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Dear Colleagues,

Earth Hour, the world’s most significant grassroots movement for the environment, took place on 26 March at 8:30 pm, offering a message of solidarity for people and planet. Over 190 countries participated, and we recorded over 4.7 billion impressions online globally. Thank you for all your support, however, taking part in Earth Hour isn't only about committing for one hour on one day - it's about committing every day to take care of each other and the one home we all share. We have some tips on how to do this. 
WWF sent a panel to the just-ended UN Convention on Biodiversity negotiations held in Geneva, Switzerland. While leaders have signalled they are committed to taking action on nature; we also note the lack of an ambitious agreement towards a nature-positive mission to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.
In other news, a study by WaterAid and the British Geological Survey shows that most African countries have enough groundwater reserves to face at least five years of drought. 

We hope you enjoy these and other stories especially curated for you.

Over 192 Countries Come Together For Earth Hour 2022

Global leaders, celebrities, individuals, youth groups and businesses from 192 countries and territories came together at 8:30pm on Saturday 26 March, to stand in solidarity for both people and planet. Musical superstars from across the continent of Africa collaborated for the launch of Song For Nature; Mr Leo from Cameroon, Ben Pol from Tanzania and Khendy Key from Mozambique raised their voices to make nature a priority for our future generations.
Read WWF Africa Region Director Alice Ruhweza's Op-ed
Going Beyond The Hour
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What's Next For The Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

The UN Biodiversity negotiations drew to a close this week, with limited progress, despite a growing consensus for a nature-positive mission to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. Leaders have signaled that they are committed to taking action on nature, yet this has not translated into the necessary ingredients for a transformative global plan for nature. Another meeting is now scheduled between now and COP15 (where the agreement will be adopted) - this will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, 21-26 June. WWF is positive about the strengthened support from many countries on the overall ambition of the Global Biodiversity Framework and will continue to advocate to ensure the final document is as ambitious as possible.
About The Third Meeting Of The Open-ended Working Group On The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

World Water Day - Where Do We Go From Here?

Senegal Under Spotlight at World Water Forum

Senegal and the west African region were in the spotlight last week as Dakar hosted the ninth edition of the World Water Forum- the largest international water-related event, held in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time. The west African country and regional neighbors have taken the lead on matters of water security for the African continent, with World Bank Group President, David Malpass, specifically commending the work of the multilateral consortium, the Senegal River Basin Development Organization (OMVS), in his opening address to the Forum. Read more

UN World Water Development Report 2022

The 2022 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (UN WWDR 2022) entitled ‘Groundwater: Making the invisible visible’ describes the challenges and opportunities associated with the development, management and governance of groundwater across the world. Read more

Most African Countries Have Enough Groundwater Reserves To Face At Least Five Years Of Drought

There is enough groundwater under the continent of Africa for most countries to survive at least five years of drought – and some, more than 50 years – according to research by WaterAid and the British Geological Survey (BGS). Read more

Visualizing Groundwater Abstraction In Jordan

A new, interactive ‘map story’, using data and infographics, paints a picture of water scarcity across the Middle East, with a special focus on groundwater in Jordan. Read more

Don't Let Our World Go To Waste - Says WWF Cameroon

Within the framework of the Leading the Change (LtC) project, WWF Cameroon - Coastal Forests Programme, in partnership with the Limbe City Council, organized a plastic-free city campaign, with a focus on the ocean, on Friday, March 25, 2022.
The campaign is aimed at making Limbe stand out clearly as a plastics-free city in the Southwest Region, in particular, and in Cameroon, as a whole. It also seeks to raise the awareness of the population of Limbe about the effects of poor disposal of plastics on the soil, on wildlife, especially aquatic life and formulate acceptable plastic waste management strategies for promotion by Limbe communities and councils. 
See A Pictorial Summary Here

Local Tourism And Covid 19 - What Do The Numbers Say?

