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Sustainable management of Africa’s natural resources

The African continent is amply endowed with natural resources but there is a lack of measures to sustainably manage this natural capital.

This situation continues to deprive this continent of the socio-economic progress it deserves. To address the challenges for the preservation of natural resources the cooperation among countries and relevant stakeholders is crucial.

By joining forces, partners and UNESCO will improve the environmental governance for a sustainable management of Africa’s natural resources and resilient societies to natural disasters.

The partnership will also:

  • promote the development of strategies and upstream policies informed by science;
  • strengthen governance structures and related capacity of research and development institutions and networks;
  • give access to energy, protect and make a better use of oceans and water;
  • long- and short-term disaster risk reduction which can help effectively reducing poverty in Africa and promoting social inclusion.

The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme of UNESCO aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments. In Africa, there are in May 2014, 64 biosphere reserve including 2 transboundary sites, 41 natural and 5 mixed natural and cultural World Heritage sites.

In the area of water resources, the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO is the only UN programme on water science, management and capacity building. In geoscience, UNESCO in partnership with the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has established the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) to promote research and scientific cooperation. UNESCO has a unique expertise on the promotion of knowledge and capacity for protecting and sustainably managing the oceans and coasts through the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

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