The experience of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex with the use of the Integrated Management Effectiveness tool. An integrated vision of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex, consisting of the parks of Bouba Ndjidda, in Cameroon, and Sena Oura, in Chad, fol-lowed by a critical analysis of the state of the sites, allowed eﬃ nition of tai-lor-made interventions.
“COVID-19 could not have come at a worse time for vulnerable communities across West Africa” - FAO
In this interview, we speak with Coumba Sow, FAO Resilience Coordinator for West Africa, about the COVID-19 pandemic and what it could mean for millions of people already grappling with hunger and conflict in West Africa.
West Africa and the Sahel region in particular have long been prone to droughts and food shortages, and over the past decade, rising insecurity. How is the situation now?
This is a complex region - hit by chronic hunger, insecurity, climate change, the threats of a Desert Locust outbreak, and now the pandemic. Year after year, five out of the ten countries at the bottom of the UN Development Index are in West Africa.
Right now, we are particularly concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Central Sahel - comprised of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Some four million people here are already facing extreme hunger and this could rise to 5.5 million people by August. Just to put it in perspective - by August, in Burkina Faso, over two million people could be facing extreme hunger, and at the worst time - as the lean season sets in and food becomes scarcer. This number is three times higher than last year during the same period.
Across West Africa, as of April, over 11 million people need immediate food assistance - mostly due to conflict. And this number will continue rising, potentially reaching 17 million during the lean season (June- August) if we don't respond fast.
Many people are not only hungry. They are also uprooted and have lost what they had. The ones I spoke to had the same story - of villages attacked; of family members killed or displaced; of homes or fields destroyed; of animals abandoned or killed.
As of now, some 1.2 million people have been displaced in Central Sahel. If the conflict persists, more people will suffer the same fate.
According to the 2020 Global Food Crisis report, increasing violence, displacements and disrupted agriculture and trade in tandem with adverse climate in West Africa and Sahel countries will worsen acute food insecurity conditions in many areas this year.
COVID-19 could not have come at a worse time for vulnerable communities across West Africa.
Who is most at risk from COVID-19?
First of all: children. Malnutrition rates in the Sahel are one of the highest in the world. Some 2.5 million children - more than a quarter in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger - suffer from severe and acute malnutrition.
As mothers and children are the hardest hit, in general, they will also suffer the most during the pandemic.
Those who are already hungry, or already hungry and displaced, will be at extreme risk.
The key issue to highlight is that the pandemic is expanding during crucial months for this region - when people need to plant, move with their animals. Farmers need to be able to sell their current produces but also access fields and markets to prepare for the main 2020/2021 agricultural season. Pastoralists or nomadic herders need to move with their animals. Governments and humanitarian actors need to assist people requiring urgent food, nutritional and emergency support during the lean season.
For centuries, nomadic herders across the Sahel have moved hundreds of miles every year to find pasture for their herds. This is something they do each year, especially during April-May as pastures become drier.
Many Mauritanian herders, for example, head to Mali and Senegal in search of pasture.
But, as borders close, nomadic herders are no longer able to move in search of fodder and water or to trade - animals can be traded for other foods or essential items.
This can lead to herders losing their income as they can't sell their animals or buy what they need for them as well as potentially losing animals as some of them might not survive or might fall ill. When animals suffer, people suffer. When animals die or stop being a source of milk or meat, people go hungry. When animals are lost, so are people's livelihoods.
Farmers will also be affected by COVID-19 due to a lower supply of fertilizers and seeds, the closure of stores and markets, and reduced assistance.
The pandemic - if it spreads further - will translate into increasing threats: from more displacements to less and less access to basic social services, higher food prices, less food.
Are COVID-19's impacts on people's food security already being felt in West Africa?
Governments have taken measures such as physical distancing and closure of markets. These will result in market disruptions, whether for traders or buyers.
COVID-19's impacts are already seen in the pastoral areas. As most borders are closed, movements of herders and animals have been restricted.
Although the pandemic's impact on primary products' prices are not yet discernible, the fact that many people are buying main commodities in bulk could lead to a temporary increase in costs and shortages, which will be difficult to manage as/if production drops. Transport is also already affected, which will impact on food and products' supply.
How is FAO responding?
As most of West Africa is already affected by other complex crises, our first priority is to safeguard and maintain our current emergency response, especially activities supporting the upcoming agricultural campaign, which will help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on food security.
Doing so will be particularly challenging given the operational difficulties due to the movement restrictions introduced by most countries. However, working closely with governments, the UN family, and partners, we are recalibrating and finding ways to deliver.
