Timezones: 9:00 AM EDT | 3:00 PM CET | 4:00 PM EAT

2030 is a big year for Africa: By then, governments have committed to begin restoring more than 100 million ha of degraded landscapes through the AFR100 Initiative and the Great Green Wall. Growing trees, revitalizing grasslands, planting mangroves, and a host of other techniques would provide a future that is more food-, water-, and energy-secure. It would also be a major financial boon for rural communities: For every $1 invested in restoring land, people can see $7-30 in economic benefits. At minimum, investing $100 billion across 100 million restored hectares could add more than $700 billion of value.

Galvanized by that opportunity and successful projects from past decades, investors recently committed more than $14 billion for implementing the Great Green Wall over the next five years. And last year, corporations announced that they would invest in protecting, growing, and restoring 1 trillion trees around the world as part of their plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

But over the past decade, only a small fraction of the billions of dollars already earmarked for restoration have been directly invested in the governments, tree-growing organizations, and companies with the necessary long-term vision, local roots, and technical expertise. How can we ensure that this new funding flows directly to land restoration programs? What help and tools do project leaders need? What assurance do corporate and philanthropic funders need to open the spigot and invest? And what past experiences from other fields could we investigate?

Join Wanjira Mathai, WRI Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, and partners from the civil society, government, philanthropic, and corporate worlds for a frank discussion on one of the key questions for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

This event is part of the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.


  • Wanjira Mathai, Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, World Resources Institute  (moderator) 
  • Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund
  • Isaac Acquah, Chief Programme Officer, ‎Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana
  • Jennifer Merli, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, Mastercard

  • Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • Susan Chomba, Director of Vital Landscapes, WRI Africa

  • Carol Kariuki, CEO, Green Pot Enterprises

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