) N$2000/guard *10 =N$ 20,000 (1200 euros)) N$ 81 000  (4,500 euros)
  • So many trainings N$1 000/elephant guards (3 guards/conservancy) (55 euros)
  • Elephant walk logistics (Fuel for the backup vehicle N$10,000 (555 euros), portable toilet N$7800 (430 euros)) N$17,800 (990 euros)

By donating to this cause you will help to alleviate and reduce human-elephant conflict, which will benefit both these wonderful animals and the people who are willing to coexist with them.

How will the funds be raised?

  • Donations from Namibians via a local fundraiser platform (Give-Today page) that is communicated on Namibian platforms (social media posts and videos that can be shared, magazines, and newspapers).
  • Donations from internationals via an international fundraiser platform (GoFundMe page) that is communicated by individuals (our international team members) as well as social media platforms with international followers.
  • Collecting participant fees: N$ 500 to participate for 5 days (or N$ 100 per day).
  • Fundraising by the participants: they raise a minimum of N$ 1000 (or N$ 200 per day) to participate for free, and get a free t-shirt.
  1. LOGISTICS OF THE WALK 

Daily schedule:

Meeting point: Opuwo (05 July 2022) Time: (John will provide the time later)

Accommodation: Participants will be camping for the duration of their walk. This is wild camping so there are no showers or toilet facilities during your time in the desert.

What to bring: Own food and camping equipment. NB: There will be a backup car to carry their camping equipment and food during the walk.

Transport: All participants need to cover their transport costs.

Costs and paid by whom: 

  • Cost of 1 round neck t-shirt N$ 100/shirt incl. front and back print – paid by Kunene Elephant Walk (only if they get funds from participants).
  • Text: In front: KEW LOGO and at the back: ELEPHANT WALK

 

 

 

DISCOVERING WERELDSEND

DISCOVERING WERELDSEND

The CONSERVATION FILM FOUNDATION in collaboration with TOSCO facilitated the Film Crew Assistant and Action Camera Training on location at Wereldsend from 02 to  09 December 2021, and assisted the team of new directors with the editing process.

DISCOVERING WERELDSEND – From the perspective of 3 documentary film students:

This is what they created:

This very special production was filmed by 3 students who had 4 days of video action camera training. By no means a slick or perfect end-product, but a refreshing and surprising documentation of what creative, unrestricted collaboration can deliver.

This is a brief behind-the-scenes look at the journey of three aspirant filmmakers into the realm of wildlife documentary making in rural Namibia.This is their first encounter with the concepts of documentary film making, the first time they are operating a camera, the first time conducting interviews. A remarkably enjoyable story.

Thank you Rhody, Raymond and Munavineja, you delivered an amazing short film!
Thank you The Lion’s Share, TOSCO, and IRDNC’s Wereldsend facilities for enabling this creative process.

This is an exiting start of more to come.

NATURAL WORLD

NATURAL WORLD

 

What Does a Declining Natural World Mean for our Well-Being in Africa?

For decision-makers, a major barrier to tackling the challenge of biodiversity loss on the African continent is the lack of access to global data on biodiversity loss and its impact on people. Evidence-based information is required to support national and international policy, and to help countries and regions reach sustainable development goals (SDGs) while preserving important ecosystems.

To address this knowledge gap Dr Hayley Clements, an interdisciplinary conservation researcher at Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Complex Systems in transition, and recipient of the Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Grant (JWO), is leading a project entitled ‘Quantifying the Biodiversity Planetary Boundary for Africa’. Africa boasts a wealth of biodiversity, with unique and varied ecosystems that include biodiversity hotspots such as the Guinean forests of West Africa, the Cape Floristic Region and Succulent Karoo of South Africa, the coastal forests of eastern Africa, and Afromontane regions across the continent.

“These natural resources provide a range of essential products and services on which we depend. These ‘ecosystem services’ include clean air and water, prevention of floods, pollination of plants, pest and disease control and prevention of soil erosion. At a more fundamental level ecosystems provide livelihoods, food, shelter and overall well-being for the continent’s growing population. In short, everything we need to sustain and improve our lives depends on the natural environment,” explains Clements.

