Africa in the context of COVID-19 | WWF wwfafrica

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Africa in the context of COVID-19

Why a green and just recovery for Africa?

During the past several months, people across the globe have been united in tackling the
hugely challenging and distressing experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the
pandemic undoubtably presents one of the most significant challenges to humanity since the
Second World War, our anticipated recovery has opened a unique window of opportunity.
This opportunity – if we have the willingness and courage to seize it – may serve
as a launch-pad to building a future that is green and equitable, that drives
resilience and health in the face of future pandemic threats, and is both
nature-positive and climate-neutral.

The good news is that we don’t have to start from scratch to build forward, as the plans already
exist in the shape of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Change
Agreement and the emerging structure of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
However, we are at a crossroads of development with two distinct choices before us. Either a
“business as usual” course, where the global rise in temperature is predicted to pass the 1.5
degree threshold as early as 2030 and where we are destroying nature at an unprecedented
rate, or a “build forward” path, with policies that promote a green economy, protect
biodiversity and embrace a just transition for all.

Building forward means raising ambitious national targets and enhancing climate pledges,
while at the same time securing strategic finance, investing in resilient infrastructure,
and divesting from fossil fuels. Building forward means building resilient and sustainable
food systems for both future generations and the present 73 million people in Africa facing
acute food insecurity by the end of 2020. Building forward means protecting existing jobs,
supporting workforce expansion in transition-related fields, coordinating with industries and
developing education and training to minimise skills gaps.

However, it is important to recognise that the scale of the challenge – or opportunity –
is huge and therefore demands ambitious multi-sectoral interventions. The COVID-19 crisis
has shown that the interests of government, business and society can be aligned. All have
an interest in building a resilient economy, where people, businesses and nature thrive
for the benefit of all.

We cannot afford to press the snooze button on a Green and Just recovery.

Action must start now!

(Publication's foreword by Alice Ruhweza)

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Africa in the context of COVID-19

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Why a GJR in Africa

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