Dear Colleagues,                                                                               January 21, 2021

Our Africa Weekly Digest is back with a round-up of the news, stories, and publications that capture our hearts every week.

We are very excited about 2021 - the new Super Year for nature!

This year offers many moments for progress, from the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021 to the G20 meeting in October 2021 to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021 and more. 61 countries announced pledges to reach net-zero emissions, more than 1,000 companies set 
science-based emissions-reduction targets, and more than 10,000 cities joined the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

The year started with "big wins' for nature for Africa with US$ 14 billion dollars for the Great Green wall announced at the One Planet Summit. 

We look forward to sharing many more big wins in the upcoming weekly digests. 

This newsletter is made in Africa and globally curious

Happy reading and please share your feedback.

Key Highlights from 2021 so far....

Africa's Great Green Wall receives $14 Billion to Regreen the Sahel. 

Governments and development banks pledged over USD 14 billion to speed up the Great Green Wall Work.Started in 2007, the 8000 kilometer-long Great Green Wall is an African-led initiative, spanning 11 countries, to combat land degradation, desertification, and drought. UN Environment.

WWF Urges Pandemic Reset to Stop Forest Loss for Harmful Food Production. 

WWF recently analysed 24 deforestation hotspots across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and found that more than 43 million hectares (106 million acres) of forest were cleared in those areas between 2004 and 2017. With Agriculture being a key driver, WWF urged policy makers, businesses and governments to focus on reducing food waste, using degraded land to produce food, moving to ecological agriculture practices and focusing more on indigenous and community-led conservation efforts. Reuters

The Great Reset: 7 Environment and Sustainability Stories to Watch in 2021

Here are six indicators to watch throughout 2021 to better understand our direction of travel as the world begins to recover from COVID-19 and the economic fallout: World Resource Institute presents the seven stories to watch in 2021: World Resource Institute

WWF Markets Institute Releases Top Issues, Trends, and Tools for 2021
Each year we release a list of what is seen as the top emerging industry developments that may not yet be apparent to help stakeholders stay ahead of the curve and shift our thinking and actions faster. The lists are identified through research, interviews, data analysis, gleanings from others, and discussions with our Thought Leader Group. Here are the top issues, trends, and tools to keep an eye on in 2021: : WWF.

Natural Capital Alliance targets $10bn by 2022 to invest in Nature

Lombard Odier, a Swiss private bank that recently entered SA, is among the founding members who on Monday announced a new asset management venture focused on putting a value on natural resources such as water, soil, and the environment. Business Live

WWF-Cameroon welcomes Government’s Declaration on Conservation, Human and Indigenous Rights.

The statement by Cameroon’s Minister of Forest and Wildlife, Jules Doret Ndongo can be found here: WWF

Mozambique’s New Fisheries Law Expands Protection

With a coastline of 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles), and more than two-thirds of people living within 150 km (93 mi) of the coast, enabling communities appears to be the only way for Mozambique to manage its coastal riches sustainably. The new law clarifies the path for community fisheries councils (CCPs) to become legal entities, which will allow them to designate community management areas and better implement rules regulating access to marine resources. Mongabay

Ivory Coast Creates Wildlife Sanctuary to Protect Turtles and Sharks

Ivory Coast created its first-ever marine protected area off the coast of the tiny western town of Grand-Bereby, an area that includes mangroves and reefs and is considered a globally important nesting ground for sea turtles. Bloomberg

Two Projects from Africa recognized among The Rockefeller Foundation Top 10 Visionaries Transforming the Future of Food Systems

Ahead of the first-ever United Nations’ Food Systems Summit, the Food System Vision Prize announced its top 10 “Visionaries” who offer solutions to complex food system challenges across six categories: environment, diets, economics, culture, technology, and policy. These winners will each be awarded $200,000 in recognition of their bold ideas for tackling some of the world’s most pressing food systems

Trade Begins Under The African Continental Free Trade Agreement  

After a six-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trade kicked off under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on January 1, 2021. All African countries but Eritrea have signed the agreement, and 34 have ratified it as of early December 2020. Brookings.

Africa Geo-mapping Tools to Investigate Wildlife Trafficking Launches

Currently, illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth about US$23 billion annually, demonstrating its impact on the world's economy. At a recent virtual session of the Africa Investigative Journalism Conference 2020, Oxpeckers which is an investigative environmental journalism organization launched tools that journalists could embrace while investigating wildlife crime. The tools can be found here: International Network of Journalists

World Bank Plans to Invest over $5 Billion in Drylands in Africa

Over the next five years, this funding will help restore degraded landscapes, improve agriculture productivity, and promote livelihoods across 11 African countries on a swathe of land stretching from Senegal to Djibouti. World Bank Group . 

