Africa4Nature Health Initiative (Phase III)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken a toll on every dimension of human livelihood and constitute an unprecedented setback in the run up to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as enshrined in the 2030 Agenda globally and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union. More than 117 million cases of the contraction of the virus have been recorded which have resulted into over 2,600,000 deaths globally.

Source: WHO, 2020 (March 9, 2021)

In addition to its zoonotic nature, COVID-19 has caused a huge disruption of the African economy which has diverse implications and ripple effect on nature and biodiversity. The need to prioritise health and humanitarian supplies has also reduced budgetary allocations for nature-based initiatives while private organisations and households have less propensity for environment. Indeed, governments across African countries are already responding to pandemic and developing post-COVID19 recovery plans. However, the central focus of the responses and recovery plans has been on the economic dimension of development with packages offered as “economic stimulus”. This follows a similar trend as other nations of the world as depicted in the figure below.

The focus on the economic dimension of development in the post-COVID-19 recovery plan in Africa is further strengthened by the development deficit in Africa and the associated strive for the ‘catching up’ process.

However, as analysed and campaigned during the first and second phases of the initiative, the relative neglect of the environmental dimension in development matrices contributes to the emergence of zoonosis including COVID19. Therefore, deploying economic recovery plans without commensurate integration of the environmental dimension in building back post-COVID19 would be laying the foundation blocks for future pandemics, among other environmental emergences. This highlights the need for a holistic approach in developing the post-COVD19 recovery plans. The variance in the economic perspective of post-COVID19 recovery plans of African governments and the need for a green and just post-COVID19 recovery plans necessitated raising public awareness and engagement with relevant stakeholders to support and push the African governments to commit to a green and just post-COVID19 recovery plan.

Diverse stakeholders have highlighted the need for humanity to rethink, reset and recalibrate its interactions with nature. Moreover, the recommendation aligns with the call by the United Nations on governments to build back better by developing a just and green Post – COVID19 economic recovery to create more sustainable, resilience and inclusive societies.

In view of raising a campaign for the New Deal for Nature and People, the third phase of the Africa4Nature Health Initiative advocated for an integrated policy approach and programme design that links public health, pollution abatement, climate action, biodiversity conservation, ecosystems integrity, socio-economic equity, and prosperity for a just, green and sustainable recovery an effective recovery from COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.  The initiative:

  1. increased campaign and advocacy on the need for African governments to develop just and green post-COVID19 recovery plans,
  2. increased awareness on the strategies that could be adopted in African countries to facilitate green growth on the continent post-COVID19.
  3. analysed Post-COVID-19 stimulus programmes in African countries,
  4. lauded relevant initiatives that are promoting green growth in Africa. This was focused on the Leaders Pledge for Nature initiative and advocated implementation, and, was the focus of many of the media reports from the initiative
  5. promoted recommendations for ‘Green and Just Recovery’ from relevant international initiatives, fora and report on green and just recovery in Africa. These include:
    – Leaders Pledge for Nature
    – WWF’s report on Green and Just Recovery report, “Africa in the context of COVID-19
    – Other resources from IUCN, UNEP, IPBES and WWF
  6. explored, engaged, and communicated strategies that could be adopted in African countries to facilitate green growth on the continent post-COVID19.

The initiative leveraged multimedia approach to develop the messages for the campaign including the initiatives and reports from relevant organisations into posts on social media platforms. Below are some of the organisations that were actively engaged with the social media advocacy and campaign includes the United Nations Convention for Biodiversity (UNCBD), Greenpeace Africa among other multilateral and international organisations.

In addition, the advocacy and campaign initiative were also reported in seven (7) news headlines in popular sections of leading newspapers within and outside Africa. Some of the headlines was republished by a news platform which covers the entire African continent, All Africa, and also featured on the UNCBD Information and News Platform.

Media Reports

S/N Caption Media Platform Weblink
Mainstream Media Organisations
1 Stakeholders caution policy makers over post-COVID-19 recovery plans The Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria https://m.guardian.ng/business-services/stakeholders-caution-policymakers-over-post-covid-19-recovery-plans/amp/
2  ‘Buhari, Leaders’ Pledge to Reverse Biodiversity Loss requires Political Will’ This day Live Newspaper, Nigeria https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/03/09/buhari-leaders-pledge-to-reverse-biodiversity-loss-requires-political-will/
4 Buhari pledges to reverse lost biodiversity The Nation, Nigeria (Tuesday March 9, 2021) Online version to be available later.
5 Nigeria: ‘Buhari, Leaders’ Pledge to Reverse Biodiversity Loss Requires Political Will’ All Africa

(operates from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Washington DC)

https://allafrica.com/stories/202103090372.html
6 Nigeria: ‘Buhari, Leaders’ Pledge to Reverse Biodiversity Loss Requires Political Will’ UNCBD News Platform, Montreal, Canada https://www.cbd.int/information/news.shtml
7 ISNAD-Africa, WWF partner to promote nature conservation , combat zoonotic diseases Business Day Newspaper, Nigeria Online version to be available later.

Outcome Summary

  Results
Social media posts 101
Social Media Platforms 4

(Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)

Infographics and social media messages 101
Impression 449,506
Post Engagements (Likes, Retweets, Shares, Comments) 158,216
News Publications (Media Reports within and outside Africa) 7
Duration 6 weeks

[post-views]