The GDSA Secretariat welcomes the passage into law of the Defending Economic Livelihoods and Threatened Animals (DELTA) Act which will significantly improve the protection of the Okavango River Delta, Africa's last-remaining wetland wilderness.Read More
Visit included fruitful meetings with Minister of Environment Dr. Paula Francisco and other key officials about GDSA's proposals for conservation and sustainable development of the critical Okavango basinRead More
August, 2018 —A new guide highlights how coffee-growing countries in Africa and beyond can best tap into new funding opportunities from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to increase coffee productivity and quality and to make their coffee sectors more sustainable environmentally, economically and socially in the face of growing threats posed by climate change to the sector.
The guide published by the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge (SCC) initiative, focuses on funding available for the first time for coffee under the GEF’s latest four-year replenishment cycle (2018-2022).
Established in 1992, the GEF is an international financial mechanism to help tackle the most pressing environmental challenges facing the globe while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Its membership includes 183 countries as well as international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector.
“Actors from across the coffee sector need to drive investments to help ensure the continued sustainability of coffee production in light of the pressing challenges presented by climate change," said José Sette, Executive Director of ICO, a London-based multilateral organization.
“To date coffee projects received just US$32.8 million GEF funds, representing less than 0.2% of the total GEF funding pot, and US$223 million in co-financing. The coffee sector needs to take full advantage of such financing mechanisms and act swiftly to unlock green and climate finance by promoting practices, strategies and enablers for a climate resilient coffee supply chain and economy”.
Bambi Semroc, Vice-President for Sustainable Markets and Strategy at Conservation International—which, together with global coffee chain Starbucks, founded the Sustainable Coffee Challenge— said: “The opportunity of GEF is extremely timely for the global coffee sector, as nearly every major coffee-producing landscape is under stress due to the impact of climate change.”
“Rising temperatures, droughts and changing weather patterns are predicted to reduce the overall land suitable for growing coffee by 50%. As traditional growing areas decrease, farmers may look to plant coffee in protected locations situated in biodiversity hotspots, such as forested areas located higher up on mountainsides that are designated for conservation,” added Semroc.
For countries to access GEF funding for coffee, they need to first choose and work through a GEF Implementing Agency (IA), which are 18 in total. GEF IAs that are active in the coffee sector include: Conservation International, FAO, IFAD, UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO and the World Bank.
GEF’s official call for “Expression of Interest (EOI)” is expected by end of September this year while the deadline for submissions of EOIs is by end of this year. Evaluation and selection of qualified submissions is by end of January 2019.
The GEF Secretariat and the Lead Agencies will evaluate and select an initial batch of submissions which will be considered at the June 2019 Council meeting.
An additional deadline or EOIs will be established during 2019 for countries that need more to express their interests, after which a second batch of qualified submissions will be presented for consideration at a subsequent Council meeting.
The process for the preparation of project concepts for the GEF-7 Replenishment cycle has already started. A number of GEF Implementing Agencies have already started scoping exercises and are working with governments to gain insights into priorities for coffee sector.
The main coffee producers in Africa include Ethiopia, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania but the commodity is also produced in varying quantities in Tanzania, Cameroon, Madagascar, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Togo, Guinea, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Liberia and Zambia. Globally, the top producers are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia.
Both ICO and SSC said they will be developing further support guides on international financing opportunities to help drive investments in the coffee sector to address the global impact of climate change and enhance sustainability.
Launched in 2015, the SCC initiative brings together governments, industry players — traders, roasters, retailers, etc.— NGOs, universities, donor agencies and certification bodies to make the production and consumption of coffee more sustainable in the face of threats posed by climate change. The GDSA is promoting SCC among its member countries.
This is thanks to a new system of ‘decision trees’ that cuts down on the time and complexity of selecting the most appropriate tool from the available tools for evaluating Ecosystem Services’—or the benefits provided by natural ecosystems and biodiversity sites to humans.
These benefits may include provision of water, air and water filtration, flood protection, carbon storage, pollination of crops, ecotourism, recreation, income opportunities and habitats for wildlife among many others.
Such benefits may often be downplayed or ignored by governments, private sector and communities when evaluating trade-offs between nature protection and competing national development projects.