What to Watch in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2021

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has highlighted the key issues to watch in Africa in 2021. Check them out here: Centre for Strategic and International Studies

The US Re-enters Paris Agreement

The president also canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and ordered federal agencies to begin the process of reinstating environmental regulations reversed under the Trump administration. New York Times

The Biggest Players in Coffee Pledge to Slash 1.5 Gigatonnes of CO2 by 2050

A global coalition of over 150 major coffee producers, traders, roasters and retailers have collectively pledged to slash their CO2 emissions by “at least” 1.5 gigatonnes by mid-century, unveiling a plan to ramp up investment in smallholder farms and tropical forest restoration.

The Little Book of Investing in Nature launches 

The present volume of The Little Book of Investing in Nature provides a treasure trove of insightful information on how to make progress along these different dimensions of biodiversity finance. Capturing the conceptual progress made in the last decade, it provides an almost encyclopaedic overview of the options available across the spectrum of financial solutions from different sources. Global Canopy 

Seven Reasons to Keep an Eyes on Africa in 2021
From the environmental, social and economical challenges brought about by the COVID-19, the NORDIC Africa Institute has put together seven reasons to keep an eye on Africa in 2021. Nordic Africa Institute  

Ghana receives Offshore LNG Terminal in first for Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana has taken delivery of sub-Saharan Africa’s first offshore receiving terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG), allowing it to start delivering LNG to customers in the first quarter of this year. Reuters 


Ctrl-Alt-Delete: A Green Reboot for Emerging Markets

The report analyzes the economic and climate benefits of a green post-COVID recovery, focusing on decarbonizing existing and future energy infrastructure, building climate-smart cities and helping speed the transition of key industries to green production practices. International Finance Corporation.

 Recent research by the World Economic Forum found that nature-positive solutions could create 395,000 jobs and $10 trillion in business opportunities by 2030.
What We Are Reading....
Deforestation Fronts Report Launched: The report studies 24 'deforestation fronts' across Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. WWF

'Huge Gaps' in Financing for Climate Adaptation, UN Report warns: Droughts, flooding, and rising sea levels caused by climate change threaten vulnerable communities in many low- and middle-income countries, which are poorly prepared to deal with the effects. UN Environment

Net Zero Cities- An Integrated Approach: This report provides a global framework and recommends an integrated energy approach, defined as “systemic efficiency”, as a solution to the current environmental, economic, health and social crises. Systemic efficiency encompasses clean electrification, smart digital technology, and efficient buildings and infrastructure, along with a circular economy approach to water, waste and materials.World Economic Forum

Global Risks Report: The report centres on the risks and consequences of widening inequalities and societal fragmentation. In some cases, disparities in health outcomes, technology, or workforce opportunities are the direct result of the dynamics the pandemic created. World Economic Forum 

Financing the Earth's Assets: New Report and Conversation with Investors: The report identifies 40 cities located along the planet's last mangrove frontier, proposing the creation of the "Mangroves 40 Cities Network (M40 Cities)" and a Municipal Mangrove Bond Fund as the world's first nature-based adaptation fund for cities, which together can provide the scope and reach to finance mangrove restoration on a planetary scale. Earth Security

What We Are Watching...

Too Wild- Ethiopia (Trailer) #WWFVoices

We’re very excited to announce #TooWildEthiopia - Season 1, a three-part YouTube series which follows #WWFVoices members Lauren Arthur and David Eastaugh as they explore biodiversity-rich Ethiopia - the land where the wolves wander, in search for Africa’s most rarest carnivore. With less than 500 wolves remaining today, this will be no easy task. These animals are not crying wolf, at risk of their howls fading forever from the horn of Africa. Will Lauren and David be lucky enough to see this remarkable species in its natural habitat? WWF

This Week's Graphic shows the rich biodiversity in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) and why WWF and its partners care.....

Here are some key Highlights you might have missed from 2020...

UN State of the Planet Address
Download or watch the speech. United Nations State of The Planet  

WWF Living Planet Report
WWF Living Planet Report

Chameleon Last seen 100 years ago Rediscovered in Madagascar.
The Guardian

Gunshot Detection Technology Deployed To Save Endangered Species.

Scientists Release A Global Map of Bees- Africa Among The Hotspots.

Mauritius Oil Spill

Serengeti Declared Second Most Preferred Destination for 2021 

World's Only Known White Giraffe Fitted With A Tracker To Deter Poachers In Kenya.

Malawi Constitutional Court Judges win Chatham House 2020 Award.

Kenya's President Saves A Fig Tree From A Chinese-funded Highway.

Africa Weekly Digest  by WWF Regional Office for Africa 

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