A-PACT Official Launch: A Sustainable Financing Model for Africa’s Protected and Conserved Areas
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(KIGALI, RWANDA — July 18, 2022) African leaders have officially launched A Pan-African Conservation Trust (A-PACT), an initiative that will see countries strive to create a sustainable financial mechanism for Africa’s protected and conserved areas.
Speaking in Kigali, Rwanda, the leaders insisted that Africa needs to ensure sustained and sufficient financing for all of the continent’s protected and conserved areas as an essential part to Africa achieving its development aspirations. “Today, we are here to celebrate what I believe marks a turning point for Africa’s conservation efforts. It will be a defining moment because what we are launching is meant to secure the future of conservation by providing a lasting solution to the funding crisis that has bedeviled protected and conserved areas across Africa for decades,” said H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who also serves as the A-PACT Steering Committee Chair and a member of the African Wildlife Foundation Global Board.
He reiterated that “nature has also bestowed on Africa the distinction of its being the home of a third of global biodiversity. We must remember this is a natural heritage that does not belong to us: we are merely its custodians for the generations to come. It is time for us to invest in this endowment for ourselves and the world.”
The past and current leaders of governments urged sitting heads of state and key decision makers to prioritize interventions to environmental degradation as a sure way to not just fight off climate change, but as a solution to food insecurity and unemployment as well.
Although the smallest contributor to greenhouse gases and emissions, Africa remains the most adversely affected by climate change.
The leaders of government and of government business, drawn from at least 20 countries, committed to making sure conservation is at the heart of government policy, development and funding agendas and that solutions to conservation challenges are homegrown and people centered.
Africa holds the youngest population among other continents, and conservation can be part of a solution to a growing concern across many African countries.
Experts have consistently warned that if conservation and management of protected and conserved areas are not adequately funded, we could reap catastrophic consequences for the ecosystems that sustain us and provide us with basic needs such as health, food, clean air, fresh water, and even shelter.
A Pan-African Conservation Trust (A-PACT) is a solution for creating sustainable finance mechanisms for over 8,600 Africa’s Protected and Conserved Area network and systems.
The A-PACT concept emerged through preparations for the IUCN African Protected Areas Congress and in response to the challenges that protected and conserved areas of all kinds face with securing sustained and sufficient financing for operations, particularly in the face of the abrupt downturn of revenues from tourism that accompanied the global lockdowns to address COVID-19 health risks.
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