As negotiations continued this week at COP21 in Paris, ten African nations announced the African Forest Restoration Initiative (AFR100), a plan to restore 100 million hectares of land in the next 15 years. AFR100 will implement plans, programs, and forums to decrease deforestation and desertification and increase land use productivity. AFR100 not only ensures a better future for land and people across the African continent but the entire world.
Strategies included in the initiative such as agroforestry (growing among trees), land use planning, and environmental education create more jobs, food security, fertile soil, and increase biodiversity. Further, protecting thriving forests and encouraging sustainable livelihoods will contribute greatly to COP21’s determination to fight against climate change.
While in Paris for COP21, Dr. Goodall was in attendance at a World Resource Institute event announcing the new AFR100 initiative. The Jane Goodall Institute has used strategies outlined in the initiative for years as we continue to combat the destruction of forests throughout the Congo Basin and East Africa. We work with local communities and decision-makers to create conservation plans that work for all those who will be affected, both human and chimpanzee. With our ongoing environmental education outreach to schools across chimpanzee habitat areas, the Jane Goodall Institute encourages a desire to protect the environment in the next generation of community leaders.
AFR100 is not only a commitment by African countries and global partners to support African terrain, wildlife, and people, but also to our global climate change crisis. The Jane Goodall Institute is proud to be a part of this commitment to Africa’s forests by contributing our mapping technologies, continued support of agroforestry, nurseries, and environmental education programs.