Climate Risks and Adaptation Activities
Some of the most significant impacts of climate change on this sector are desertification, habitat lost, habitat shifts, and loss of biodiversity. These issues have a tremendous impact on the livelihoods on the vast number of people on the continent who are dependent on the land for shelter and economic survival. North Africa is the region most impacted by water scarcity and desertification, with nearly 100% of the land mass is considered “dryland”, 80% of which is considered barren by the FAO. West Africa and Central Africa are most impacted by droughts and unpredictable rainfall patterns which are leading to significant loss or shifting of habitats. In Southern Africa, forests account for 41% of total landmass. Droughts and altered fire regimes are leading to land degradation and deforestation in that sub-region. In East Africa, grasslands support 8 million people in East Africa. A combination of climate (prolonged droughts, increasing temperatures) and non-climate (overexploitation, population growth) are leading to degradation and desertification.
Activities in this sector largely focus on adaptation related to forest and non-agricultural habitat destruction, and efforts to conserve and more effectively and comprehensively manage land use in order to prevent further destruction. As much as possible, the analysis does not include agricultural or other human (non-climate change) related activities. Given the comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach required to address land use and forestry, some overlap (particularly with the agricultural sector) will be difficult to avoid entirely. Adaptation activities covered in this sector include: forest protection (e.g., planting drought-resistant vegetation and invasive pest control), forest regeneration, biodiversity conversation and restoration, sustainable agro-forestry and live-stock practices, and sustainable harvesting of timber.
Context of Broader Investment
One of the major initiatives in the land use and forestry sector in Africa is the Great Green Wall initiative (GGW), which aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land and create up to 10 million green jobs via the development of a green barrier along a 7,000 kilometer stretch from Djibouti to Senegal. Until recently, GGW had largely been driven and funded by the 20 member countries, with total contributions estimated at around USD 1 billion out of an estimated USD 33 billion required. In January 2021, a consortium of donors (African Development Bank (USD 6.5 billion), the World Bank (USD 5 billion) and the European Commission (USD 2.5 billion)) announced a USD 14 billion commitment to the initiative. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will monitor these commitments and facilitate discussions on programming.