Held on 2-3 June 2021, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) conference Restoring Africa’s Drylands: Accelerating Action on the Ground
brought together thousands of participants from 186 countries, including pastoralists, scientists, youth activists, restoration practitioners and representatives from the highest levels of government, and reached over 32 million people through social media. Coinciding with the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
, the conference aimed to galvanise action and featured 47 sessions, the release of 12 white papers and the launches of several major initiatives.
Among key messages, it raised awareness of the importance of Africa's drylands and their role in sustainable development for the entire continent. It further stressed the importance of embedding restoration in community-driven integrated approaches that can overcome the incoherence that exists between environmental, agricultural, economic and infrastructure policies.
The outcome statement of the conference can be read here
. Policy recommendations distilled from the conference are to be launched ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit and COP 26.
TMG's side event at the conference, entitled From Community-Led Restoration to Carbon-Enhancing Landscapes
brought together more than 300 participants. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with participants expressing that the "session helped understand the challenges better" and that "the diverse background of speakers was inspiring".
The session explored community-led soil and land restoration able to create tangible benefits for communities and ecosystems. Panelists provided practical insights for restoration pathways that simultaneously address social, technical, economic, and institutional barriers to the sustainable use of land, water, energy, and other natural resources. Key messages include, among others, the importance of putting local communities and decentralised government bodies at the centre of restoration initiatives and the need to address land tenure as a fundamental component of responsible land governance approaches.
The side-event can be watched here
Cover picture by Ollivier Girard/CIFOR