Our response across the region is only funded at 20 percent, however. We urge donors and partners to ensure that the ongoing emergencies, on top of COVID-19, are not forgotten.
In response to COVID-19, FAO has been collecting information and carrying out analysis, at regional and country level, on the pandemic's likely consequences on agriculture and food security, which will feed into a global data facility. This is informing the development of national and a regional strategies as well as country specific COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. Several actions in these plans are already being implemented.
In Burkina Faso, FAO is launching a program, thanks to support from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to provide immediate assistance to vulnerable households living in quarantine in urban and peri-urban areas so they can access healthy and nutritious food.
Following its Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests in 2019, the European Commission has finally opened a questionnaire-based consultation on policies needed to reduce deforestation and forest degradation associated with EU consumption of forest-risk commodities.
This online course organized by IFED in partnership with Queen's University of Canada will be delivered by high level lecturers. Professionals with positive experiences on REDD++ management and PES will also share their experiences you learners. Please also see hereafter the poster which summarizes the articulations of this training that scheduled from 05 to 09 October 2020.
Forests and Finance - The banks and investors exposed to deforestation risks in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa and in Brazil.
Top 10 Lenders & Underwriters (2016-2020 April): See the 10 banks and investors with the highest financial exposure in loans and underwriting to forest-risk sector companies in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa and Brazil. These findings are based on research carried out by forestsandfinance.org using this methodology to identify corporate loans, credit and underwriting facilities provided to the selected companies.
DAKAR (Reuters) - Cameroon has backtracked on a decision to allow industrial logging in one of the region’s least exploited rainforests, home to rare gorillas, tool-wielding chimpanzees and giant frogs.
I have been following with keen interest the ongoing debate on Ebo Forest. It represents the struggle of a country trying to balance developmental aspirations with ecological and cultural identity.
Global and African Leaders Welcome Launch of GCA Africa as “Historic Moment to Accelerate Adaptation” on the Continent – AFDB
The Global Center on Adaptation today announced the launch of its regional office in Côte d’Ivoire. Hosted by the African Development Bank at its headquarters in the Ivorian capital Abidjan, GCA Africa will work with partners across the continent to scale and accelerate adaptation action that protects African communities from the impacts of climate change.
In view of the sanitary situation associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, France and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have decided to postpone the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which was to be held in January 2021 in Marseille. New dates for the event will be announced in due course.
FOREST EDUCATION here is related to FORESTS, TREES OUTSIDE FORESTS, AND OTHER WOODED LAND (i.e., natural forests, forest plantations, woodlands, agroforestry systems and urban forests). It includes education delivered through programmes of forestry and forest sciences as well as programmes of broader scope, (e.g., natural resource management, environmental sciences).
The Legacy Landscapes Fund -Safeguarding outstanding biodiversity for humanity – the next level of conservation
The Strategy -Halting the dramatic loss of biodiversity requires a bold new approach for protected areas in terms of scope, structure, accountability and financing. As an instrument to serve this strategy we introduce the Legacy Landscapes Fund.
Following a negotiation process which was begun at the G7 Biarritz summit, then at the United Nations General Assembly, and spearheaded by our country, France and its partners, countries in the Amazon Basin, Congo Basin and South-East Asia, and European donor countries agreed on the text of a Charter establishing the Alliance for Rainforests.
RFUK: PRESS RELEASE: UN plan to protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030 could displace hundreds of millions, NGOs and experts warn
One hundred twenty-eight environmental and human rights NGOs and experts today warn that a United Nations drive to increase global protected areas such as national parks could lead to severe human rights violations and cause irreversible social harm for some of the world’s poorest people.
To read: ATIBT welcomes RIFFEAC !; Deforestation is a political choice, but not a goal; PARTNERSHIP MFLS FOREZIENNE AND ISELI; ATIBT is relaying two EU public consultations including one on the EUTR. You can answer until November 26, 2020…
Bending the curve of terrestrial biodiversity needs an integrated Bending the curve of terrestrial biodiversity needs an integrated strategy – Nature
Increased efforts are required to prevent further losses to terrestrial biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it provides1,2. Ambitious targets have been proposed, such as reversing the declining trends in biodiversity3; however, just feeding the growing human population will make this a challenge4.
Wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in less than 50 years, according to a major report by the conservation group WWF. The report says this "catastrophic decline" shows no sign of slowing.
