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AWF Takes On Africa's Conservation Challenges at Regional Conference

  • Wednesday, July 24, 2019
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
Photo of delegates at the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum for Eastern and Southern Africa in July 2019

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is attending a conservation forum from July 23-25, 2019 in South Africa. The forum's main agenda is to craft conservation solutions for the region while ensuring that its priorities are reflective of the biggest environmental problems threatening the continent today.

Dubbed the Regional Conservation Forum for Eastern and Southern Africa, it is organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and is held in preparation for the World Conservation Congress 2020. It involves open dialogue whereby the participants are encouraged to engage in debates about contemporary societal issues and their implications on biodiversity as well as policy and investment decisions.

“It is important that AWF attends the conference so as to contribute to some of the emerging issues affecting biodiversity, conservation and sustainable development in the East and Southern Africa region,” said Ms. Fiesta Warinwa, AWF’s Director of Policy.

She added that the forum is an important lead-up to the IUCN World Conservation Congress which is itself a milestone to the 15th Conference of Parties on Convention on Biological Diversity. By attending the forum, AWF will be a part of a collective voice, strengthening the conservation movement and preparing IUCN Constituencies within Eastern and Southern Africa to effectively participate in the World Conservation Congress.

Some of the issues under discussion include equitable governance of natural resources, business and biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as healthy marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

According to Mr. Edwin Tambara, Director of External Affairs at AWF, the forum is also an opportunity for AWF to help shape the region’s conservation agenda.

“This is a platform for developing motions that are going to be part of the World Conservation Congress 2020, and it is time to look at who is developing which motion and also look at which motions does AWF want to support because if those motions are successful, will they enhance conservation or will they provide good conditions for us to be able to work?” said Mr Tambara.

He added that AWF will be working closely with partners to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding what conservation issues need to be pushed at other forums.

“There are a couple of priorities that AWF has concerning the conference such as: IUCN Program of work over 2021-2024, which will need to somehow cover biodiversity priorities for Africa and was adapted during the 14th Conference of Parties on the Convention on Biological Diversity. The forum will provide an opportunity for members to think through and help in shaping their contributions to the process of drafting in line with the priorities,” he said.

AWF is a member of the IUCN, which brings together government and civil society organizations that provide public, private, and non-governmental organizations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development, and nature conservation to take place together.

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