However Africa also has the one of the highest GDP growth rates of any region, with increasing urbanisation and agricultural expansion taking a heavy toll on natural systems. Exploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, deforestation, and effects of climate change are just some of the factors driving high rates of biodiversity loss on the continent, at a pace more rapid than ever before in human history. Says Clements, “A continuous decline in species along with a loss of habitat negatively affects the potential for biodiversity to sustain itself and human well-being. So the question is, how does Africa support socioeconomic growth yet still conserve the natural resources on which it depends?”

To ensure this information is relevant to the issues at hand, decision-makers and biodiversity professionals need to engage and work with one another openly and constructively. This information needs to be readily available, not just to experts in the field, but to the general public, to raise awareness on how biodiversity loss influences our human existence and what steps can be taken to secure a more just and sustainable future. The initiative has the ambitious goal of finding ways to measure the state of Africa’s biodiversity at a local level in response to human activities. This will be done using a measure called the ‘Biodiversity Intactness Index’ or BII. It will also explore the links between biodiversity loss and human well-being – to make compelling cases for appropriate land use decision-making.

Clements’ project is funded by the Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant, which is awarded annually by Oppenheimer Generations to support an African-led research programme that has the potential to contribute significantly to the advancement of environmental and allied sciences ‒ specifically to identify and address real-world issues that affect Africa.“With this scientific evidence, as well as a heightened awareness of biodiversity loss, effective strategies and efforts can be put in place to move forward on a sustainable development agenda not only in Africa but globally ‒ for the benefit of humankind,” explains Clements.

Progress made on the project will be presented at the 11th Oppenheimer Research Conference in Midrand, Gauteng on 6-8 October 2020, which brings together select individuals and organisations that are involved in the fields of natural and environmental science. Through a programme of presentations, discussions, networking and collaboration, the academic research conference aims to contribute to the conservation of ecosystems, biodiversity and heritage, particularly in Africa.

Original Article accessed on 30 June 2021 at: https://www.greenfamilyguide.com/earth-wildlife/what-does-a-declining-natural-world-mean-for-our-well-being-in-africa/

[The U.N. has declared the coming decade a time for ecosystem restoration, highlighting in a new report the importance of preventing, halting and reversing ecosystem degradation worldwide.

A key message of the report is that nature is not something that is “nice to have” — it is essential to our survival, and we are a part of it

 It calls on the world to restore at least 1 billion hectares (2.5 billion acres) of degraded land in the next decade — an area larger than China — warning that degradation already affects the well-being of 3.2 billion people.

The report also makes an economic case for restoration, noting that for every dollar that goes into restoration, up to $30 in economic benefits are created.

Restoration is also a good investment. For every dollar that goes into restoration, up to $30 in economic benefits are created.

Commercial fisheries output, for example, could be increased by $1.9 billion to $3 billion per year by restoring mangroves to 40-100% of their pre-1980s extent. In the U.S., investing in restoration at a landscape scale creates twice as many jobs as a similar investment in oil and gas. Coral reef restoration in Mesoamerica and Indonesia could provide an extra $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion in ecosystem service benefits each year.

The economy exists within nature and has benefited from the “free” services it provides, such as carbon capture, water filtration, and fisheries. The exploitation of these services with no investment is unsustainable. According to the report, humanity is using nearly 1.6 times the amount of services nature sustainably provides. “In short,” the report states, “we need more nature than we have.”

Ecosystem restoration has also been recognized as a critical part of achieving the Paris Agreement climate targets, Aichi biodiversity targets, and many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including clean water, health, peace and security. Halting and reversing ecosystem destruction, for instance, could help to avoid 60% of predicted species extinctions. Agroforestry approaches alone could increase food security for more than 1.3 billion people.

