July 2, 2014

African Leaders Urged to Link Landscapes to the People

Isaiah Esipisu

Editor’s note: The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature in Africa Conference started July 1st, with a rousing opening session. This report by Isaiah Esipisu originally appeared on FoodTank.com. It captures the key issues and action orientation of the meeting.

The “Landscapes for People, Food and Nature in Africa” conference has kicked off in Nairobi with major players calling for harmonization and integration of people living within the landscapes, with respect to the growing population.

According to Richard Munang, the Africa Regional Climate Change Coordinator, Regional Office for Africa at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), one of the greatest challenges the world is facing today is how to feed the growing population, which is estimated to hit the nine billion mark by 2050.

And according to Tony Simons, the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre this presents a problem which must be solved now.

“It is true and we all know that there is a problem. But every time you will hear leaders in Africa say – we have a problem, we have a problem and we have a problem. But looking at Martin Luther King Jr 50 years ago, he did not wake up and say ‘oh my God, I had a nightmare,’ he said – look, I have a dream, and this is my dream,” said Simons.

He challenged the land stewards, the sub-district managers and governments to create the future they want by saying, this is our dream for the next 30 or 40 years, and then start creating the enabling environment to achieve that dream.

“The time for dialogue is over. Now what we need is action, and action, and nothing but action,” added Simons.

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on Food Tank…

Isaiah Esipisu is a freelance journalist specializing in agriculture and climate change reporting.
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