Net loss of forests is still increasing in Africa with four million hectares of forest disappearing annually, says first ever stocktake of restoring the continent’s forests, indicating the overall trend is moving downward.The stocktake –
Review of Forest and Landscape Restoration in Africa 2021, a joint analysis carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, said Wednesday that 65 percent of productive land is degraded, while desertification affects 45 percent of Africa’s land area.
The review also claims the continent’s dry lands are “very vulnerable to climate change” and suggested their restoration is a priority for adaptation and building resilient and sustainable food systems.
“Despite our efforts, every year more forest disappears, costing the continent a 3 percent loss of GDP,” said Abebe HaileGabriel, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa in the Review’s Foreword.
“Degraded forest landscapes intensify the effects of climate change and are a barrier to building resilient and prosperous communities when 60 percent of Africans depend on their land and their forests,” he added.
The urgent need to reverse the negative and devastating trends has prompted African leaders to commit to the restoration of the continent’s ecosystems.
“Through its roadmap for development, Agenda 2063, the African continent commits to ecosystems restoration by protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managing forests, and combating desertification,” said Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD’s Chief Executive Officer, in his foreword.
“This review of current approaches and exploration of emerging opportunities is key to accelerating restoration efforts,” Mayaki added.