15 Nov 2018 Press release Ecosystems and Biodiversity

African ministers adopt action agenda on ecosystem restoration Agree to build momentum to implement commitments for biodiversity

  • Action agenda agreed by acclamation will provide strategic direction on ecosystem restoration for increased resilience in the region
  • Countries agree to promote continent-wide awareness and coordinated action for ecosystem restoration
  • Ministers commit to accelerate and upscale ecosystem restoration commitments and targets.

15 November 2018 – Aiming to accelerate commitments for ecosystem restoration to improve resilience in the region, African Ministers of Environment together with partner organizations committed to an ambitious action agenda taking a coherent approach to addressing the interlinked challenges of biodiversity loss, land degradation and climate change.  

Under the theme “Land and ecosystem degradation and restoration: priorities for increased resilience in Africa,” the African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity was held on 13 November 2018 at Sharm El-Sheikh International Congress Center, bringing together more than 100 delegates including over 30 ministers responsible for the environment and other sectors, six ambassadors plus other heads of delegation along with key partners.

The delegates discussed Africa’s biodiversity priorities and identified strategic actions and opportunities to upscale commitments for combating land degradation and enhancing ecosystem restoration.  Their deliberations represented the opening sessions of the 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference.

“I am honoured to have hosted this first African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity which I am convinced will lead the way to promoting natured-based solutions for increased resilience and wellbeing of people in Africa” said Her Excellency Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment of Egypt. 

Dr. Cristiana Pașca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said, “The adoption of the African Ministerial Declaration on Biodiversity and the Pan-African Action Agenda on Ecosystem Restoration for Increased Resilience by the Summit provides an impetus for the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and will contribute to shaping a New Deal for Nature and People in 2020.”

“Your political leadership, paired with the support of the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency, and the United Nations system, has elevated the importance of restoration in achieving our 2050 Vision of “living in harmony with nature”. The Secretariat of the Convention stands ready to further support this work.”

In a series of interactive dialogues, the summit participants reviewed the status and trends in land and ecosystem degradation in Africa and their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services and people’s wellbeing.  They shared experiences, successes and lessons learned on ecosystem restoration in the region.

The Pan-African Action Agenda, endorsed by the Summit, will be submitted for adoption by the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its 32nd Ordinary Session in January 2019.

It is expected that the Pan-African Action Agenda will provide a strategic direction for ecosystem restoration in the region, promote continent-wide awareness and political support for restoration efforts, help to accelerate and upscale ecosystem restoration commitments and targets; and galvanize synergetic and integrated action towards the achievement of those commitments and targets.

The UN Biodiversity Conference continues, with the High-Level Segment being held from 14 to 15 November, and the opening of the negotiations by the Parties to the Convention on 17 November 2018.



Further information on the Summit and its outcomes and an online press kit,

About Convention on Biological Diversity

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.

About UN Environment

UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.

For more information, contact:

Mohamed Atani, Head of Communication and Outreach, UN Environment, Africa Office - Tel: +254 (0) 727531253