Urban Natural Assets for Africa: Rivers for Life

ICLEI together with project partners SwedBio, Stockholm Resilience Centre, the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), are designing a cutting edge program to support the local implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets to conserve and protect nature in cities in sub-Saharan Africa as a project under the Urban Biosphere Initiative (URBIS). Through generous funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through SwedBio at Stockholm Resilience Centre, this project will mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services into land use planning and local government decision-making processes around urban river systems, through better coordination and community-based activation, contributing to strengthening sustainability and resilience at the local level, enhancing human well-being and poverty alleviation.

Objectives of UNA Rivers for Life are:
1. Increased understanding of the socio-economic importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services and its role in strategic climate change adaptation plans, with a specific focus on enhanced human well-being.
2. Mainstreaming of biodiversity and ecosystem services into local land use & development policy and planning systems.
3. Enhanced coordination and engagement within the project cities (between departments and key stakeholders: CBOs, NGOs, researchers, communities inter alia) as well as between cities (through city-to-city exchanges) for increased awareness, integrated biodiversity and ecosystem service management and enhanced networking at both regional and national levels.
4. Locally appropriate, scalable project implementation, with a specific focus on community-based art and culture activation, connecting people /urban communities with biodiversity and ecosystems within an urban river context in a holistic way, enhancing overall human well-being.

Target Cities:
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Lilongwe. Malawi
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Please find the Urban Natural Assets Synthesis Report here.

The above report synthesizes the successful methodology used during Phase 1 and 2 of the Urban Natural Assets for Africa Project (2014-2015), in order for it to be advanced and replicated in other cities in the Global South.

This methodology synopsis will seek to highlight the valuable lessons learnt from implementing the UNA Africa project, which can be transferred to the 2016-2019 UNA: Rivers for Life Project. The tactic which proved particularly effective was stakeholder engagement, which led to social capital and greater public interest in the project.

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