Rio+20 Summit: World Leaders Tasked To Invest In Africa’s Natural Capital

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have released a joint? report on the state of environment in Africa, and are calling world leaders to invest in Africa’s natural capital.

The report, a copy which was obtained by LEADERSHIP, is intended to catalyse decision-makers to invest in Africa’s sustainable development and is being presented at Rio+20, at an event organized by the AfDB and WWF and hosted by the Senegalese government.

?As leaders gathered in Brazil this week, WWF and AfDB are encouraging leaders in both the public and private sectors to invest in Africa’s natural capital. “Africa must rally around this objective, not just because donors demand it, but because it’s our responsibility to protect our ecosystems,” says the report.

AfDB president, Donald Kaberuka commented: “We must strengthen cooperation between leaders, across continents, who share a common interest in fostering economic transformation. Let’s make it a reality, together.”

“Over the next decade, important decisions will be made in terms of large-scale infrastructure, resource planning, and economic development.? Investing in natural capital now will ensure ecological – and financial- security in the future”

“The AfDB and the WWF call on world leaders to act decisively on a green growth agenda.? That agenda includes enhancing ecological resilience and the capacity of natural systems, living within planetary limits and promoting measures of social progress that integrate the value of ecosystems”

“The ‘Africa Ecological Footprint Report – Green Infrastructure for Africa’s Ecological Security’ takes a look at the health of Africa’s natural systems, as well as its footprint—the surface of land and sea needed to sustain a particular group. Trends in both areas are worrying. Africa’s natural systems are under great strain—biodiversity has declined by 40 percent in 40 years. At the same time, increases in population and consumption patterns are projected to double Africa’s footprint by 2040” the report says.

?If Africa continues on a business-as-usual scenario, these two pressures—the reduction of nature’s capacity to sustain life, and a more voracious consumption of resources—will impede its ability to sustain necessary and equitable development in the long run, including the provisioning of life’s most basic necessities: food, water and fuel.

The report continues that many African countries still have a low footprint, allowing them to take on board resource-efficient technologies and lifestyles, circumventing inefficient development pathways taken by other countries, noting that this means finding solutions that both promote social development and preserve nature.