A four-day exhibition of conservation activities implemented in the Eastern and Southern Africa region closes today in Johannesburg, South Africa. The IUCN Green Pavilion was organized as a platform for showcasing conservation activities that contribute to biodiversity management, livelihoods, food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
“The Pavilion has once again demonstrated that countries in the region can learn from each other as they implement their strategies and plans,” said Ali Kaka, IUCN Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “This will prevent us from repeating past mistakes and missing out on replicable models of best practice.”
Sponsored by the Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc), the Pavilion included country stands and stands by some regional organizations and programmes. It included country stands by Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Regional organizations in the Pavilion included Food & Trees, Africa and Africa Forest Forum.
“It was pleasing to note that the displays included experience on the conservation, promotion and wise use of our floral heritage which is of interest to BotSoc,” noted Zaitoon Rabaney, Executive Director of BotSoc, sponsors of the IUCN Green Pavilion. Rabaney noted that the displays in the pavilion have effectively promoted the importance of plant diversity in sustaining life. “Through the Bamboo for Africa project displayed at the Food & Trees for Africa stand, I have learnt that bamboos have over 1,200 uses.”
Through the Pavilion, Mauritius shared information on the management of Trochetia boutoniana, a plant that was declared a national flower on March 12, 1992 when Mauritius achieved the status of Republic. Through the South Africa stand, the Department of Environmental Affairs shared South Africa’s Climate Change Response outlining what the government is doing about climate change. Uganda brought the lessons and experience on integrating environment and natural resources in the camps for refugees and internally displaced people.
The pavilion has also offered a platform for making valuable contacts. “To me, this Pavilion has been more than just an exhibition but through the visits, I have established a network with like-minded people and organizations that we could potentially work with,” remarked Margaret Otieno of Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.
The pavilion was one of the activities for the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum and was opened by the South Africa Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Honourable Rejoice Mabudadfhasi.
The Forum was organised by IUCN in collaboration with the South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries; the Department of Environmental Affairs and the African Forest Forum with support from the Australian Government; and brings together governments, civil society organizations and communities from Eastern and Southern Africa.
The outcomes of this Forum will enable governments and other players to contribute meaningfully to global processes such as the Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP) in Durban, the Rio + 20, the United Nations Forum on Forests and the World Conservation Congress and other national, regional and global processes.
For more information, please contact Hastings Chikoko, Head, Constituency Support Unit, Eastern and Southern Africa on hastings.chikoko@iucn...