The OSS celebrates the International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22, 2022 under the UN slogan, "Building a shared future for all forms of life".
Mrs. Kaouther Hamrouni
Sahara and Sahel Observatory
The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) celebrates the International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22, 2022 under the UN slogan: "Building a shared future for all forms of life".
Biodiversity is the pounding heart of the planet and is a major issue because of the various roles and services it provides (diversified genetic resources, ecological services and the self-regulating capacity of the ecosystems). It is also a key element that plays a crucial role in food security, in reducing poverty and in achieving the 17 Goals of the United Nations 2030 agenda through i) the Environment, ii) the Society and iii) the Economy; the three main components of Sustainable Development.
Today, intensified pressures and threats continue to put biodiversity at risk at a pace that has never been registered before. The poor management of ecosystems, the urbanization, the expansion of agriculture, the pollution, the use of chemical inputs and the spread of invasive species are all drivers of such a degradation and are exacerbated by climate change and in particular global warming which threatens vulnerable species with extinction.
The latest biodiversity reports state that most of the 20 Targets of the Aichi Strategic Plan (2011-2020) have not been achieved.
The "Global Biodiversity Framework GBF" new objectives shall be approved during the second part of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Biodiversity Convention in Kunming, China.
Africa is home to an abundant biological diversity. Indeed, the continent accounts for 1/4 of the planet's biological resources and is home to 8 of the world's 34 biodiversity hotspots. It also has 119 terrestrial ecoregions and 93 freshwater or wetland ecoregions. West African forests have been recognized as one of the world's major biodiversity hotspots.
However, the progressive degradation of this specific, genetic and ecosystemic diversity has a negative impact on the African environment and socio-economic development. The OSS book on the African ecosystem diagonis and analysis deals with this phenomenon and shall be released in the near future.
The OSS continues to provide support to its member countries so that they can strengthen tools for the biodiversity management and conservation in Africa, with the aim of achieving the objectives of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and Sustainable Development. As such, with the participation of its national partners, the OSS designs and implements a number of ecosystem protection and climate change adaptation projects.
The ADAPTWAP project relating to the integration of adaptation measures in the WAP Complex (W-Arly Pendjari) area, a UNESCO World Heritage natural site, shared between Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger, aims to improve the living conditions of local populations and reinforce the resilience of ecosystems.
The COPERNICEA project, carried out in partnership with six African countries (Burkina Faso, Guinea-Conakry, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia), pays special attention to biodiversity by using the Ecosystem Natural Capital Accounting - ENCA method in assessing the ecosystem services value. It also aims to establish a national and regional network for sharing and exchanging natural capital data.
These projects perfectly match with the OSS 2030 strategy based on the 'Water', 'Land', 'Climate' and 'Biodiversity' lines of intervention and which aims to help countries enhance and restore their natural heritage and promote sustainable and climate-resilient economic development.
Restating its commitment to strengthening the regional and international cooperation, the OSS called for more solidarity to preserve biodiversity and build a shared future for all forms of life in Africa and in the world.
Together, let us take action for biodiversity!
Let us do it for the planet and for humanity!