Invasive alien plants contribute to land degradation by forming vast unproductive monocultures. These invasions have a negative impact on biodiversity, water resources, crop and pasture production, human and animal health, and as such undermine Africa’s ability to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals. Landscapes degraded as a result of unsustainable land-use practices are also more likely to be invaded by invasive plant species, making any attempts at restoration considerably more difficult. As such it is imperative that invasive species management forms an integral part of any attempt at landscape restoration. By actively removing invasive species, followed by restoration, livelihood outcomes will be enhanced across the continent.
The session will be attended by community members/leaders, affected by a host of invasive plants, many intentionally introduced for landscape restoration. Affected community members will be given an opportunity to present some of their experiences, together with experts in the field of invasive plant management and restoration. Short video clips on the impacts of other invasive plants on communities will also be shown. This will be followed by guided discussions on various topics such as the need to consider invasive plants as a form of land degradation and to include invasive plant control in restoration activities. The pros and cons of using invasive plants in restoration will also be discussed. Discussions will be structured in such a way to allow all participants an opportunity to be heard with the exact format still to be decided.
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