3 November 2016
UNEP, EU and CBD Assess African State of Biodiversity
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

The second edition of the 'State of Biodiversity in Africa' assesses the progress of African countries on implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The report finds that overall, biodiversity continues to decline in African countries.

It provides recommendations for further action.

October 2016: The second edition of the ‘State of Biodiversity in Africa’ provides a mid-term review of progress on implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets on the continent. In an assessment that uses global indicators disaggregated to the regional level, among other inputs, the report finds that biodiversity loss in African countries continues. The report also identifies a growing number of responses taken by African countries, especially with regard to achieving targets for establishing terrestrial and marine protected areas.

The report finds that: overall, biodiversity in African continues to decline driven by a combination of human-induced factors; freshwater ecosystems are especially threatened; there is continued deforestation and forest degradation; and the impacts of climate change exacerbate pressures on ecosystems and biodiversity.

The report also highlights responses that have been taken by African countries since 2011, including: increased collaboration towards achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; the use of ecosystem service valuation and investment in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+); progress towards achieving the 17% terrestrial and 10% marine protected area targets in many countries; and increased use of ecosystem-based conservation and restoration of natural resources.

Overall, biodiversity in African continues to decline driven by a combination of human-induced factors.

The final section discusses opportunities and recommendations for future action for policy makers. The report encourages using international mechanisms that support the sustainable use of ecosystems, such as building capacity in using certification systems and harmonizing standards for eco-labeling. It calls for scaling up conservation actions to expand protected areas and improve their management and governance, as well as strengthening transboundary actions to protect shared ecosystems and migratory species. With regard to wildlife, it recommends improving local community engagement to strengthen linkages between wildlife management and community development to reduce poverty and illegal hunting and wildlife trade. It notes that laws should be enforced, especially with regard to managing invasive alien species (IAS), illegal practices such as dynamite fishing, and illegal hunting and wildlife trade.

The report’s recommendations also focus on capacity and awareness building. It recommends increasing awareness of biodiversity values through education, workshops, civil society and government campaigns and partnerships with the private sector. This is in addition to improving the availability of and access to relevant information and data through improved data collection, national assessments, institutional capacity building and the strengthening of science-policy interfaces. It also calls for building institutional capacity to implement biodiversity-related conventions, and mainstreaming biodiversity across government sectors, including through placing biodiversity goals within all government agencies and ensuring coherent policies, legislation and incentives.

Other recommendations address creating positive incentives for sustainable land management practices and the mobilization of resources from private and global funds.

The second ‘State of Biodiversity in Africa’ was published by the UN Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) in collaboration with the CBD Secretariat and the European Union. It complements the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook with analyses of status and trends towards the Aichi Targets in African countries. It also contributes to the African regional assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services carried out under the Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). [The State of Biodiversity in Africa: A Mid-term Review of Progress Towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on the Fourth Global Biodiversity Outlook] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Updated Analysis of Progress Towards the Aichi Targets]

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