There is no formula for restoring nature on a global scale. The effort will require many methods, including landscape restoration, regenerative agriculture, and rewilding. These efforts will be aided by advances in remote monitoring, better methods for sharing knowledge, and improved on-the-ground practices.

While no methods are universal, the UNEP and FAO do offer a set of guiding principles. These principles include aiming for the highest level of well-being for people and ecosystems, addressing the drivers of degradation, promoting inclusive and participatory governance, tailoring approaches to local contexts, including plans for monitoring, and integrating policies for longevity.

Monitoring is a key guiding principle of the U.N. Decade. And to that end, the FAO and UNEP have also launched the digital hub for the U.N. Decade, which includes a framework that countries and communities can use to measure progress. Also within the hub is the Drylands Restoration Initiatives Platform, intended to share lessons and help people design restoration projects for grasslands, deserts and savannas.

Time and again, successful restoration projects have demonstrated the importance of involving all stakeholders and communities throughout the process. And this inclusivity must extend to youth and women. Depending on the culture, men and women hold different knowledge about the environment and have different restoration priorities. Plans that ensure women and men can benefit equally from and fully participate in are often more sustainable.

“Restoration projects need to be more inclusive,” said Marlène Elias, a gender researcher at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, said in a press release. “If you’re looking at major goals like restoring millions of square kilometers of land, planting a trillion trees, or rehabilitating marine ecosystems, you’re almost certainly not going to have success unless you put people at the center of the work.”

In a press briefing, Wanjira Mathai, vice president and regional director of the World Resources Institute, Africa, made the point that the average age in Africa is 19, so restoration efforts need to include youths and to create economic opportunity and hope.

The leadership and traditional knowledge of Indigenous people is also paramount. An estimated 37% of all remaining natural lands (28% of the world’s land surface) are managed by Indigenous peoples, and these lands protect a majority of intact forests and 80% of global biodiversity.

A key message of the report is that nature is not something that is “nice to have” — it is essential to our survival, and we are a part of it. Restoring the planet will take a massive global effort, and that effort can happen at all scales, from a backyard to a country.

“Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century,” António Guterres, the U.N. secretary-general, said in a statement. “It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere.”

Citation:

United Nations Environment Programme (2021). Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem restoration for people, nature and climate. Nairobi. Retrieved from https://www.unep.org/resources/ecosystem-restoration-people-nature-climate

Liz Kimbrough is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @lizkimbrough_

 EVERY MOMENT COUNTS

Earth’s ecosystems are stressed, and people are suffering the consequences. Experts say that conserving what’s left of the natural world is not good enough; we must also restore it — and the clock is ticking.

Last week marked the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration led by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The goal: to prevent, halt and reverse ecosystem degradation worldwide.

A new report released alongside the decade launch presents evidence on the state of global ecosystem destruction and explains why restoration is critical for the economy, food security, clean water, health, climate change mitigation, security, and biodiversity.

“Degradation is already affecting the well-being of an estimated 3.2 billion people — that is 40 percent of the world’s population,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen and FAO director-general Qu Dongyu, wrote in the forward to the report. “Every single year we lose ecosystem services worth more than 10 percent of our global economic output.”

 

WORLD GIRAFFE DAY

WORLD GIRAFFE DAY

WORLD GIRAFFE DAY  21 June

In celebration of the world’s tallest mammal and World Giraffe Day on June 21, we were very fortunate to get a second opportunity this year filming a small herd of majestic beauties against the backdrop of Brandberg, the highest mountain in Namibia. Unfortunately, the population of our magnificent mammals is quickly declining due to the increasing threats of habitat loss, illegal hunting, and climate change.

Some additional Wikipedia information: The giraffe (Giraffa) is an African artiodactyl mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant. It is traditionally considered to be one species, Giraffa camelopardalis, with nine subspecies. However, the existence of up to nine extant giraffe species has been described, based upon research into the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, as well as morphological measurements of Giraffa. Seven other species are extinct, prehistoric species known from fossils.

The giraffe’s chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. Its scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach.

