African scientists urge enhanced conservation of dryland species amid threats

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 8, 2021
Adjust font size:

NAIROBI, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Sustainable utilization of Africa's indigenous dryland species including gum and resins is key to boost food security, climate resilience and incomes of nomads and subsistence farmers, scientists said on Tuesday.

The scientists attending a Pan African forum on building climate-resilient communities through forests underway in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, said that dryland landscapes deserve greater protection to cushion their inhabitants from hunger, water stress and abject poverty.

Ben Chikamai, executive secretary of Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA) said the continent's vast drylands have a crucial role to play in climate mitigation and adaptation subject to constant regeneration.

"We require coherent policies and better coordination to promote sustainable use of dryland resources, integrate them in climate response and ensure they sustain the livelihoods of women and youth," said Chikamai.

He said that a study conducted by NGARA in conjunction with the Nairobi-based African Forest Forum (AFF) in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel region indicates that gums and resins have been central to the transformation of livelihoods in the drylands.

According to Chikamai, the study findings helped spotlight enormous opportunities for vulnerable demographics like women and youth across gums and resins value chains.

He noted that demand for these products in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries has gone up, thereby creating new revenue streams for collectors and artisanal processors in the drylands.

Chikamai said that enforcement of laws, capacity building targeting local communities and enactment of policies that encourage regeneration is key to reverse the degradation of dryland resources linked to fires, climate change-induced droughts and human encroachment.

Marie-Louise Avana- Tientcheu, senior program officer at African Forest Forum said the continent's dryland ecosystem is a reservoir of abundant natural products including honey, edible insects, roots and tubers that can be harnessed to promote food security and incomes.

Avana said governments should address policy, knowledge and financing gaps that have derailed sustainable management of dryland resources that underpin the livelihood of indigenous communities besides shielding them from extreme weather events. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from