Kigali (November 3, 2021)— During a side event of the Cop26 titled “A New Phase for AFR100: Accelerating Africa’s Locally Led Land Restoration Movement”, which took place in Glasgow on November 2, 2021, alongside with other 19 African non-profit community organizations and for-profit businesses that are restoring land by planting and growing trees, ARCOS received a grant for restoring trees for suitable landscapes in Rwanda.
Six years ago, at COP21, African leaders committed to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. African leaders embraced a positive vision for the continent’s future, one full of thriving rural communities, healthy soil and rivers, and green growing trees. They believed that life could be breathed back into all of Africa’s biodiverse and productive landscapes.
In face of this situation, Africa pledged to begin restoring 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 through the AFR100 Initiative. Hundreds of local innovators are now pioneering project and business models that show that restoration can create a prosperous, net-zero-emissions future for Africa. All these initiatives need money.
In her opening remarks, Wanjira Mathai, the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at WRI, recalled that 65% of Africa’s land is degraded. “Even though a large part of the land has been degraded, it is also true that Africa presents some of the greatest restoration opportunities in the world.” Said Wanjira. She also commended what the AFR100 is trying to achieve and how Africa has put more efforts to restore 100 million hectares of degraded lands.
“Landscape degradation and the ever-increasing challenges of climate change has put in danger the precious African resources and we must embrace holistic approaches to entire landscapes.” Declared Hon. Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment. In addition to that, she emphasized that Rwanda recognizes the importance of the Bonn Challenge and AFR100 initiative in forest landscape restoration to sustain the country’s economy and people’s livelihoods.
Dr Sam Kanyamibwa, Executive Director of ARCOS revealed that communities are the champions of landscape restoration if we partner with them. The AFR100 grant will enable ARCOS to organize hundreds of community groups to protect and regenerate thousands of hectares surrounding the degraded Mukura Forest and its connected Kivu catchment. This landscape provides various services for local communities, and it is important for the integrity of Lake Kivu, whose fisheries are the backbone of thousands of rural livelihoods.