Africa’s social and economic well-being depends to a large extent on sustainable resource management. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the continent’s workers. More than half of Africa’s population relies on forests for their livelihoods. And the continent holds some of the richest reserves of oil, gas and minerals in the world.
At the same time, these resources—and the people who depend on them—face mounting threats. Logging, mining and other industries are encroaching on indigenous people’s land. The continent lost 3.4 million hectares of forest between 2000 and 2010. Up to 250 million Africans are expected to live in areas of high water stress by 2030. And climate change is altering temperature and rainfall patterns, creating droughts and floods that threaten communities throughout the continent. The burden on women and vulnerable communities like smallholder farmers is disproportionally high.
WRI aims to address these threats and foster sustainable development in Africa. We work with partners and decision-makers in more than 20 countries to reduce poverty, improve governance and strengthen environmental management.
Our Land and Resource Rights initiative helps rural populations maintain control over their lands, while the Access Initiative works to ensure that citizens have a voice in environmental decision-making. Our research, tools and partnerships help usher in a low-carbon economy by expanding clean energy access, securing climate finance and helping communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Our Global Restoration Initiative helps restore ecological integrity to deforested and degraded landscapes. We work to improve monitoring of the Congo Basin forests—the “lungs of the world”—and foster better, more inclusive forest management. And we forge innovative partnerships with local governments, research organizations, NGOs and the private sector to achieve our goals.
Learn more about WRI's work in Africa; download our full work description.