Investors Can Make money from Investment to Halt Land Degradation in Africa -FAO

Investors Can Make money from Investment to Halt Land Degradation in Africa -FAO

A new study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has revealed that for every $1 investment made to halt land degradation across the African continent, investors can expect an average return of $1.

2, with outcomes ranging between $1.

1 and $4.

4.

The study obtained by AgroNigeria shows that Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) programme to combat desertification in the Sahel region is not only crucial to the battle against climate change but also makes commercial sense for investors.

Analysis from the study, which was titled: “Economic efficiency and targeting of the African Great Green Wall”, and released  shows that greening and land restoration along the Sahel region stretching 8,000 km across the continent is already underway.

“Communities are planting resilient and hardy tree species such as the Acacia Senegal, providing gum arabic, widely used as an emulsifier in food and drinks and the Gao tree of Faidherbia albida, which helps to fertilise the soil for the cultivation of such staples as millet, and for animal fodder.

“With technical support from FAO, more than 500 communities have seen improved food security and income generation opportunities.

The total area the GGW programme encompasses remains limited, with only 4 million hectares out of a targeted 100 million,” the study stated.

Speaking on the study, the International Projects Coordinator at FAO’s Forestry Division and one of the study’s lead authors, Moctar Sacande, said Africa needs to change the rhetoric about the Sahel region, to reflect the fact that despite its harsh and dry environment, “investors can get a viable return on their investment in efforts to restore the land.

She noted that the results from the study provide the final piece of economic transparency, with the political will and technical know-how already in place and should encourage the private sector, which is showing increased interest.

Meanwhile, the study stated that a total of $20 billion has been pledged internationally to support the scaling up of the Great Green Wall programme, including $14.

3 billion at a One Planet summit for biodiversity held in Paris in January this year and $1 billion from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at the just-concluded COP26 climate conference.

However, Sacande noted that concrete details of how these funds can be accessed are yet to be clearly mapped out, adding that unless some of the funding is delivered urgently, it could be too late for planting to catch the limited rainfall expected in June and July.

Also, the authors of the study stated that the armed conflicts pervading the region have long made some wary about its potential, noting that the study finds that about 50 per cent of the land area involved is currently inaccessible for security reasons.

But even taking this into account, the authors maintained that land restoration interventions in the region still represent a viable business proposition.

Meanwhile, with its potential for carbon sequestration and restoring biodiversity and its emphasis on the socio-economic benefits to the impoverished communities inhabiting the region, the GGW straddles the key areas of climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

It also addresses Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 (No poverty), 2 (No hunger), 13 (Climate action), 15 (Life on land) and 17 (Partnerships)) in the UN’s Agenda 2030.

Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) programme is a colossal initiative to restore 100 million hectares of degraded ecosystems across 11 countries in the region, which started in 2007 to also promote sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

The GGW was initiated to combat land degradation in the Sahel that threatens livelihoods and food security.

Source agronigeria
Investors Can Make money from Investment to Halt Land Degradation in Africa -FAO

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