(Nairobi, Kenya – 3 September 2023) — More than 40 heads-of-state gather in Nairobi this week for the first-ever Africa Climate Summit, providing a pivotal forum to address climate-related concerns across the African continent and highlight the role of nations as agents for positive change.
The Summit comes at an important moment as the African continent is exposed to the serious impacts that climate change is already having on its people, ecosystems and economies, and as these leaders and communities face in an increasingly uncertain future.
Taking place from 4-6 September, the Summit will be a pivotal event for addressing climate-related concerns across the African continent, and IFAW will make the case that wildlife protection and biodiversity conservation are important nature-based solutions to climate change that can deliver benefits for nature, the climate, and people.
Key issues that IFAW will address at the Africa Climate Summit include climate change mitigation, the role of wild animals in climate mitigation, biodiversity loss and habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife conflict, climate adaptation and resilient livelihoods.
"The challenges posed by climate change demand urgent and collaborative action,” said Azzedine Downes, CEO and President of IFAW. “Africa’s vast landscapes, unparalleled biodiversity and existing carbon sinks are natural assets that deliver huge, unaccounted for benefits to the planet and humanity as a whole, essentially providing a planetary safety net.”
IFAW and Downes will use the opportunity to engage in a high-level dialogue with Ministers from East and Southern Africa to discuss the challenges that wildlife and rural communities are facing due to climate change, and how IFAW’s Room to Roam initiative is bringing them together to build climate resilient landscapes.
“Strengthening transboundary connectivity for elephants can deliver true benefits for nature, climate, and people. Wildlife and healthy biodiversity are key to maintaining ecosystem balance, and when we are in balance, we are more resilient and able to adapt to changing climate patterns. There is no better species than elephants to show us the path to healthy biodiversity across the globe.
"Through initiatives like Room to Roam, we are taking concrete steps to bridge the gap between conservation and climate adaptation, ensuring a brighter future for Africa's unique biodiversity," said Mr. Downes.
IFAW's presence at the Africa Climate Summit reaffirms its dedication to fostering partnerships, sharing expertise, and driving effective solutions that address the intricate relationship between climate change, wildlife, and communities. By aligning efforts and joining hands with stakeholders from across the continent, IFAW is poised to play a transformative role in shaping the trajectory of climate action in Africa.
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- Media are invited to attend the following events, hosted by IFAW:
- Ministerial Dialogue
Tuesday, 5 September, 13:00-14:00 pm – KICC.
Building climate resilient landscapes across Southern and Eastern Africa: How strengthening trans-boundary ecosystem connectivity can deliver co-benefits for nature, climate and people.
Moderator: George Wamukoya, Team Lead at Africa Group of Negotiators Experts Support (AGNES)
- Africa Climate Hub event
Thursday, 7 September, 09:45-10:15 am – KICC Courtyard.
Using ecosystem connectivity to build climate resilience: How transnational elephant conservation is addressing the climate crisis through climate smart conservation, landscape restoration and ecosystem-based adaptation in East and Southern Africa.
Main speaker: James Isiche, Director, IFAW Africa
IFAW experts will be on-hand throughout the African Climate Summit for in-person discussion and interviews.
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