 

The African Nature-Based Tourism platform has developed a survey to assess how local communities and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the nature-based tourism sector are being impacted by COVID-19. The target audiences are community members and SMEs who support the tourism value chain as suppliers of tourism goods and services and their associated enterprises, such as lodges, vehicle hire, guiding services, shops, etc.

The questions seek to better understand their involvement in conservation and tourism, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them, and their resulting needs. These reports summarise each country, including an analysis of qualitative data collected through the surveys and certain quantitative data. The surveys are however more comprehensive than the data presented in these summary reports, so please be sure to visit https://naturebasedtourism.africa/data to explore more of the data and register to access the database for complete survey results.

Learn More
Learn How WWF Is Diversifying Conservation Finance Beyond Tourism

Russia-Ukraine War: Implications For Africa

 

Africa Braces For Food Price Inflation as Russia - Ukraine War Continues

Africa Can Help Europe Build Energy Security Post-Ukraine

Security, Soft Power and Regime Support: Spheres of Russian Influence in Africa

Data Dive: How Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine Will Impact Africa?

Russia: Who’s Who In President Vladimir Putin’s Africa Team?

 

Other Top Stories

South Africa Launches Landmark Wildlife Conservation Bond

The Wildlife Conservation Bond or “rhino bond” offers a payout linked to the protection of black rhinos, a critically endangered species whose health is essential to the ecosystems in which they live. Read more

Meet The Woman Protecting South Sudan’s Parks From War And Poaching

Bibiana Martin was 12 years old when she joined the forest rangers. Twenty years later, she is still protecting the parks and their animals and inspiring other women. Read more

WWF Gabon Signs Partnership For Valorisation Of Fauna And Flora 

For the organizers, this initiative aims to promote the rich biodiversity of Gabon, on the one hand; but also to remind the public on the importance of protecting biodiversity, on the other hand. It is within this context that WWF-Gabon & Amazing Gabon signed a partnership agreement, as this is an opportunity to raise awareness about the biological diversity of Gabon. Read more

Code Red for Africa’s Blue Economy

Africa is losing precious mangrove areas (vital for marine nurseries). The cold Benguela Current that flows along the southwest African coast from South Africa to Angola, provides essential nutrients for fish production in those countries. Read more

These Baby Elephants Are Thriving, And They Have Goats To Thank

For years, baby elephants lived off powdered formula — the same used for infant humans — at the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in northern Kenya. But when global supply chains were severely disrupted by the coronavirus, the sanctuary had to find a more dependable source of food for its calves, who had been either orphaned or abandoned. Read more

Meet The Inspiring Architect From Burkina Faso Who Merges Architecture And Nature

Diébédo Francis Kéré has become the first African and the first black person to be awarded architecture’s highest international honour, the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Read more

2022 Grammys: What Fela Kuti Has To Do With West Africa’s Growing Pop Fame

Fela’s dominance of the music scene spanned the 1970s and 1980s. After he was incarcerated by the Nigerian military authorities in 1984, his son Femi steadily began to come into his own musically. Read more

This Digest Is Made In Africa But Globally Curious! 

Here is a selection of global news that caught our attention

Global Taskforce To Align New ‘Nature Markets' With Sustainability Goals

“Shifting to a sustainable future means that markets need to adequately consider all aspects of nature,” said IUCN Director General, Dr Bruno Oberle. “IUCN will support the Taskforce in developing principles for nature markets, enabling effective investment for nature conservation globally.” Read more

World Government Summit: More Needs To Be Done To Fulfil Climate Finance Commitments

Many commitments have been made but the reality remains that more needs to be done to fulfil climate finance commitments, Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan said in a panel session at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Read more

Financial Crises Reduce Deforestation Rates, Finds New Global Research

For the first time, it has been demonstrated that financial crises reduce deforestation rates—according to new Sussex research. Read more

More Renewable Energy, Less Nature Loss

A new WWF-backed coalition aims to ensure the much-needed shift to renewable energy doesn’t unintentionally harm the natural world. Read more

US President Joe Biden Orders Release Of Oil Reserves To Help Tackle Global Fuel Crisis

This means that more than 1 million barrels of oil a day will be distrubuted across the globe for the next six months - and they will come from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This is the largest release of oil reserves from the US since 1974. Read more

What Really Happened At Geneva’s Crucial Biodiversity Negotiations?


