African nations meet on 'critical' nature conservation


Delegates from across Africa launched on Monday in Rwanda the first continent-wide gathering about the role of protected areas in ensuring the future of our planet.

The IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) holding just a few months before the COP15 summit in December when global leaders are aiming to adopt a much-delayed pact to shield nature from the damage wrought by human activity.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) director general Bruno Oberle, said on the opening day of the talks in the capital Kigali that protected areas are critical for the survival of the planet.

Bruno also added that the more the situation is managed for the benefit of people and nature, the more building a future where everyone — human and animal – thrives is certain.

According to organizers, APAC will aim to shape the role of protected and conserved areas in safeguarding Africa’s wildlife, delivering vital ecosystem services, and promoting sustainable development while conserving the continent’s cultural heritage and traditions.

Last month, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) 196 members held negotiations on the draft global biodiversity framework in Nairobi, but made only limited progress in ironing out differences.

The Kigali gathering runs until July 23 and has attracted more than 2,000 participants from across Africa and beyond, according to organisers.