Sustainable reforestation in AfricaAFR100
The goal of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) is to restore 100 million hectares of forest in Africa by 2030. The initiative was founded in 2015 by a group of African countries and technical partners on the occasion of the Paris Agreement negotiations. It is therefore one of many international agreements on the restoration of forest landscapes, and it represents an integral part of the international efforts to achieve sustainable development around the globe.
The Heinz Sielmann Stiftung has been working on two reforestation projects in Ethiopia and Uganda in Africa since 2018, the same year that it became involved in this forward-looking team effort as a technical partner of the AFR100 initiative.
Forest landscape restoration is one of many tools used to counteract the global causes and effects of environmental and developmental problems. It mainly falls under SDG 15 (Life on Land – protecting terrestrial ecosystems). Indeed, reforestation does more for climate protection than simply slowing down climate change and mitigating its effects. Healthy forest ecosystems also play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and soil fertility, as well as improving water balance. Further still, they can delay erosion and landscape degradation.
These effects also address socio-economic challenges such as poverty and food insecurity whenever income-generating measures are implemented in conjunction with agroforestry activities. There is a long chain of effects with undisputed positive ramifications, and there have been many declarations of intent regarding the restoration of global forest areas. Nevertheless, actual execution in the form of concretely implemented activities is lagging behind global targets.
The reports of the last two technical partner meetings of the AFR100 in 2018 in Nairobi and in 2019 in Dakar indicate that the implementation of the goals can ultimately only be achieved with greater involvement from local small farmers and if more technical partners are recruited.
The platform of this initiative allows the Heinz Sielmann Foundation and its cooperation partners to network effectively, leverage the necessary synergies, and attract political support for the implementation of their projects.