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New SER-Africa Network to Host Virtual Workshop

Wednesday, October 14, 2020  
Posted by: Alexis Gibson
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The nations of the world adopted the SDG:2030, made up of 17-goals, with the core objectives being the eradication of poverty, conservation of biodiversity, water security, combat climate change and betterment of peoples’ lives. However these noble goals, including the Agenda 2063 of the African Union and those of South Africa’s NDP, cannot be achieved unless the extensive degradation of ecosystems is stopped and restoration undertaken on hundreds of millions of hectares all over the world. Several studies have been conducted on the economic gains to society by investing in restoration. A global estimation is that for every R16 (roughly a dollar) spent on restoration, up to R1 200 (75-dollars) of economic benefits can be recovered. It is for this reason that globally, economists are paying more attention to green economic recovery strategies post COVID-19. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to speed up collaboration amongst all stakeholders and across all UN member states to invest in restoration. There are several impediments to restoration, such as financing, technical and labour skills, methods and guidelines, political will, and business and incentives for restoration and maintenance. Restoration is an inclusive process which needs uptake and support by all stakeholders to be sustainable. It needs resources.

The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) together with South Africa’s Water Research Commission (WRC) and Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries hosted the 8th World Conference on Ecological Restoration conference in Cape Town, attracting more than 900 delegates from more than 60 countries. A statement in support of the UN Decade was collectively issued by members and participants. The statement also supports the CBD efforts in nature conservation with 2021 being the Year of Biodiversity celebration. These global efforts are taking place in the same year, 2021. The WRC was also mandated at this conference by the SER Board to spread the restoration network in the continent in partnership with society members and interested parties. This process is underway, under the supervision of WildTrust staff that represent Africa on the Board of SER. Africa is one of the few continents that remain without a chapter to SER (formal community of practice). Therefore, the aim of this webinar is to demonstrate some of the restoration tools, including environmental flow determinations, their application in Australia, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and in South Africa. The webinar hosted by the emerging SER-African restoration network is also aimed at assessing the readiness of Africa to engage the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This is the first in the series.

Date: 17 November 2020
Time: 09:00-11:30
Registration link:

Facilitator: Dr Mamohloding Tlhagale, Water Research Commission (WRC) 


 Time  Item  Speaker
 09:00 - 09:15      Welcome and Purpose of the meeting  Prof: Stanley Liphadzi, Group Executive, WRC
 09:15 - 09:30  Partnership in green economy resource recovery strategy for a better future for all  Mr Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO, WRC
 09:30 - 09:50  Guidelines in balancing environmental flows and developmental needs-reversing ecosystem degradation  Prof: Cate Brown, Southern Waters, ER&c, South Africa
 09:50 - 10:10  Ravi river eco-revitalization: The case of India/Pakistan  Dr Vaqar Zakaria, Managing Director, Hagler Bailly, Pakistan
 10:10 - 10:30  Water Funds for restoration case studies in Africa/beyond  Dr Richard Bugan,TNC.
10:30 - 10:50  Restoration lessons from Kenya: Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA)  Dr Winnie Musila, Director, Ecosystem Assessment, Planning and Audit
 10:50 - 11:10  The Restoration Economy: Cases and lessons from Australia  Prof: Kingsley Dixon
Curtain University-Australia
 11:10 - 11:20  Open Discussions-Way Forward: Facilitated  Mr Bonani Madikizela, Research Manager, WRC
 11:20 - 11:30      Comments and closing remarks  Mr Andrew Whitley, Wild-Trust, Society for Ecological Restoration.