A standoff over biopiracy threatened to derail a global agreement to halt the loss of nature, with developing countries demanding they are paid for drug discoveries and other commercial products based on their biodiversity.  Read more

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim Is Mapping The Past To Create A Sustainable Future

Since time immemorial, throughout Africa and other parts of the world, nomadic groups such as the Mbororo people of Lake Chad have drifted with the ebbs and flows of the seasons in search of food and water. Sadly, the devastating effects of a changing climate have brought this ancient practice to its knees. Read more

Remarkable Success For 1st MENA Climate Week 2022

The event was the first of four Regional Climate Weeks 2022 to be held throughout the year in advance of COP27. Read more

Wild Tiger Numbers On The Rise

2022 is the Year of the Tiger, and we have some good news to report on this endangered species: the long-term decline in wild tiger numbers has finally been reversed. This hard-fought conservation success story has its origins in the last Year of the Tiger in 2010 when the 13 countries with wild tigers agreed to double their number. Read more

UN Unveils Ambitious Target To Adapt To Climate Change And More Extreme Weather

Within the next five years, everyone on Earth should be protected by early warning systems against increasingly extreme weather and climate change, according to an ambitious new United Nations target. Read more

Learn With WWF Africa's MOOC

WWF launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)  to help youths acquire skills and competencies to take transformative actions that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and build green economies in Africa and the rest of the world. 
The 9 -week course is designed for young leaders who want to strengthen their skills on critical global issues and trends in the development and conservation arena in a rapidly changing world.
Launched by the WWF Transformative Leadership Program, the course also considers a Post Covid –Africa and emphasizes the role of youth in working towards a Nature Positive world by 2030 by addressing the climate crisis and making space for nature through biodiversity conservation.
Sign Up For The Youth Leadership Course

What We Are Reading

How Gender Equality Can Make Landscapes More Sustainable - The GEF

Deforestation In Brazil's Amazon Rainforest Hits Record January high - Reuters

Rwanda Joins C4IR Network - WeForum

How The War In Ukraine Is Threatening The Egyptian Dinner Table - The Conversation

The Impact Of Mangrove Planting In Tanzania - Science Direct

African Development Bank Celebrates Food ‘Milestone for Africa’ - AfDB

Russia’s War With Ukraine: More On Why Many African Countries Choose To Be ‘Neutral' - The Conversation

How Can We Prevent The Food Crisis From Becoming The Failure Of Nature? - CGTN

Whales: Nature’s Solution to Climate Change - IMF

Oscars: More International Films Are Nominated Than Ever – Here’s Why: The Conversation

What We Are Listening To

Nature Conservation is Everyone's Business - WWF Africa Voice of Nature

A Deeper Dive Into Climate Justice - World Resources Institute







 

What We Are Watching

 
For Earth Hour, WWF Africa launched the Africa Song For Nature.

Musician superstars from across the continent have come together to speak up for nature; Mr Leo from Cameroon, Ben Pol from Tanzania and Khendy Key from Mozambique are raising their voices to make nature a priority for our future generations. The song includes Zambian musicians, drummer Brain Shakarongo, and guitarist Jones Kabanga with vocalists Elijah Tembo and Mazuba Phiri. Earth Hour has inspired people to speak out about their communities' climate and environmental issues. Mr Leo affirms, "just like the African Proverb which says, I am because you are and you are because I am. We are one with nature, and we should never forget that."

Graphic Of The Week

Coming Up

 

World Health Day - 7th April

Untold Tales Youth Writing Competition Deadline - 15th April 2022

Inside the Circular Economy: Africa 2022 Six Week Online Course - 18th April 2022


 
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