Giraffes may be preyed on by lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs. Giraffes live in herds of related females and their offspring, or bachelor herds of unrelated adult males, but are gregarious and may gather in large aggregations. Males establish social hierarchies through “necking”, which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon. Dominant males gain mating access to females, which bear the sole responsibility for raising the young.

The giraffe has intrigued various cultures, both ancient and modern, for its peculiar appearance, and has often been featured in paintings, books, and cartoons. It is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable to extinction, and has been extirpated from many parts of its former range. Giraffes are still found in numerous national parks and game reserves but estimates as of 2016 indicate that there are approximately 97,500 members of Giraffa in the wild. More than 1,600 were kept in zoos in 2010.

 

MAKE PEACE

MAKE PEACE

 

 

U.N. declares decade of ecosystem restoration to ‘make peace with nature’
by Liz Kimbrough on 11 June 2021
Is ecosystem restoration our best hope for a sustainable future?

The U.N. has declared the coming decade a time for ecosystem restoration, highlighting in a new report the importance of preventing, halting and reversing ecosystem degradation worldwide.

It calls on the world to restore at least 1 billion hectares (2.5 billion acres) of degraded land in the next decade — an area larger than China — warning that degradation already affects the well-being of 3.2 billion people.
The report also makes an economic case for restoration, noting that for every dollar that goes into restoration, up to $30 in economic benefits are created.
A key message of the report is that nature is not something that is “nice to have” — it is essential to our survival, and we are a part of it.

Earth’s ecosystems are stressed, and people are suffering the consequences. Experts say that conserving what’s left of the natural world is not good enough; we must also restore it — and the clock is ticking.

Last week marked the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration led by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The goal: to prevent, halt and reverse ecosystem degradation worldwide.

A new report released alongside the decade launch presents evidence on the state of global ecosystem destruction and explains why restoration is critical for the economy, food security, clean water, health, climate change mitigation, security, and biodiversity.

“Degradation is already affecting the well-being of an estimated 3.2 billion people — that is 40 percent of the world’s population,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen and FAO director-general Qu Dongyu, wrote in the forward to the report. “Every single year we lose ecosystem services worth more than 10 percent of our global economic output.”

Over the past five years, the world lost roughly 10 million hectares (25 million acres) of forests per year, an area about three and a half times as big as Belgium. During the last century, 64-71% of all wetlands were destroyed. An estimated one-third of global fisheries are overfished, threatening 60 million fishers around the world. Agriculture alone has cleared an estimated 70% of global grasslands. And 20% of global farmlands are degraded.

The report calls on the world to restore at least 1 billion hectares (2.5 billion acres) of degraded land in the next decade — an area larger than China. Restoring nature at such an ambitious scale will require systemic changes, and will be costly, but the cost of inaction could be greater. Roughly half of global GDP depends on nature, and if ecosystem services decline at a steady rate, an estimated $10 trillion in global GDP may be lost by 2050.

The U.N. has declared the coming decade a time for ecosystem restoration, highlighting in a new report the importance of preventing, halting and reversing ecosystem degradation worldwide.

A key message of the report is that nature is not something that is “nice to have” — it is essential to our survival, and we are a part of it

It calls on the world to restore at least 1 billion hectares (2.5 billion acres) of degraded land in the next decade — an area larger than China — warning that degradation already affects the well-being of 3.2 billion people.

The report also makes an economic case for restoration, noting that for every dollar that goes into restoration, up to $30 in economic benefits are created.

Restoration is also a good investment. For every dollar that goes into restoration, up to $30 in economic benefits are created.

Commercial fisheries output, for example, could be increased by $1.9 billion to $3 billion per year by restoring mangroves to 40-100% of their pre-1980s extent. In the U.S., investing in restoration at a landscape scale creates twice as many jobs as a similar investment in oil and gas. Coral reef restoration in Mesoamerica and Indonesia could provide an extra $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion in ecosystem service benefits each year.

