April 30, 2021

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Dear <<First Name>>

Welcome back to the quarterly Africa Focus Newsletter. This edition is focused on resilient recovery in the new normal. By highlighting ways to put the world on track to a healthier and sustainable future, reduced risks of future pandemics, and improved our public health and environmental outcomes.

This edition also pays homage to WWF for celebrating 60 years of being at the centre of global efforts for nature, pioneering some of the most innovative initiatives ever taken in conservation, the impacts of which are still being felt today. At 60, WWF has grown into a multicultural global federation of local leadership and operations active in nearly 100 countries and supported by over 35 million people worldwide, using its voice and actions to create a fairer, healthier and more sustainable world for the conservation of the natural world and well-being of people everywhere.

Also, look out for 8 Billion, a user-generated content platform where we share our visions, beliefs and hopes for Planet Earth. It is a platform to tell stories that deepen our connections to the natural world.

Enjoy and share with your networks!

Alice Ruhweza                                  Rose Thuo                                                          
Regional Director, Africa                 Head of Communications & Marketing, Africa

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 🐼 It’s WWF’s 60th anniversary! 🐼

Together, over the past 60 years, we have come a long way to build a future where people and nature can thrive. 

This would not have been possible without you by our side. In 60 years we have come a long way towards building a future where people and nature thrive.

Click here for more WWF stories to celebrate our 60th anniversary
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Outcomes from Biden’s Leaders Climate Summit Critical for Climate Justice in Africa

President Biden invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate he will host on April 22 and 23.  The virtual Leaders Summit will be live-streamed for public viewing.

President Biden announced a game-changing emissions target for the US. He said the country would cut emissions by 50-52% by 2030 from 2005 levels, nearly doubling its previous commitment for 2025. This is a historical increase, an unequivocal and very welcome signal of the leading role the US intends to play in climate geopolitics, and a clear motivator for action by fellow big-emitters.

African Presidents who spoke at the summit unanimously flagged the need for sufficient finance to support African nations to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) targets which are largely conditional on external funding. They called upon industrialised countries to substantially increase climate finance flow to Africa and address the challenge of disproportionally small flows of desperately needed adaptation finance to Africa. They reiterated the critical importance of climate adaptation to Africa.

The five African Leaders who attended the summit included President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Ali Bongo of Gabon and Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari.

As a vulnerable region, Africa faces an even wider adaptation gap, with far-reaching impacts already being felt in agriculture, health, infrastructure, and livelihoods. African Leaders called for enhanced engagement from the international community to support Africa’s efforts.

Read more here.

The Earth Hour 2021 Virtual Spotlight | What COVID-19 has taught us about our planet, and ourselves

Earth Hour is celebrated globally on March 26 from 20:30 to 21:30 hours. This year's celebration had a South African twist as actor John Kani lent his voice to a video about the link between nature loss and human health.

The key message of the video: The effects of a pandemic like COVID-19 are easy to see. But what about the causes? The #EarthHour​ video unpacks why our health depends on the health of the planet, and why we already have it in us to make a change - though we may just not have realized it yet.
KENYA: To mark #EarthHour, Rachel Ruto, wife of Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto joined cyclists under the #CyclingforForests initiative. She pledged to "plant 5,000 bamboo seedlings during the rainy season and when it is safe to do so due to the Covid-19 pandemic."
MADAGASCAR: To mark #EarthHour, 33 young people from 11 associations met in Andramasina District for an hour to plant 600 plants of 6 species. 
UGANDA: WWF in Uganda, Scouts movement, Buganda Kingdom and partners call for a total ban on single-use plastics.

Unveiled: Top 100 young African conservation leaders list 2021

One hundred youth from 23 countries in Africa have been recognised as the top youth leaders in conservation in the continent. This is the first-ever Top 100 young African conservation leaders list, a collaboration between the Africa Alliance of YMCAs, World Organization of the Scout Movement, African Wildlife Foundation and WWF to empower the efforts of youth talented Africans and inspire other youth in leading the way to ensure nature and people will thrive for generations to come. These exceptional young men and women have proven to be leading lights for sustainable development of the continent.

Join us in celebrating and recognising the work of these 100 young African leaders by amplifying their voice and spreading their stories which can be found here

WWF supports reopening of Dia Elementary School in Republic of Congo

On International Day of Education (January 24), the doors to the Dia Elementary School opened up once more after four years of closure. The school that borders Messok Dja, a tropical forest in the Republic of Congo was closed due to lack of resources. WWF supported Dia’s children to go back to school.

The school opening coincided with the third International Day of Education under the theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’.

Secret Lives of Animals: Camera trap compilation

These camera traps seek to better understand the movement and behaviour of a range of species in the wild. Take a look at some of the incredible footage!
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New Endangered and Critically Endangered status for African elephants

African savannah elephant and the forest elephant have now been classified as Endangered and Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. This comes after a recent decision by the African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) of IUCN that the science is clear and it will now treat forest elephants and savannah elephants, formerly considered the same species (African elephant) as two distinct species.
Read more here.

Episode 1: The #Connect2Earth Global Health Talks

Guest Speaker: Dr Peter Daszak is a British zoologist, researcher and expert on disease ecology, in particular on zoonosis (diseases that are transmissible from animal to person and from person to animal)

  • Marco Vollmar - Executive Communications Director, WWF Germany
  • Alice Ruhweza - Africa Region Director, WWF International
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8 Billion is an online community of those who want to celebrate our connection to the natural world  - think, a YouTube for nature. WWF are founding partners of the platform, alongside Off The Fence Productions. 

This is a way for WWF to really show our commitment to inclusive storytelling, by giving others a platform to share their own stories in their own way. 

Join and tell your story here.
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Subscribe to our other newsletters
Africa Ecological Futures
New Deal for Nature & People
Africa Weekly Digest
Special thanks to the Africa Community of Communicators.

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