Panafrican News Agency

New UN report shows bottlenecks to sustainable land management in Africa

Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA)  -  A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released Wednesday on the sidelines of the Africa Climate Risks Conference (ACRC) currently taking place here has warned that land is under growing human pressure across many parts of the Sub-Saharan African region.

The report outlines measures needed to slow down climate change on the continent, such as focusing mainly on land use and sustainable land management.

This relates to climate change adaptation and mitigation, desertification, land degradation and food security in various parts that are mostly affected across the continent.

Presenting the report, one member of IPCC panel, Jonathan Lynn, explained that adaptation planning and implementation for many African countries might require significant inputs of knowledge as well as human, social, and financial capital.

"But the institutional lack of coordinated governance, and conflicting objectives among different actors at some national levels are among key factors constraining these efforts," Lynn told delegated.

The UN expert also noted that "Land is where we live. Land is undergoing human pressure. Land is part of the solution, but land cannot do it all".

Among some key listed actors to sustainable land management are individuals, communities, organizations, corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governmental agencies, or other entities responding to real or perceived climate-related stresses.

Climate and land interact with and influence each other, it said.

Meanwhile, the IPCC report says while desertification has implications for food security and poverty in Africa, dry land areas are expected to become more vulnerable to desertification on the continent.

While dry land areas are expected to become more vulnerable to desertification, experts also say the skills and knowledge of women and marginalised groups are not yet sufficiently recognised in many parts across Africa.

"To address these bottlenecks, the integrated governance is [also] needed to maximise the benefits of land and water," the research team said.

Limiting global warming to 1.5 or even 2 degrees will involve removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and land has a critical role to play in carbon dioxide removal.

The document offers guidance to African governments on how current adaptation constraints by some countries are linked to governance systems and the quality of national institutions as well as limited scientific capacity and ongoing development challenges.

"An integrated ecosystems approach to managing land resources brings many benefits, but the only way to know if an adaptation approach works is to test it and then listen to the voices of those who implemented it," Lynn said.

Some of the challenges highlited include mainly poverty, literacy, and civil and political rights, the report said.


-0-      PANA     TWA/RA     9Oct2019