Conservation experts from China and Africa on Monday participated in a virtual forum to discuss innovative ways to enhance sustainable management and utilization of wild species.
The webinar on enhanced protection of wildlands and iconic species was convened by African Civil Society Organizations Biodiversity Alliance (ACBA) and China’s Civil Society Alliance for Biodiversity Conservation (CSABC).
The virtual forum underscored the importance of conserving biodiversity hotspots in order to secure the livelihoods of local communities. Both the Chinese and African experts agreed that the health, economic well-being, and cohesion among indigenous and local communities were directly linked to the enhanced protection of vital ecosystems including forests.
Zhou Hongguo, a professor at China’s Jishou University said that preservation of genetic resources should underpin efforts to promote food security and the well-being of communities.
Zhou stressed the need to integrate ecological protection with shared economic benefits among local communities whose wealth of indigenous knowledge has proved effective in conserving rare species.
Experts attending the forum believed that the webinar will improve appreciation of the interdependence between planetary health, sustainable development, and improved well-being of local communities.
Tobias Nyumba, project coordinator, African Conservation Center said that strategic engagement among Chinese and African green lobbies is key to promote the health of indigenous biodiversity.
Li Guanqi, coordinator, Farmer’s Seed Network (China) said that local communities should be incentivized to protect endangered species and reverse damage to their livelihoods.