This new system of 'decision trees' is contained in a guidance report prepared by international experts in the field, including from Conservation International, which is also the secretariat to the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, an African-led, 13-nation. initiative that seeks to enhance valuation of natural resources and their benefits to humans and their incorporation into national development plans and projects.
The report, “Tools for measuring, modelling, and valuing ecosystem services: Guidance for Key Biodiversity Areas, natural World Heritage sites, and protected areas,” has been issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA).
“Many protected and biodiversity site managers and researchers want to understand how their sites are benefiting people, but are overwhelmed by the number of tools for ecosystem services that are available,” says lead author Rachel Neugarten of Conservation International. “This guide will help them pick a tool based on the goals of their assessment, the kinds of information they need, and the time and resources they have.”
This development is good news to the GDSA member countries which have committed to mainstreaming the value and benefits of ‘natural capital’ in their development plans.
Identifying and quantifying the benefits provided by these key protected and biodiversity sites can help decision-makers and protected area managers justify the importance of conserving them. It can also help attract new sources of funding and manage the sites more effectively.
Protected areas, including natural World Heritage sites, as well as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), play a crucial role in securing the long-term delivery of ecosystem services, as nature is becoming increasingly degraded or lost elsewhere, including in surrounding areas.
Safeguarding these key areas is therefore important not only for biodiversity conservation but also for sustaining human well-being.
By Ally Jamah
July 2018: Former Botswana President and Chairperson of the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) Dr. Ian Khama has agreed to lend his political and diplomatic weight to further advance sustainable development and wildlife protection in Africa by becoming a Distinguished Fellow for environmental non-profit Conservation International (CI).
In his new role, Dr. Khama —who voluntarily stepped down from power at the end of March this year — will represent CI across Africa and build on his decades-long legacy of forging a more sustainable development path for the region.
Dr. Khama has been a driving force behind the GDSA and will continue to work with member countries of the initiative that seeks to enhance sustainable development in Africa. He will also engage more nations in the continent to align economic development with sustainability goals.
CI has been the secretariat for GDSA since 2014, providing technical and financial support for the 14 member-states of the initiative after the government of Botswana delegated the role to the conservation non-profit.
Dr. Khama will also work with the international community to combat the illegal wildlife trade through the Elephant Protection Initiative, a multi-national coalition of 18 African countries with CI being a co-secretariat.
Building on his success in helping to make Botswana a beacon of sustainable tourism, Khama will also continue to provide leadership in ensuring tourism supports the region’s environmental and cultural heritage.
“What President Khama brings to Conservation International is immeasurable. For decades, he has provided us with a unique perspective as an exceptional leader who shares our commitment to securing nature for the benefit of people. We’re thrilled to continue to benefit from his vision and institutional knowledge to preserve Africa’s rich natural resources,” said Conservation International Chairman Peter Seligmann.
“Over 30 years ago, Conservation International was founded on the principle that community-led conservation was the approach that best benefited people and ecosystems. President Khama embodies this approach and has successfully led environmental initiatives in Botswana and the broader African region to implement this idea. We are honored to have President Khama continue to lend us his leadership and expertise as a Distinguished Fellow,” said Conservation International CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan.
Launched in 2012, GDSA is an African-led inter-governmental action platform that emphasizes sustainability and incorporating the true value of natural resources in economic planning and development across member states.
GDSA members include Kenya, Gabon, Botswana, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
A number of regional and global platforms have endorsed the GDSA. These include the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA), and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
©CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL/PHOTO BY DAVE CLIFT
April 2018 – Following a joint mission between the Sustainable Coffee Challenge and the GDSA Secretariat to Uganda in February, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge has announced a new collaboration with the Government of Uganda to work together to establish coffee as the first sustainably-grown agricultural product. This announcement was made during the 121st session of the International Coffee Organization's Coffee Council in Mexico City, Mexico.
"This new partnership show a willingness of governments to work collaboratively to ensure our ability to meet the growing demand for coffee in a way that supports economic development among producers and conserves the unique tropical ecosystems in which coffee grows," said Bambi Semroc, Vice President of Sustainable Markets and Strategy at Conservation International.
Uganda's participation in the Challenge builds on the country's 'Coffee Roadmap', which sets out the ambitious target to increase annual production from 3 million to 20 million bags of coffee per year by 2025. Uganda is the second GDSA member country to join the Sustainable Coffee Challenge (Rwanda being the first). Two other countries - Mexico and Costa Rica - have also joined the Challenge.
"Coffee production is integral to the Ugandan economy as it contributes to 20 to 30 percent of our exports," said Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, Managing Director of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority. "We are excited about this new partnership with the Challenge, which will allow us to realize the targets in the 'Coffee Roadmap' by tapping into ways we can renovate and rehabilitate our coffee production sustainably for our smallholder farmers who are the majority of our coffee growers."
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge, formed by Conservation International and Starbucks and launched during the Paris climate meetings in 2015, is uniting players from across the coffee industry – growers, traders, roasters, retailers, governments and nongovernmental organizations. It aims to stimulate greater demand for sustainable coffee while partnering to find solutions to mitigate impacts of climate change and other stressors.
The Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) Secretariat is working to promote the Sustainable Coffee Challenge in its member countries, as a platform that helps countries move towards implementing the second GDSA Action Statement. More information about the collaboration can be found in a joint case study published by the GDSA and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, available online.
About the Sustainable Coffee Challenge
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge convenes, unites and urges the coffee sector and conservation partners across the industry to spur the actions and investments necessary to make coffee the first sustainable agriculture product in the world. The Challenge is committed to stimulating demand for sustainable coffee across the value chain, from the policymaking level to the final consumer. By encouraging demand for sustainable coffee, it leads to investments that enable the transition to a sustainable production and ensuring the coffee we drink is a sustainable product.
About the Uganda Coffee Development Authority
Uganda Coffee Development Authority was established by an Act of Parliament 1991 and amended in 1994, Cap. 325 under the laws of the Republic of Uganda. Uganda Coffee Development Authority is established as a public authority and its mandate is to promote and oversee the coffee industry by supporting research, promoting production, controlling the quality and improving the marketing of coffee in order to optimize foreign exchange earnings for the country and payments to the farmers.
April 2018: Building on our February visits to select GDSA member countries in East Africa, the GDSA Secretariat is pleased to have visited Ghana in March and Lesotho in April of this year.
In regards to our visit to Ghana, the GDSA Deputy Executive Secretary and Sr. Technical Director were hosted by the Government on March 22nd and 23rd. During these two days, we were pleased to meet with the Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI), Hon. Patricia Appiagyei, who reiterated the Government's support for the GDSA. We were further given the opportunity to meet with a range of stakeholders in government including within MESTI, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and the Vice President's Office. As a result of these meetings, the GDSA Secretariat has agreed to sponsor the participation of the Hon. Deputy Minister to attend the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress in China later this year. In addition, we will begin working with the EPA to identify opportunities around natural capital accounting and policy-oriented south-south learning exchanges.
In Namibia, we were likewise warmly welcomed by our GDSA Focal Point and the Honorable Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism. Following these meetings, which were attended by the GDSA Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary, there was a small roundtable discussion, open to a range of government and non-government stakeholders designed to increase awareness of the GDSA in Namibia. These meetings helped confirm a range of opportunities for the Secretariat to support work in Namibia. For example, a delegate from Namibia will be included on a GDSA-organized learning exchange to Costa Rica happening later this year.
Looking forward, the Secretariat continues to work towards its aim of visiting every member country in 2018. These visits are designed to strengthen the Secretariat's ties with member countries and to identify opportunities for continued implementation of the GDSA vision.
April 2018: The GDSA Secretariat is pleased to announce that it has been invited to participate in a multi-year working group (also known as a 'Pursuit'), funded by SESYNC, that aims to increase understanding of how water resources can be sustainably managed in urban areas in Africa. The Pursuit - which is being led by colleagues from the City College of New York (USA) and Conservation International - will involve a team of 19 experts meeting four times between mid-2018 and end-2019. Of relevance to the GDSA member countries, the outputs of the Pursuit will include case studies for two of the GDSA member countries which will aim to provide policy-relevant recommendations for how natural and blended infrastructure can be used to support water sustainability targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Photographs courtesy of © Benjamin Drummond.