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Government of Rwanda unveils 3 former African Heads of State as patrons for the upcoming inaugural Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC)

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                                APAC presents an unprecedented opportunity to chart a path that balances economic growth with the conservation of Africa's natural capital
                            
                            
                                                
                            
                                                            KIGALI, Rwanda, January 20, 2022/APO Group/ -- 
                                                        
                            The Government of Rwanda, through its Ministry of Environment, this morning introduced three former African Heads of State as sponsors of the upcoming inaugural IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC).



The three former heads of state include HE Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia;  HE Issoufou Mahamadou, former President of Niger and HE Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana.

The APAC Congress, which will be the first continent-wide gathering of African leaders, citizens and interest groups, aims to discuss the role of protected areas in conserving nature, safeguarding Africa's iconic wildlife, providing ecosystem services vital to life, promote sustainable development while preserving Africa's cultural heritage and traditions.

In her acceptance speech at the launch, HE Hailemariam Desalegn said: “APAC presents an unprecedented opportunity to chart a path that balances economic growth with the conservation of Africa's natural capital.  This will need to be done through strategic decisions and investments driven by the best available knowledge and long-term thinking.  Therefore, I am very pleased and honored to join my peers in leading this conversation through our sponsorship.  The potential of Africa is enormous and we believe that this Congress will be a springboard towards achieving our goals for 2063 as a continent”.

IUCN-APAC is convened by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas in partnership with government agencies and conservation organizations with the support of development partners, corporate businesses, communities and the media.

In an acceptance video, HE Issoufou Mahamadou said: “The capacity for discernment and empowerment of leadership at all levels is essential to make decisions that will affect the future of Africa.  APAC seeks to deliberately foster dialogues that build and empower the current and next generation of leaders to achieve an African future where biodiversity is valued as an asset that contributes to development.  That is why I am very happy and excited to accept this honorary position as sponsor of the inaugural congress that aims to change the face of conservation and spearhead large-scale climate change mitigation efforts.”

HE Festus Mogae in his acceptance video reaffirmed that: “APAC must be a turning point for the relationship between the global community and African institutions.  As Africans, we recognize the critical role that the world community and international organizations have played over the past 60 years.  It is necessary for African communities and institutions to actively participate in the conservation agenda for ownership and integration within the aspirations and vision of the Africa we want.  I am delighted to accept my role as one of the patrons of the next African Protected Areas Congress to ensure representation of African communities at this crucial time in our African history.”

An IUCN member since 2016, Rwanda is proud to take a global leadership role in conservation and become the first African country to host the IUCN African Congress on Protected Areas.  Over the years, Rwanda has shown leadership and vision by defining a vision for growth in Rwanda that sustains people and nature.

Speaking at the launch of the APAC Sponsors, Rwanda's Environment Minister Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya said “it is essential that all African nations and leaders walk this journey together.  The African Protected Areas Congress comes at a time when there is growing global attention to our strained relationship with nature.  We are not investing enough in the natural systems we depend on.  An additional US0 billion is needed for biodiversity each year, less than 1% of global GDP.  Africa spends less than 10% of what is needed to protect and restore nature.  Protected areas must have access to the necessary financing for effective management and thus fulfill their role in providing essential ecosystem and biodiversity protection services for people and development.”

The congress is based on three key themes: Protected Areas, People and Biodiversity, as it seeks to deliberately foster dialogues that build and empower the current and next generation of leaders to achieve an African future where wildlife and wildlands are valued. as an asset that contributes to development.

Also speaking at the launch, AWF CEO Kaddu Sebunya said: “Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame along with the three Sponsors and former Heads of State, we are confident that APAC will provide the best opportunity to elevate the plight of the conservation and protected areas around the world.  the leaders of the continent.  That is why at AWF, our primary responsibility is to support African governments and people willing to chart futures that embrace wildlife and wilderness, hence our partnership with the Government of Rwanda and numerous governments across the continent.  We believe that with our rich biological diversity, Africa plays a critical role in global conservation efforts and biodiversity conservation is most effective when we maintain healthy, functioning and intact ecosystems.”

Through the congress, there is renewed hope for commitment from African leadership to create a unified African voice on conservation that will value African people and nature through effective protected areas.

In his speech, IUCN Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Luther Anukur, said: “Based on the IUCN World Conservation Congress Marseille manifesto (https://bit.ly/3KrcuMD), the results of the COP 26 in Glasgow (https://bit .ly/3rHuHNw) - By positioning nature and climate as two sides of the same coin, protected and conserved areas play an important role in ensuring the resilience of ecosystems on which the economies and people of Africa depend.  APAC is a joint effort of African leaders and multiple partners seeking to contribute to the African Union Agenda 2063 for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.  With the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to host the event and the leadership of His Excellency Paul Kagame along with other African leaders, there is no doubt that the inaugural African Protected Areas Congress will be a success.”

