Agriculture is arguably the most important sector for Africa as a creator of employment opportunities, contribution to export revenues and to food security. For the ACF, it is also the most vulnerable sector to climate change and land degradation, a relationship made worse through dependency on industrial agriculture. Through this portfolio, regenerative agriculture is positioned as an alternative that improves the resilience of the sector in light of shocks. Agriculture alone can’t change without the transformation of food systems more broadly, which is why this portfolio incorporates other food system actors. The transformation of food systems has the potential to also improve food security, increase employment opportunities and reduce the sector’s impact on climate change and biodiversity loss. Africa has immense biodiversity and natural ecosystems, which provide countless services to the continent. The protection of these ecosystems is vital in improving adaptation options in Africa and in creating sustainable economic opportunities for people who rely on them.
Africa’s rich variety in biomes provides its population with an incredible number of services. Flood protection, food production, and tourism are just a few of the services that sustain the livelihoods of millions on the continent. These ecosystems are however threatened by a myriad of factors that ultimately reduce society’s ability to bounce-back after environmental or economic shocks. The protection of these ecosystems and the biodiversity that underpin them is crucial to Africa’s adaptive capacity to deal with these shocks. Traditional approaches to conservation have also not had the desired impacts of improving socio-economic conditions or preserving biodiversity.
The ACF realises that people must be the entry point to sustainable land-use as we question how human and natural landscapes can flourish side-by-side. We also need to address how conservation is financed and interrogate new approaches such as Payment for Ecosystem Service schemes alongside the governance practices that encompass them. While these address broad themes, Nature-Based Solutions are a relatively low-hanging fruit that can be leveraged to address and spotlight the ways in which people depend on natural and semi-natural ecosystems.