In 2018, World Resources Institute (WRI) launched the Land Accelerator Africa, the world’s first training and mentorship program targeted specifically toward businesses that restore degraded forests, farmland and pasture.
To support the AFR100 Initiative’s goal of restoring 100 million hectares of land by 2030, the Land Accelerator provides entrepreneurs across Africa with mentorship and networking opportunities, technical training and workshops to build up their storytelling and pitching skills.
Participants leave the program more empowered to connect with potential investors so that they can take their business to the next stage of growth. The program has attracted nearly 1,400 applicants in Africa since 2018, and its 104 alumni from 34 countries report that they have created 11,200 jobs, worked with 56,000 farmers and restored 127,000 hectares.
What does the program look like?
In 2021, WRI and our partners at AFR100 and Fledge took a novel approach to the Land Accelerator Africa. We expanded the size of our cohort to the top 100 entrepreneurs from across the continent to join us for an all-virtual business accelerator. Restoration entrepreneurs were invited to apply from all sub-Saharan African countries, free of charge.
The Top 100 benefited from:
3 months of exclusive weekly trainings from experts.
3 months of access to Fledge’s online lessons for start-ups.
Templates to create content to help your business thrive.
Weekly office hours with mentors who will lend their expertise.
Weekly networking sessions to speak with and learn from other entrepreneurs in your cohort.
By the end of the program, entrepreneurs accessed the trainings and tools that they needed to complete:
A compelling one-minute pitch to hook investors, customers and potential partners.
A 10 to 12 slide pitch deck targeted toward investors.
An environmental indicator measurement, management and marketing plan.
A three- to five-year financial model to visualize their growth projections and to identify capital needs.
Increased confidence in their business’s mission and operations.
The top 100 entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to apply for a Land Accelerator investment pack, which an expert panel awarded to the top entrepreneurs.
Recipients of the investment packs benefited from:
An innovation grant of $5,000 or more.
A coaching meeting with a Land Accelerator organizer to develop an investment and innovation grant plan.
A 90-minute group session with members of the Land Accelerator mentor network, who provided tailored feedback.
A one-on-one call with a Land Accelerator mentor to provide feedback and a thorough review of all the materials submitted throughout the program.
The opportunity to present a three-minute business pitch at the virtual Land Accelerator Impact Days, a two-day event that brings together the awardees and investors from across the continent.
The opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs in-person for a week-long bootcamp in Nairobi, Kenya and learn from both leading entrepreneurs and trainers.
Will you design and implement a nature based solution, and positively contribute to the climate, biodiversity, and quality of life? In the Nature Based Solutions Challenge, you are challenged to come up with a nature-based solution and to implement it. A jury will select the teams that receive funding (2500 euro) and mentoring from experts to make their project into a success!
Nature based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits. Nature-based solutions are part of the answer to the biggest challenges of the 21st century, being climate change and biodiversity loss.
In this challenge, your team will work on a nature-based solution in a local context addressing climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation and biodiversity restoration, and thereby improving the quality of life. Furthermore, societal and economic impact are to be addressed too.
You can participate with a team of up to 5 members. It’s recommended to form a team of students with different disciplinary backgrounds. Fresh graduates are welcome to join the Challenge, though the graduation should take place not earlier than academic year 2020/2021. Fresh graduates should not exceed 20% of team members.
You can apply by submitting a Concept Note (a format will be provided on this page) on your envisioned project, focusing on nature based solutions. We will open registration as from mid February until April 13 (deadline of registration).
More than 90 percent of global food production depends on soil. It provides habitats for soil organisms and is the most important terrestrial carbon sink on earth. However, fertile land is being lost to agriculture and the quality of soils is increasingly deteriorating in many areas.
This development must be halted by using land resources sustainably and preserving existing agricultural land. Farmers must also be granted long-term and secure access to agricultural land through ownership, tenancy and use rights in order to enable them to use land sustainably. Only in doing so will we be able to feed the growing world population, stop climate change, and reduce the loss of biodiversity. There is an urgent need for the international community to develop and implement viable and practical solutions.
The GCRF Trade, Development and the Environment Hub (TRADE Hub) is a five-year research project (2019–2024) with the main goal to address the intractable challenge of sustainable global trade implementation. The research project is funded by the UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF) and conducted by around 50 organizations in 15 countries led by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP–WCMC). Ongoing research activities in nine countries focus on trade in various agricultural commodities and wildlife species.
The 2021 Global Action Summit is the world’s premier leadership event advancing solutions for food, health, and prosperity. The virtual 2021 event provides change makers with a synthesis of major findings and lessons learned over the past two years and adds a pivot to action with a new solutions-oriented agenda to launch in 2022.
At the Summit you will engage with the world’s most influential thinkers from a cross-section of business, academia, capital markets, government, and international nonprofits working on adaptive solutions to reimagine food, health, and economics in our COVID-disrupted world.