The economy exists within nature and has benefited from the “free” services it provides, such as carbon capture, water filtration, and fisheries. The exploitation of these services with no investment is unsustainable. According to the report, humanity is using nearly 1.6 times the amount of services nature sustainably provides. “In short,” the report states, “we need more nature than we have.”

Ecosystem restoration has also been recognized as a critical part of achieving the Paris Agreement climate targets, Aichi biodiversity targets, and many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including clean water, health, peace and security. Halting and reversing ecosystem destruction, for instance, could help to avoid 60% of predicted species extinctions. Agroforestry approaches alone could increase food security for more than 1.3 billion people.

There is no formula for restoring nature on a global scale. The effort will require many methods, including landscape restoration, regenerative agriculture, and rewilding. These efforts will be aided by advances in remote monitoring, better methods for sharing knowledge, and improved on-the-ground practices.

While no methods are universal, the UNEP and FAO do offer a set of guiding principles. These principles include aiming for the highest level of well-being for people and ecosystems, addressing the drivers of degradation, promoting inclusive and participatory governance, tailoring approaches to local contexts, including plans for monitoring, and integrating policies for longevity.

Monitoring is a key guiding principle of the U.N. Decade. And to that end, the FAO and UNEP have also launched the digital hub for the U.N. Decade, which includes a framework that countries and communities can use to measure progress. Also within the hub is the Drylands Restoration Initiatives Platform, intended to share lessons and help people design restoration projects for grasslands, deserts and savannas.

Time and again, successful restoration projects have demonstrated the importance of involving all stakeholders and communities throughout the process. And this inclusivity must extend to youth and women. Depending on the culture, men and women hold different knowledge about the environment and have different restoration priorities. Plans that ensure women and men can benefit equally from and fully participate in are often more sustainable.

“Restoration projects need to be more inclusive,” said Marlène Elias, a gender researcher at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, said in a press release. “If you’re looking at major goals like restoring millions of square kilometers of land, planting a trillion trees, or rehabilitating marine ecosystems, you’re almost certainly not going to have success unless you put people at the center of the work.”

In a press briefing, Wanjira Mathai, vice president and regional director of the World Resources Institute, Africa, made the point that the average age in Africa is 19, so restoration efforts need to include youths and to create economic opportunity and hope.

The leadership and traditional knowledge of Indigenous people is also paramount. An estimated 37% of all remaining natural lands (28% of the world’s land surface) are managed by Indigenous peoples, and these lands protect a majority of intact forests and 80% of global biodiversity.

A key message of the report is that nature is not something that is “nice to have” — it is essential to our survival, and we are a part of it. Restoring the planet will take a massive global effort, and that effort can happen at all scales, from a backyard to a country.

“Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century,” António Guterres, the U.N. secretary-general, said in a statement. “It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere.”

Citation: United Nations Environment Programme (2021). Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem restoration for people, nature and climate. Nairobi. Retrieved from https://www.unep.org/resources/ecosystem-restoration-people-nature-climate

Liz Kimbrough is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @lizkimbrough_

EVERY MOMENT COUNTS

Earth’s ecosystems are stressed, and people are suffering the consequences. Experts say that conserving what’s left of the natural world is not good enough; we must also restore it — and the clock is ticking.

Last week marked the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration led by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The goal: to prevent, halt and reverse ecosystem degradation worldwide.

A new report released alongside the decade launch presents evidence on the state of global ecosystem destruction and explains why restoration is critical for the economy, food security, clean water, health, climate change mitigation, security, and biodiversity.

“Degradation is already affecting the well-being of an estimated 3.2 billion people — that is 40 percent of the world’s population,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen and FAO director-general Qu Dongyu, wrote in the forward to the report. “Every single year we lose ecosystem services worth more than 10 percent of our global economic output.”

YOUR VOICE

YOUR VOICE

Please support the CONSERVATION FILM FOUNDATION in Namibia by contributing your articles and thoughts on your favourite cause and help us create a new sense of ownership and awareness about Namibia’s spectacular wildilfe and environmental biodiversity.

Contact us through our Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/CFFNamibia