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what to expect in the Year of the Rabbit

“The whole world is looking at Brazil and what will happen with deforestation” this year, said Edegar de Oliveira, WWF-Brazil’s conservation and restoration director.

Ecologist Paulo Moutinho, from the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, said he is hopeful about the new administration: “The team in charge of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is the one that was in charge when there was an 80% reduction in deforestation “.

Natalie Unterstell, president of the Tanaloa Institute, believes that the new government’s mission is to draw a line between what is crime and predatory practice and “serious entrepreneurs” who are truly committed to preserving the rainforest. “If successful, it will be able to support investors and entrepreneurs in the bioeconomy, which is not flourishing today because it cannot compete with criminal products and practices,” she says.

In Colombia, too, reducing forest loss has become one of the main commitments of the new government – ​​in 2021, 174,103 hectares were destroyed. Colombia has international cooperation with countries such as the United Kingdom as fundamental to financing and implementing its strategy for addressing deforestation. Could this be the year the region turns the tide on this scourge on nature and people?

Relations with Africa

The end of 2021 saw the signing of the “Declaration on China-Africa Cooperation on Combating Climate Change” at the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Other documents signed at the forum pledged an increase in investment in low-emission energy technologies, singling out solar as an area for further cooperation. The potential for China, a global leader in renewable technologies, to boost clean energy generation on the continent has since grabbed much attention and will again be in focus throughout 2023 as observers look for evidence that China is fulfilling its pledge to increase investment. Meanwhile, discussion on the potential for China and traditional development partners such as the EU and US to cooperate on scaling up renewable energy projects in Africa will likely become more prominent as economic headwinds make traditional investment models more challenging.

We must get the resources needed to save lives and stop people plunging into catastrophic levels of hunger and starvation.

On the environmental front, climate impacts in Africa were in the spotlight last year as the UN climate talks came to the continent. With loss and damage high on the agenda at this year’s talks in the UAE, climate vulnerability will continue to be a focus. Countries across West Africa, notably Gambia, are grappling with sea-level rises and coastal erosion. Consequently, fishermen are abandoning fish-landing sites – causing increased competition for landing sites and shortage of fish – and hugely impacting livelihoods. Beach sand mining is also affecting coastal vegetation and marine biodiversity.

Meanwhile, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel are facing severe food security challenges linked to climate change and conflicts. Humanitarian organizations indicate that for the first time since 2011, famine is likely to be declared in parts of Somalia, with up to 6.3 million people predicted to face food insecurity in the first quarter of this year. “There is still no end in sight to this drought crisis, so we must get the resources needed to save lives and stop people plunging into catastrophic levels of hunger and starvation,” said World Food Program executive director David Beasley in a statement.

The scenario thus calls for African governments to urgently prioritize innovative methods to adapt to climate change in the course of the year.

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