Woodfuel (charcoal and firewood) constitutes over 70% of the energy needs for cooking and heating in sub-Saharan Africa. The consumption is on the rise due to population growth, poverty and urbanisation. The production is accessible to a large number of households, yet characterised by poor harvesting and processing practices.
The wood fuel sectors in most sub-Saharan African countries are characterised by a high degree of informality. There are on-going efforts in most countries to formalise the sector, that is, to organise, regulate and control the production and trade, typically under the heading of sustainability. These plans give stronger roles to institutions of the state to control the production and trade through permits, taxes, and enhanced controls. However, attempts at formalising the sector without an intimate understanding of the ecological, social, and economic contexts within which the production and trade take place, run the risk of failure or may compromise wood fuel-dependent livelihoods. Sustainable wood fuel production and trade remains a contested issue and big challenge in Africa that needs to be tackled urgently and collectively with all stakeholders involved.
At its 22nd session held in March 2020 in South Africa, the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC) requested FAO to support the compilation, analysis and dissemination of good practices for sustainable charcoal production as well as the adoption of alternative sources of energy and recommended that FAO support countries in the formulation and implementation of national charcoal strategies. Indeed a number of organisations have been working in the sector with the aim of generating knowledge and evidence to support decision making for sustainable wood fuel production and consumption. This conference will provide an opportunity to discuss current knowledge, practices and experiences and best ways forward.
Conference objective and themes
The objective of the conference is to promote understanding and sharing of knowledge, good practices and solutions among and between scholars, practitioners, private sector and policy makers on sustainable and equitable wood fuel value chains and to advocate and explore strategies for their scaling-up.
The conference focuses on the following themes:
Wood fuel production and use: Environmental impacts and sustainable pathways.
Socio-economics of wood fuel value chains: Resilience, trade, livelihoods and health.
Governance, including policy, legislation, institutional mechanisms and justice in the wood fuel sector.
A major share of the world’s population inhabits cities. Scientific efforts are needed in order to improve the comfort and livability of urban areas. Ecology and technology must synergistically interact to outpace issues associated with the coexistence of biological organisms and man-made artifacts in limited spaces. While urban gardens of any scale greatly contributed in past times to people’s wellbeing, today’s challenge is to make the urban green areas work as an ecosystem.
The VIII International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture invite to Catania all the experts in ecology, agricultural sciences, botany, horticulture, social science, landscape design, zoology, and geography to share and discuss the most recent advances in urban green infrastructure toward more sustainable and livable cities.
The theme of the Congress is Sustainable Use of Grassland and Rangeland Resources for Improved Livelihoods. The aim of the congress will be to promote the interchange of scientific and technical information on all aspects of grasslands and rangelands: including grassland and rangeland ecology; forage production and utilization; livestock production systems; wildlife, tourism, and multi-facets of grassland and rangeland; drought management and climate change in rangelands; pastoralism, social, gender and policy issues and capacity building, extension and governance. We look forward to seeing you in Nairobi in 2021. For more information, click the attached Flyer. The International Grassland and Rangeland Congress promote an interchange of information on all aspects of natural and cultivated grasslands and forage crops for the benefit of mankind, including sustained development, food production, and the maintenance of biodiversity. The aim of the International Rangeland Congress is to promote the interchange of scientific and technical information on all aspects of rangelands: research, planning, development, management, extension, education, and training.
Illegal and unregulated artisanal small-scale gold mining poses a significant threat to ecosystems in the world, including the Amazon. The threat is not only due to the deforestation and degradation caused by the activity, but from the use of mercury in both alluvial and land based mining, which then seeps into both surface and subway waterways, poisoning the water and entering the local food chain via fish. Addressing threats to ecosystems and human health due to unregulated mining requires a multisectoral approach that combines policies, command and control strategies and promotion of sustainable practices.
This webinar will present an innovative tool designed by Conservation Strategy Fund commissioned by the Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office. The “Mining Impact Calculator” estimates the monetary value of the social and environmental impact of illegal gold mining activities in the Brazilian Amazon, focusing on deforestation, river silting, and mercury contamination. The tool facilitates law enforcement, encourages public policies, raises public awareness and facilitates mitigation/remediation interventions. The presentation will be followed by a discussion of the benefits and potential applicability to other countries beyond the Amazon region.
Taking the perspective of African smallholder farmers and pastoralists who are among the most severely affected by the impacts of accelerated climate change, the discussions will highlight why responsible land governance is a critical link in implementing nature-based solutions that enhance sustainable livelihoods while protecting the environment. By gathering contributions from African and European thinkers, practitioners, and policy makers, the session aims to showcase possible pathways for realising the potential of African smallholder agriculture to not only contribute to the continent’s food security, but also expand climate-resilient livelihood opportunities for millions of unemployed Africans.
The session will conclude by exploring how some of the insights gained can inform the ongoing UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) process, and in particular concerns expressed that the Summit may not achieve its fundamental goal of transforming our broken food systems unless it ensures that the perspectives all key stakeholders groups are taken on board in the final outcome.