01 March 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Happy new month!

Welcome to the Africa Weekly Digest- a newsletter covering news, stories, and publications that captured our hearts this past week. 

Top stories this week include Africa’s growing climate bill, Africa's forgotten fishes, first COVID vaccines arrival and many more

Happy reading and looking forward to your feedback.

This newsletter is made in Africa and globally curious!


Africa faces $3 Trillion Climate Change Bill

For Africa to avoid the worst effects of climate change, the continent will have to find a staggering 3 trillion by 2030 & develop the capacity to implement often complex systems to roll back the deadly effects of climate change; New African Magazine 

Africa's Forgotten Fishes, A Goldmine for Millions 

Fishers across the continent haul in at least 3 million tonnes a year – or ¼ of the world’s wild freshwater fish catch – providing critical food for tens of millions of people and jobs for millions more. Find out more about the great opportunities in this sector:

A Surprise in Africa: Air Pollution Falls as Economies Rise

Air quality is improving in one of the continent’s fastest-growing regions, researchers have found. If the trend can be sustained, it would be good news for human health and climate change.New York Times.

Sahara Solar Panels Show Great Strides Toward Lighting-up Africa 

While the black surfaces of solar panels absorb most of the sunlight that reaches them, only a fraction (around 15%) of that incoming energy gets converted to electricity. The rest is returned to the environment as heat.

Sahel Alliance General Assembly Adopts Resolution to Foster Regional Sustainable Development 

The Sahel Alliance brings together 25 bilateral and multilateral development partners (14 full members and 11 observers) united by a common vision, which is consistent with the 2030 Agenda of sustainable development and targets a sustainable improvement of the living conditions of the Sahelian populations.

Ghana Becomes the World first Nation to receive COVAX 

Ghana last week became the first country in the world to receive vaccines from Covax, the initiative designed to ensure equitable distribution of the shots. South Africa and Zimbabwe pushed ahead with implementing immunization plans. Mozambique received vaccines from China, while Senegal and the island nations of Mauritius and Seychelles have their programs well underway. Bloomberg.
Ivory Coast 2nd country to receive COVID vaccines via COVAX –

A Voice for Indigenous Communities affected by Climate Change

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an environmental activist from Chad, founder of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), and current co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, the indigenous peoples’ caucus to the UN details how climate change has impacted her Mbororo pastoralist community and the importance of incorporating indigenous communities in global negotiations. 
Strengthening Education for Sustainable Development in Schools

According to a recent report by the UN Secretary-General, as many as 94 percent of children across the world have been out of school due to COVID-induced closures. The worst case is that learning losses from school shutdowns are further compounded by inequities, especially for students who were already left behind by education systems in Africa. Learn more about what WWF is doing to strengthen education for sustainable development in Africa. WWF Africa

More FDIs Forecast for Africa in 2021

Just last month, the CDC Group, the UK’s impact investor and development finance institution, announced a commitment to invest over $1 billion in African businesses by the end of 2021.

Measuring Africa’s Data Gap: The Cost of not Counting the Dead

In Africa it is only Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles and Mauritius that have what are called functioning, compulsory and universal civil registration systems - known as CRVS systems - which record deaths. BBC 

WWF and Partners Launch Study on Biodiversity Decline Drivers

Last week, WWF under the BIODEV2030 project launched a study dubbed ''Biodiversity Decline Drivers'' focused on undertaking a scientifically based assessment of the drivers of biodiversity decline in Uganda with a focus on the respective contribution of different economic sectors. Read more here: WWF Uganda.

Kenya Is Becoming a Global Hub of FinTech Innovation

African countries such as Nigeria and Kenya have emerged as FinTech hotbeds, and are using inexpensive, accessible tech to mobilize consumers in ways never seen before. Harvard Business Review 

Uganda: One Arrested in Unlawful Possession of Wildlife Pieces

Authorities from the Wildlife Centre equate the trunks [sic] to 22 kgs of Ivory. Wildlife trafficking has over the years become a lucrative transnational crime and Uganda Police has since joined global efforts in ensuring that this illegal wildlife trade is curtailed.

Protecting Sea Turtles and Seagrass in Madagascar

Turtle numbers are declining sharply, under pressure from global warming, fisheries, the harvesting of adults and eggs, coastal development, pollution, pathogens, and wildlife trafficking. GEF.

The Rising E-waste Crisis Is Being Reckoned With in Rwanda

Rwanda is one of only 13 countries in Africa that have passed national legislation regarding e-waste regulation, according to the report. And it has led to the first official recycling and refurbishing facility in the country. CNN.


Tougher Climate Plans Urgently Needed as World Still ‘Very far’ from Meeting Paris Goals.

Countries must submit tougher climate plans this year if the world is to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, the UN has warned. A progress report from the UN finds that only 75 “parties” – which includes individual countries and the European Union – met the 31 December deadline. These countries represent just 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

World’s Oldest Known Wild Bird Just Turned 70.

Wisdom the albatross, who has survived tsunamis, outlived most of her mates, and raised over 40 chicks, is pushing the boundaries of what we thought birds could do. 

WWF Applauds Pledge to Hold Global Meeting on Treaty to Stop Marine Plastic Pollution.  

