Africa risks $2.7tr to ecosystem collaspse
Nigeria and other African countries are being urged to urgently adopt policies and strategies to avert looming loss of over $2.7tr to the collapse of ecosystem services.
The experts in a report made available to The Guardian as part of campaign tagged EcoKnowledge Derivative (EKD), which is being championed by the International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa) and implemented with support from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), noted that biodiversity conservation remained the key to economic growth in Africa.
If prioritised, the Manager in charge of the programme, Oluwadamilola Pikuda, said biodiversity conservation could increase the continent’s economic outputs by about eight to 10 times.
With growing economic challenges across Africa, worsened by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank estimated that a total of global GDP of $2.7tr would be lost yearly by 2030, due to the collapse of ecosystem services.
While food prices remained high in countries like Nigeria, as inflation stays high, the apex bank noted that collapse of ecosystem would affect provision of food from marine fisheries and timber from forests.
“Our economic wellbeing is dependent on biodiversity. We must embrace sustainable economic policies and practices,” Oluwadamilola stated, adding, “The loss of nature will prove drastic for global economy. Over-stretching our safety blanket of nature will lead to such disasters as famine, drought and sickness.”
She said there was need to protect biodiversity, stressing that excessive deforestation and water pollution affects tourism, which generates $168b yearly to Africa economy.
The stakeholders, therefore, urged government to put in place policies that restricts cutting of trees and polluting of water.
“Ecosystem provides us with the beautiful structures around us. Thus, recreational activities are enhanced by biodiversity. So, when biodiversity is lost, we lose the benefits that ecosystem provide to people,” the document noted.