The overall objective of the IUCN African Protected Areas Congress (APAC) is to position Africa's protected and conserved areas within the broader goals of economic development and community well-being and to increase understanding of the vital role played by parks in conserving biodiversity and delivering the ecosystem services that underpin human well-being and livelihoods.  The APAC congress jointly organized by the Government of Rwanda, AWF and IUCN will be held at the Kigali Conference Center in Kigali, Rwanda, from March 7-12, 2022.
Government of Rwanda unveils 3 former African Heads of State as patrons for the upcoming inaugural Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC)

APAC presents an unprecedented opportunity to chart a path that balances economic growth with the conservation of Africa’s natural capital

KIGALI, Rwanda, January 20, 2022/APO Group/ —

The Government of Rwanda, through its Ministry of Environment, this morning introduced three former African Heads of State as sponsors of the upcoming inaugural IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC).

The three former heads of state include HE Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia; HE Issoufou Mahamadou, former President of Niger and HE Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana.

The APAC Congress, which will be the first continent-wide gathering of African leaders, citizens and interest groups, aims to discuss the role of protected areas in conserving nature, safeguarding Africa’s iconic wildlife, providing ecosystem services vital to life, promote sustainable development while preserving Africa’s cultural heritage and traditions.

In her acceptance speech at the launch, HE Hailemariam Desalegn said: “APAC presents an unprecedented opportunity to chart a path that balances economic growth with the conservation of Africa’s natural capital. This will need to be done through strategic decisions and investments driven by the best available knowledge and long-term thinking. Therefore, I am very pleased and honored to join my peers in leading this conversation through our sponsorship. The potential of Africa is enormous and we believe that this Congress will be a springboard towards achieving our goals for 2063 as a continent”.

IUCN-APAC is convened by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas in partnership with government agencies and conservation organizations with the support of development partners, corporate businesses, communities and the media.

In an acceptance video, HE Issoufou Mahamadou said: “The capacity for discernment and empowerment of leadership at all levels is essential to make decisions that will affect the future of Africa. APAC seeks to deliberately foster dialogues that build and empower the current and next generation of leaders to achieve an African future where biodiversity is valued as an asset that contributes to development. That is why I am very happy and excited to accept this honorary position as sponsor of the inaugural congress that aims to change the face of conservation and spearhead large-scale climate change mitigation efforts.”

HE Festus Mogae in his acceptance video reaffirmed that: “APAC must be a turning point for the relationship between the global community and African institutions. As Africans, we recognize the critical role that the world community and international organizations have played over the past 60 years. It is necessary for African communities and institutions to actively participate in the conservation agenda for ownership and integration within the aspirations and vision of the Africa we want. I am delighted to accept my role as one of the patrons of the next African Protected Areas Congress to ensure representation of African communities at this crucial time in our African history.”

An IUCN member since 2016, Rwanda is proud to take a global leadership role in conservation and become the first African country to host the IUCN African Congress on Protected Areas. Over the years, Rwanda has shown leadership and vision by defining a vision for growth in Rwanda that sustains people and nature.

Speaking at the launch of the APAC Sponsors, Rwanda‘s Environment Minister Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya said “it is essential that all African nations and leaders walk this journey together. The African Protected Areas Congress comes at a time when there is growing global attention to our strained relationship with nature. We are not investing enough in the natural systems we depend on. An additional US$700 billion is needed for biodiversity each year, less than 1% of global GDP. Africa spends less than 10% of what is needed to protect and restore nature. Protected areas must have access to the necessary financing for effective management and thus fulfill their role in providing essential ecosystem and biodiversity protection services for people and development.”

The congress is based on three key themes: Protected Areas, People and Biodiversity, as it seeks to deliberately foster dialogues that build and empower the current and next generation of leaders to achieve an African future where wildlife and wildlands are valued. as an asset that contributes to development.

Also speaking at the launch, AWF CEO Kaddu Sebunya said: “Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame along with the three Sponsors and former Heads of State, we are confident that APAC will provide the best opportunity to elevate the plight of the conservation and protected areas around the world. the leaders of the continent. That is why at AWF, our primary responsibility is to support African governments and people willing to chart futures that embrace wildlife and wilderness, hence our partnership with the Government of Rwanda and numerous governments across the continent. We believe that with our rich biological diversity, Africa plays a critical role in global conservation efforts and biodiversity conservation is most effective when we maintain healthy, functioning and intact ecosystems.”

Through the congress, there is renewed hope for commitment from African leadership to create a unified African voice on conservation that will value African people and nature through effective protected areas.

In his speech, IUCN Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Luther Anukur, said: “Based on the IUCN World Conservation Congress Marseille manifesto (https://bit.ly/3KrcuMD), the results of the COP 26 in Glasgow (https://bit .ly/3rHuHNw) – By positioning nature and climate as two sides of the same coin, protected and conserved areas play an important role in ensuring the resilience of ecosystems on which the economies and people of Africa depend. APAC is a joint effort of African leaders and multiple partners seeking to contribute to the African Union Agenda 2063 for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena. With the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to host the event and the leadership of His Excellency Paul Kagame along with other African leaders, there is no doubt that the inaugural African Protected Areas Congress will be a success.”

The overall objective of the IUCN African Protected Areas Congress (APAC) is to position Africa’s protected and conserved areas within the broader goals of economic development and community well-being and to increase understanding of the vital role played by parks in conserving biodiversity and delivering the ecosystem services that underpin human well-being and livelihoods. The APAC congress jointly organized by the Government of Rwanda, AWF and IUCN will be held at the Kigali Conference Center in Kigali, Rwanda, from March 7-12, 2022.

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