7 March 2017 Addis Ababa: The African Landscapes Dialogue (ALD), which kicked off yesterday, 6 March 2017, in Addis Ababa, brought together more than 100 participants to discuss “integrated landscape management in practice.” H.E Dr. Gemedo Dale, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, Ethiopia, officially opened the ALD in the presence of participants from various countries in Africa, Europe and North America.
Speaking at the event, H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dale said: “Our people are becoming wealthier, healthier, and we are taking control of our continent’s future. As our nations develop, we realize that there must be reconciliation between economic development and our environment.” He touched upon the close relationship between integrated landscape management and justice, which cannot be achieved in development without including various stakeholders, such as traditional community groups,he noted.
Dr. Dale reiterated how African leaders, policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and farmers “realized a vision of African development anchored on integrated landscape management” when they gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2014.
He said that the African Landscapes Dialogue was an opportunity to reflect on “progress made towards sustainable development by implementing the African Landscapes Action Plan,” which was initiated three years ago. “Once more, we can learn from each other and reflect on challenges, achievements, and struggles, and yet get renewed energy for collaborative actions,” he said.
Speaking of women’s role in land management in Africa in connection with UN World Women’s Day celebrated tomorrow, 8th March 2016, he challenged the participants to reflect on how women can be empowered to effectively address land rights, livelihoods and health.
Concluding his remark, Dr. Dale commended the African Landscapes Dialogue, saying: “this is a tremendous gathering of talent, ambition, and genuine care for the future of Africa. “If we focus our efforts, I am sure we can help our great continent make further progress towards sustainable development.”
Dr. Sara Cherr, President of EcoAgriculture Parters, Dr. Gete Zeleke, Director of Water and Land Resources Centre, AAU and Prof Negussie Retta, Executive Director of HoA-REC&N also made opening remarks and keynote addresses at the event.
ALD is a landmark knowledge-sharing event aimed, amongst others, at sharing lessons and experiences in ILM across initiatives and countries in Africa, and review progress made on implementation of the Africa Landscapes Action Plan, a set of policy and programmatic recommendations for national, regional and international action to jointly achieve food security, biodiversity and climate objectives.
ALD will continue to take place up to 10th March 2017 on the premises of HoA-REC&N’s Headquarters.