To read: ITTO Fellowship Programme is open for applications; Nominations open for 2021 Wangari Maathai award; Air your views on future of forest education—deadline extended to participate in global survey…
´The science is clear, and the world’s top economic authorities agree: To safeguard human civilization as we know it, we must fundamentally change the way our societies and economies operate´.
To read: A new report from EcoAgriculture Partners reviews models of integrated landscape finance; Leaders of 1000 Landscapes Hold Strategy Workshop; Using Integrated Landscape Management to Scale Agroforestry: Examples from Ecuador.
Already in the late 1970s, EcoAgriculture Partners´ Sara Scherr and Louise Buck experienced the promise that agroforestry holds: improving livelihood security for smallholders, especially women and children. As they were working with the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry’ (ICRAF) in Kenya, they were studying and promoting agroforestry as an approach to farming that integrates production and conservation functions.
To read: WFC 2021 in Seoul : Building a green, healthy and resilient future with forests; Gabon : Inauguration of the new Precious Woods CEB factory by Minister Lee White; Important update - Study Overview of the private sector in the Republic of Congo…
There is less than a month to go before the UN General Assembly High-Level week which will, for the first time in history, be largely online. The UN Global Compact is inviting our entire network to attend Uniting Business LIVE, an online gathering of global business and sustainability leaders on the sidelines of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly from 21–23 September.
To read : Implementation of FLEGT REDD CERTIFICATION project activities in the DRC; Continuation of TRACER-DR project Communication in Gabon with FRMI and BRAINFOREST; ATIBT publishes its study on the impact of COVID-19 on the forest sector in the Republic of Congo…
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, 17th August 2020—Congolese artisanal fishers are increasingly turning to shark fishing because of increased scarcity of other stocks overfished by industrial fisheries: urgent legislative and management improvements are needed to prevent a collapse of shark fishing and protect local livelihoods finds a new TRAFFIC report.
Enrico Celio is a senior scientist with the chair “Planning of Landscape and Urban Systems” at ETH Zürich, and was a visiting fellow at EcoAgriculture Partners in 2018 in Washington, DC. He is interested in understanding how landscapes can be developed and managed in an inclusive and process-oriented way.
To read: Wildlife- We observed an unusual inter-group interaction between the Makumba and Mata habituated gorilla groups in Bai Hokou during which Mio, a young male from the Mata group spent all the time playing with Inguka, one of the twins in the Makumba group.
Some countries simply get it right. They understand that we don't own the world we live in and we are sharing the planet with other occupants. They know that wildlife conservation isn't just an ethical discourse but a necessary step to ensuring human being's survival.
The study expands the scope of reporting for the first time to all countries with multilateral development bank operations. It now provides data on MDB climate finance commitments beyond those directed solely at developing and emerging economies, but with the focus remaining on low- and middle-income countries.
"The consequences of the pandemic could be long-lasting", stated Ambassador Smail Chergui, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, adding that "the AU will continue to support governments to make extremely difficult choices to address the impact of COVID-19 across the continent".
Ebo forest is home to hundreds of rare species including Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees. A Cameroonian government decree allowing logging in a forest that is home to some of the world’s most endangered species has sparked outrage among local communities and conservation groups.
We are extremely proud and happy with our achievements this month. After more than 10 months of hard work at the Limbe Wildlife Centre, we have made a great step to further bridge the gap between animal welfare and conservation actions by inaugurating the first soft-release of endangered African grey parrot in Cameroon’s history.
The fifteenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF15) had been expected to adopt a resolution on several important issues including the UNFF Quadrennial Programme of Work (4POW) for 2021-2024.
In light of the continued COVID-19 global pandemic, the 42nd meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (OEWG 42) convened three identical, online technical sessions, in different time zones, from 14-16 July 2020.
G20 Meetings Review Responses to Pandemic, Discuss Role of Digital Technologies in Accelerating Recovery – IISD
Following virtual meetings in July 2020, the Group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors issued a communiqué that acknowledges global economic activity is expected to contract sharply in 2020 due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic...
H.E. Amb. Josefa Leonel Correia SACKO Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture On the occasion of The Launching of the Inaugural Africa Biennial Report on Disaster Risk Reduction – AU
My fellow Africans! I am pleased to issue this press briefing at the launch of the Inaugural Africa Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. As you might be aware, disasters have become a recurrent phenomenon in Africa and the Africa Union wants to ensure that countries prepared to minimize...
Communiqué of the 36th extraordinary assembly of IGAD heads of state and government held online via videoconference 14th july 2020 - IGAD
The 36th Extraordinary Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government was held on 14th July 2020 via videoconference, chaired by H.E. Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan.