The GDSA Secretariat five year report: celebrating five years of progress towards sustainability

September 2017: The GDSA Secretariat is pleased to release the five-year report on the GDSA Secretariat. This review outlines the GDSA operating model, provides analyses of the outcomes that have resulted from the GDSA Secretariat’s work under the three GDSA commitments, and describes lessons learned over the GDSA’s five-year lifetime.

As of July 2017, the GDSA has grown to 12 countries, whose boundaries house 306 million people, 15.3 billion metric tons of carbon stocks, and 3,500+ threatened plant, fish, bird, and mammal species. The GDSA has been endorsed by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) – who in 2016 encouraged their member states to join the GDSA – and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The GDSA has worked with 20+ partners across the GDSA member countries and entities managing over USD$118 million in projects have publicly linked their work to the GDSA. These entities have used the GDSA as evidence for a need or demand for their work, or have indicated that the GDSA has provided the mandate for action.

The cover of the GDSA Secretariat five year report.

The cover of the GDSA Secretariat five year report.

The report notes that awareness of the GDSA is relatively high. Over one-third (40%) of all Convention on Biological Diversity and Global Environment Facility focal points in sub-Saharan Africa are aware of the GDSA. Furthermore, most of these focal points in GDSA countries feel that the GDSA has “promoted progress in the implementation of sustainable development in Africa.”

The GDSA member countries have made significant progress towards implementing their GDSA commitments compared to non-GDSA countries in Africa. In 2012, GDSA and non-GDSA countries were equally likely to have ongoing natural capital accounting (NCA) initiatives. However, by 2017, GDSA countries were significantly more likely than 37 other countries in Africa to have initiated work on NCA. Moreover, 11 of the 12 GDSA countries explicitly link their NCA work to the GDSA, noting that the work fulfills the GDSA commitments.

Want to know more about the progress of the GDSA in the last five years? Be sure to read the report here.