"Valuing ecosystem services": The first thematic panel of the international conference on African ecosystems

The first thematic panel of the international conference on African ecosystems had all speakers focus on "Valuing ecosystem services". Chaired by Mr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Former Executive Secretary of the UNCBD and Vice-Chairman of the OSS SOC, the panel is moderated by Mr. Nabil Ben Khatra, OSS Executive Secretary.

The panelists are making highly valuable contributions to the works of the session, they speak up for Africa's natural capital and call for action for its restoration.

Mr. Djoghlaf insists on the value of biodiversity (contribution of whales and earthworms), he calls upon everyone to live in harmony with nature. Ecological awareness is the new challenge of humanity, he says.

Mrs. Yamna Djellouli, teacher-researcher at the University of Le Mans, highlights the importance of trees. Indeed, "The green dam of Algeria" and "The Great Green Wall" are the examples she picked to make her presentation and she goes : Don't tell a story about the desert, live it instead.

Mr. Didier Tidjani, Teacher-Researcher, Member of the OSS SOC, condemns land degradation and calls to pay for the use of ecosystem services to finance their restoration.

Mr. Emmanuel Fourmann, representative of the French Development Agency, aims to rely on African expertise to develop well-thought and considerate public policies on biodiversity.

Mr. Jo Mulongoy, President of the Institute for Enhanced Livelihoods and member of the OSS SOC, puts forward a modus operandi for a socio-economic transformation and the prosperity of Africa, based on its rich and one-of-a-kind biodiversity.

Mr. Augustin Joiris underlines the Rio conference and the notorious slogan : Think global, Act local. He emphasizes the need to wake the consciousness of all citizens on the socio-economic value of ecosystems.

Mr. Laurent Sedogo, Executive Director of the DREYER Foundation and member of the OSS SOC, highlights the importance of the involvement of local populations. He also draws up a brief mode of action, based on a systemic approach to Natural Resource Management. 

The session comes to end, with remarkable sounds of hope acknowledging the efficiency of ecosystem services subject to good governance.

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