By Caroline Kibii
Day one of #GLFAfrica 2021 kicked off with powerful, inclusive sessions, youth-led sessions, to high-level plenary sessions such as one on Framing UN decade on ecosystem restoration from an African perspective.
The first-ever digital conference on restoring Africa’s drylands themed, ‘Accelerating Action from the Ground’, highlighted the significance of restoring rangelands for the sake of livestock, reducing desertification, and keeping carbon in the ground.
From one of the sessions WWF: Rangelands Atlas: Bringing an essential, globally neglected ecosystem into focus, it emerged that agricultural activities threaten rangelands. The degradation of rangelands is not only in Africa but also evident in countries outside the continent.
Martina Fleckenstein of WWF, during the discussion, said that rangelands outside Africa are lost to croplands.
Degraded rangelands are also said to have been threatened by invasive plant species that have proven challenging to eradicate.
It emerged from this forum that most of the control measures for invasive plants are mechanical, with a larger percentage being manually done. Discussants suggested that prevention is better, although it can be difficult sometimes because of the varied dispersal methods.
Degraded rangelands disrupt pastoralism through limited mobility, fodder, and lost wildlife habitats.
Therefore, it is crucial to conserve rangelands to safeguard the well-being of persons whose livelihoods are linked to livestock. In addition, restoring rangelands means saving wildlife habitats to promote biological prosperity. Being that rangelands that have not been exploited for agricultural production contain a lot of carbon, keeping the ecosystem in its natural state mitigates climate change.
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Here is the #GLFAfrica Agenda for Day two of the conference