African countries urged to harness nature-based solutions to accelerate development

ADDIS ABABA, May 28 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has called on African countries to harness nature-based development solutions to accelerate the implementation of flagship development aspirations.

Nature-based solutions present a unique way for Africa to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa's Agenda 2063 while contributing to the conservation of the continent's rich biodiversity and enhancing climate resilience, said Antonio Pedro, deputy executive secretary of the UNECA, while addressing the African Natural Capital Alliance Annual Summit held in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, on Tuesday, according to a UNECA statement.

"With careful design of its development pathway, Africa can harness the value of its natural resources through responsible management practices that recognize planetary boundaries and balance economic growth with environmental conservation and social equity, beyond GDP metrics," Pedro said.

African Natural Capital Alliance Annual Summit was held under the theme "Harnessing Nature for Africa's Sustainable Transformation: Building Resilience in Africa's Financial Landscape," it was noted.

Pedro stressed that Africa's vast resources should drive inclusive growth, structural transformation, prosperity, and the wellbeing of its people and nations.

"The vast coastline of Africa provides an opportunity for the development of the blue economy, which could generate 576 billion U.S. dollars a year and could create 127 million jobs by 2063 through research, innovation, and ecosystem management," he said.

Pedro underscored that economic development presents an important frontier for Africa to harvest its natural capital, presenting an economic paradigm that emphasizes the sustainable use of biological resources to produce goods, services, information and energy.

He said the UNECA, in collaboration with its partners, is working to help African countries capture national and regional growth opportunities while better understanding their nature-related risks and opportunities.

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