We, participants in the International Conference on “Ecosystems, key tool for the development of the African continent”, held in Gammarth (Tunisia), on June 8-9, 2022 as part of the celebration of the World Environment Day and the 30th anniversary of the Sahara and Sahel Observatory :
- Express our gratitude to H.E. Mrs. Garama Saratou Rabiou Inoussa, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Desertification of Niger and H.E. Mrs. Leila Chikhaoui Mahdaoui, Minister of the Environment of Tunisia for having honoured this Conference with their participation ; and
- Thank the French Development Agency and all the partners for the support they provide to the OSS in the implementation of its actions for the benefit of its member countries.
- Recalling the objectives of the i) United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, ii) the initiatives of the international community for an immediate and concrete action, iii) the Sustainable Development Goals, iv) the 2063 agenda of the African Union as well as v) the objectives of the three Rio Conventions, namely : the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), particularly in Africa ;
- Recalling the Stockholm 2022 declaration that reaffirmed the need for a healthy planet to achieve the 2030 Agenda Goals, while strengthening climate action and the environmental protection ;
- Reminding also that the new ten-year strategy (2021-2030) of the Sahara and Sahel Observatory aims to improve access to information, the involvement and commitment of target audiences and the ownership of its action by member countries and organizations on natural resources management issues ;
- Aware of the priceless value of ecosystem services to sustaining life on Earth and bearing in mind that the African populations cannot live outside their natural habitats and without the precious services provided by nature ;
- Persuaded of all the nourishing, hydrating, healing and protecting benefits that ecosystems provide to populations, it is necessary to have these many services valued for a better understanding of their usefulness, speak up and raise concern about the importance of their preservation ;
- Deeply concerned about the alarming rate of land degradation in Africa which now affects more than 65% of the African continent and more than one billion hectares of arid lands, thus threatening the survival of the most vulnerable populations ;
- Anxious about the rapid and continuous cut in the agricultural land area and the increasingly fast-paced deterioration of ecosystems and their services due to climate change ; and
- Realizing that Africa is one of the continents most affected by the climate impacts, exacerbating food insecurity, water stress, poverty, conflicts over access to natural resources and accelerating migratory phenomena ;
Take the Conference recommendations to call upon all relevant stakeholders and their partners to take action for the preservation and restoration of ecosystems in Africa and call for the establishment of a global alliance to ensure sustainable and equitably shared prosperity of these ecosystems.
The recommendations are herein attached.
Tunis, June 9, 2022
The conference participants, hereby, share all the results and recommendations with the relevant
stakeholders, and call for :
- Strengthening the science-policy-practitioner interface and integrating the concerns and interrogations of the populations in the decision-making processes ;
- Developing an Africa-specific, science-based plea on the sustainable development issues, including the research programs on migration and climate change related-context ;
- Making of participatory planning, inclusion and equity, a core element of the design of ecosystem valuation strategies and programs ;
- Encouraging all stakeholders and technical and financial partners to engage in an accountability framework through management based on the Great Green Wall objectives and the expected results of its implementation, and having its approach reproduced in other countries of Africa ;
- Making sure that the States take into consideration the strategic priorities of reversing the degradation processes (avoid, reduce and restore), within the framework of the Great Green Wall implementation ;
- Ensuring the perfect command and rational use of energy and water that are crucial for ecosystem conservation and restoration ;
- Financing, co-developing and co-building resilience and adaptation to climate change with the relevant populations through an effective decentralized climate action ;
- Disseminating alternatives for the sustainable management of ecosystems such as agroecology, the adaptation of rural systems to climate change, the management and protection of forest and pastoral resources ;
- Promoting regional and trans-boundary African initiatives for a coordinated management of ecosystem natural resources ;
- Strengthening national institutional capacities for ecosystem, natural capital accounting and ecosystem services valuation ;
- Creating alliances of stakeholders at the local level for the implementation of effective and sustainable solutions as part of the multi-level and multi-stakeholder governance reinforcement ;
- Ensuring the maximum impact of ecosystem sustainable management actions by calling the States to align the interventions of technical and financial partners as well as civil society ;
- Popularizing the existing and classic scientific knowledge and know-how, and making them available to decision-makers and hands-on stakeholders to help in making decisions.