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Africa and Europe discuss investment to dismantle false choice between conservation and development at European Development Days 2021




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The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) convened a discussion on African Landscapes for People and Wildlife: Dismantling the false choice between conservation and development on Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 15h10 CET as part of the European Development Days 2021.

The discussion explored how the services that ecological systems provide underpin human existence, political stability, and economic prosperity, particularly in Africa. And how investing in Africa as if conservation and development are competing objectives will lead to the continued loss of species and habitat degradation. In terms of solutions, the session focused on the role Africa leaders play in shaping a more sustainable path by investing in wildlife economies that incentivise conservation and restoration while providing for people and the importance of mobilizing into conservation and ensuring funding gets to where it is needed but also how the green deal will reshape how Europe invests in African landscapes. The discussion made a clear case for smarter, greener investments in Africa’s landscapes.

Speaking after the session, Frederick Kumah, Vice President External Affairs at AWF said: “I am glad that the session explored the role African leaders need to play in shaping a more sustainable path by investing in wildlife economies that incentivize conservation and restoration while providing for people.”

Ecotrust Pauline Executive Director Natongo Kalunda, panellist at the discussion, explained: “There is not enough effort in global consumption to understand that nature is an asset and that investments must be made to protect it and support growth….Sustainability relies on these landscapes and if investors do not understand that, then it will be impossible to reach sustainability targets.”

This timely debate featured panel speakers from the two continents Simon Malete, Lead of the African Group of Negotiators to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Pauline Nantongo Kalunda, Executive Director of Ecotrust and Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Member of the European Parliament. The session was moderated by Simangele Msweli, Senior Manager of the AWF’s Youth Leadership Program.

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wild lands.


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