WWF has welcomed the commitment from the governments of Ecuador, Germany and Ghana to champion the development of a global treaty to stop marine plastic pollution and commends them on taking the initiative to organize a global ministerial conference on plastic pollution later this year. WWF

Parts of Brazil's Amazon Being Illegally Sold on Facebook, The BBC has Discovered.

The protected areas include national forests and land reserved for indigenous peoples. Some of the plots listed via Facebook's classified ads service are as large as 1,000 football pitches. BBC 
Norsk Hydro Blamed for Birth Defects in Amazon Forest Pollution Case

The allegations were brought on to the international stage this month when Socorro’s community sued the Norwegian giant in a Dutch court, seeking damages for claims that “the incorrect disposal of toxic waste” from operations in the area had caused a variety of health ailments, polluted the rainforest and destroyed economic opportunities. Financial Times.

Russia Launches Satellite to Monitor Climate in Arctic

Russia launched its space satellite Arktika-M on Sunday on a mission to monitor the climate and environment in the Arctic amid a push by the Kremlin to expand the country’s activities in the region. Reuters.

How 30,000 Elephant 'Selfies' will Help in Conservation

Zoo keepers have compiled the world's largest collection of thermal images of elephants. The pictures show elephants in every pose as they play, eat and hang out in their enclosure at  Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Whipsnade Zoo. The 30,000 "selfies" are being used in a conservation project to help save endangered elephants. BBC. 

WWF-New Zealand and MAU163 Launch Drone Solution That Could Save Rarest Dolphin

A sophisticated drone is the latest hope in the drive to bring Māui dolphin back from the brink of extinction. MĀUI63, a not-for-profit organisation, has developed an artificial intelligence-powered tracking drone to autonomously find, follow and identify Māui and Hector's dolphins. Stuff 

Maximizing the Potential of Environmental Bonds

The first environmental bond was a Climate Awareness bond issued by the European Investment Bank in 2007. Since then, a cumulative issuance of green bonds exceeds US$1 trillion. WWF Hong Kong 

A New Way to Fund the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

According to FACTI, stamping out “illicit financial flows” would not just be a great way to fund the SDGs (it estimates as much as $2tn is paid in illegal bribes every year alone), it would help restore “trust in public ethics” by reforming a system that “drains resources, pushes people into poverty and hamstrings efforts to tackle global challenges, including Covid-19 and the climate crisis”.

Rare White Buffalo Spotted in Missouri's Ozark Mountains 

A white bison has been born in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. The new arrival is part of a herd of 25 brown bison that roams a 10,000-acre nature park called Dogwood Canyon. The extremely rare blonde bison came as a delightful surprise to the parks managers, who have named him Takoda, a Sioux word meaning “friend to everyone.”

Why Investors Bought the First Certified Green Bond to Protect Forests for Drinking Water

Central Arkansas Water partnered with green finance experts Encourage Capital and WRI to pioneer the first-ever certified green bond to acquire forests for watershed protection. The $31.8 million bond will allow CAW to borrow money from investors and pay them back over time.WRI. 

Research Consortium including Oxford University and Announce New Platform to Track COVID-19 Data

The first-of-its-kind, open-access, global case data repository will enable informed public health decision-making to tackle COVID-19, and to track its variants and future infectious disease.

Transparent Wood Could Replace Glass as a Sustainable Alternative

A team from the University of Maryland is developing a way to make transparent wood with minimal use of energy and chemicals.

Black-browed Babbler found in Borneo 180 Years After the Last Sighting

The species was never seen in the wild again, and a stuffed specimen featuring a bright yellow glass eye was the only proof of its existence. But now the black-browed babbler has been rediscovered in the rainforests of Borneo.  The Guardian

Photo: The Guardian UK


What We Are Reading

Study on The Adaptation to Climate Change in The Zambezi Delta Communities. WWF

Where and Why to Protect 30% of the Mediterranean. WWF.

Keeping Trees in The Ground Where they are Already Growing Is an Effective Low-tech Way to Slow Climate Change.

Why Business Should Help Shape a Paris-style Global Agreement for Nature. WWF

A Few Developing Countries Overperform on Frontier Technologies, But Most Lag Behind. UNCTAD 

Global Forest Review. 

The Forgotten First Emancipation Proclamation. 

What We Are Watching 
GoTravelAndTalk Youtube | Iphone wallpaper app, Ios app icon, Wallpaper  iphone boho

Bad Roads Block Liberian Cocoa Farmers from AfCFTA Promise.

Beneath The Blue: Dive into a Dazzling Ocean Under Threat.

Why Zebras have Stripes? Candid Animal Cam visits the Serengeti. 



Podcast of The Week 

Is Ecosystem Restoration Our Last/Best Hope for a Sustainable Future?

Author Judith Schwartz joins Mongabay Newscast to discuss her 2020 book The Reindeer Chronicles: And Other Inspiring Stories of Working with Nature to Heal the Earth, which documents numerous restoration projects around the globe and highlights the ways the global ecological restoration movement is challenging us to reconsider the way we live on planet Earth.


Upcoming Events 

March 2-3, 2021. Africa Fiscal Forum. Register here: IMF

March 12, 2021. From Debt Resolution to Growth: The Road Ahead for Africa.
Register here:  AfDB

March 03, 2021 .World Wildlife Day - Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet. 



Copyright © *| Africa Weekly Digest | WWF Regional Office for Africa 

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