Patrick Kipalu is a natural resources management and human rights expert from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He leads the Africa Program at the Rights and Resources Initiative.
For years, global conservation organizations, donors, and development institutions have told governments in Africa to set aside more of their national territories for conservation. Such calls were at the center of the recent Africa Protected Areas Congress, held in July in Rwanda, and are multiplying ahead of the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt in November.
According to a UN report, roughly 17 percent of the world’s land mass is currently protected by governments and conservation entities. Given its immense size, there is an expectation that Africa contribute mightily to meeting a global goal of placing 30 to 50 percent of the planet under the protection of designated authorities.
Among land masses, Africa is at the greatest risk of nature loss, despite being the world’s smallest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions (at 3.8 percent). China contributes nearly a quarter of global emissions, followed by the... Read more