The first-ever Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) will be held in Nairobi, November this year to analyze preservation of the continent’s protected areas such as wildlife sanctuaries, forests, wetlands and marine ecosystem.
This comes after the launch of APAC in a theme dubbed as ‘For the Love of Nature’ at the Nairobi National Park’s historic Ivory Burning Site.
A j***t effort form African leaders is expected to contribute to African Union’s Agenda 2063 of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena.
According to Dr Margaret Mwakima the Principal Secretary of State Department of Tourism and Wildlife, the congress is expected to attract more than 2,000 delegates who will plan on homegrown ways to secure a sustainable future for Africa’s protected areas, people and biodiversity.
“This platform organized by the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) gives us a chance to hold an honest discussions on the future we want for our protected areas. We will also seek solutions to the persistent and emerging problems,” said Ms Mwakima.
During the launch, it was noted that at the start of 20th century, there were a handful of protected areas about 200,000 which covered approximately 14.6 percent of the world’s land and 2.8 percent of the oceans.
“We need to come to a common understanding that human beings can live with animals and take care of each other to save biodiversity. As a continent , we can offer resilience, adaptability and tackle climate change to protect our biodiversity,” she added.
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The Kenya Wildlife Service Chairman and Congress Director Dr John Waithaka urged countries across the continent to work together and preserve protected areas as they safeguard nature and cultural resources, improve livelihoods and drive sustainable development.
“As the world continues to develop, pressure is intensified on the ecosystems and natural resources hence the need to protect them,” he said.