Side Event at TICAD8: Nature-based Solutions towards a Resilient and Prosperous Africa

  • Overview
    A ninety-minute side event at the TICAD8, entitled “Nature-based Solutions toward a Resilient and Prosperous Africa”, was held online on August 26, 2022. It was jointly hosted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Forestry Agency of Japan, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). A total of 130 participants attended, with government officials from African countries, including the General Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Secretary of the Forest Conservation, the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Kenya.
Title screen
    The speakers came from the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Kenya, Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, IUCN, FAO, ITTO and the JICA Study team.

    They presented the Nature-based Solutions (NbS) approach from their own perspectives. The JICA study team also introduced the portal, a database of positive examples of NbS approach identified as knowledge from projects conducted by JICA in African countries and how to utilize the database. During the panel discussion, the panelists tabled the importance of scaling-up on-the-ground implementation, the roles of international and regional organizations and private sector investment as part of efforts to manage natural resources sustainably. The importance of incentivizing the use of NbS knowledge was also emphasized. In summary, sharing and promoting access to knowledge was encouraged.
  • Highlights of the Event
  • Opening Remarks
    For his opening remarks, Mr. Seiichi Onodera, Senior Vice President of JICA Headquarters, reiterated how abundant co-created knowledge in the field of natural resource management had been accumulated through collaboration with African countries and international partners, which as Nature-based Solutions, would significantly contribute to the steady implementation of international frameworks related to natural resource management. He explained that this side event was to reaffirm the importance of knowledge and showcase co-created knowledge and on-the ground practices in sustainable natural resource management.
Mr. Onodera, JICA
  • Keynote Speech – Challenges in the field of natural resource management-
    On behalf of Dr. Chris Kiptoo, CBS, Principal Secretary, Mr. Alfred Gichu, Forest Conservation Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, Republic of Kenya, cited initiatives conducted by Kenya to enhance forest conservation and the function of biodiversity, together with global partners financially and technically. Mr. Gichu expressed his expectations to scale up NbS and achieve international goals, further utilizing developed knowledge and strengthening linkages with other African countries.
Mr. Gichu, Kenya
    Mr. Benjamin Toirambe Bamoninga, General Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Democratic Republic of the Congo, explained about bilateral and regional cooperation projects currently underway in his country on peatland management, REDD+, forest information system and forest fire control. Mr. Toirambe emphasized the importance of boosting capacity and strengthening governance in the rational use of natural resources.
  • Introductory Remarks
    Mr. Luther Bois Anukur, Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, IUCN, made a presentation entitled Scaling up NbS to catalyze action for delivering 3 Rio Conventions in Africa. Mr. Anukur highlighted concerns over food production and biodiversity loss in Africa and encouraged the NbS implementation as part of viable solutions for sustainable development to help control climate change, biodiversity and desertification. He reiterated the importance of human benefit and well-being and mentioned how the NbS-certified course had been introduced as part of efforts to scale up knowledge and techniques. Mr. Anukur concluded by emphasizing the importance of stakeholder cooperation and foundation management.
Mr. Anukur, IUCN
  • Presentation
    On behalf of Ms. Tiina Vähänen, Deputy Director, Dr. Amy Duchelle, Senior Forestry Officer, Team Leader of the Forest and Climate Change Team, FAO, made a presentation entitled, Data and knowledge management to support sustainable natural resource management of Africa. Dr. Duchelle mentioned how the FAO has published several data and tools to assist forest and NTFP sectors which are vital to show local needs and that the FAO is highly motivated to report emissions reduction data to determine the impact in future.
Dr. Duchelle, FAO
    Mr. Polycarpe Masupa Kambale, Projects Manager, Forest Management Division, ITTO, made a presentation entitled ITTO Guidelines as technical tools for implementing NbS in Africa Mr. Masupa presented about guidelines on the sustainable management of tropical forests published by ITTO. He stressed the importance of their adoption, encouraging local technicians and sharing good practices through the ITTO website.
Mr. Masupa, ITTO
    Mr. Kei Suzuki, Chief Engineer, Japan Forest Technology Association, made a presentation entitled Sharing outcomes of “Knowledge Program: Nature-based Solutions toward a Resilient and Prosperous Africa”. Mr. Suzuki, who led the JICA Study Team, presented details of the study plan that is analyzing projects conducted by JICA in Africa, selecting good practices as NbS and disseminating them with classifications into four NbS categories through a portal. He demonstrated the contents of the portal while emphasizing its search engine.
Mr. Suzuki, JAFTA
  • Panel Discussion
    The panelists answered pre-prepared questions, which the moderator, Mr. Kei Suzuki, then summarized.
    • Question 1: What on-the-ground practices and lessons learned can be presented to effectively address the challenges of natural resource loss and degradation and climate change?
      • Answer: Mr. Alfred Gichu, Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, Kenya
        Mr. Gichu answered that what we have learned from the field should be used and good practices adopted to achieve objectives. He showcased some excellent practices in Kenya, for example, a project involving producing and planting Meria volkensii, an indigenous drought-tolerant and fast-growing species with producing high quality timber. He also showed details of the Acacia Tortilis plantation project, which helped with charcoal production and increasing forest cover. He stressed the crucial need to select the right tree in the right place to promote forest conservation and improve and maintain the residents’ lives.

      • Answer: Mr. Benjamin Toirambe Bamoninga, Ministry of the Environment, Natural Conservation and Sustainable Development, Democratic Republic of the Congo
        Mr. Toirambe cited the case of Kwilu province as a good example and explained the need to introduce various vegetation to improve the savanna landscape. He also stated that planting Acacia trees as a means of improving the soil rapidly would be effective for agroforestry conducted on the rich soil to grow nuts and vegetables and spawn reforestation. He also underlined the crucial need for the project implementation to include appropriate technology and judgment on suitable sites using monitoring systems.
Panel discussion, Mr. Suzuki, Mr. Toirambe, Mr. Karangwa,
Mr. Gichu, Dr. Duchelle (From top left to the bottom)
  • Question 2: What challenges exist and what is needed in future to utilize that knowledge effectively?
    • Answer: Mr. Charles Karangwa, Regional Head of Land Systems, Country Representative for Kenya, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, IUCN
      Mr. Karangwa acknowledged the fact that Africa’s economic development is significantly dependent on nature and questioned whether it would still be feasible to provide all the ecosystem services we enjoy now in one or two decades’ time. His estimation was negative, in view of the currently high soil and biodiversity loss. He approved Africa’s political wills toward restoring the ecosystem, exemplifying the ongoing initiatives of AFR100 and Great Green Wall. As for political and implementable initiatives to scale up NbS in Africa, Mr. Karangwa underlined the importance of traditional ecological knowledge, generating incentives, coordinating donors and ensuring international organizations and private sector involvement in implementing NbS.

    • Answer: Ms. Amy Duchelle, FAO
      Dr. Duchelle acknowledged the fact that knowledge gaps remain by exemplifying peat soil ecosystems. She also mentioned that efforts should also be made to ensure available knowledge is used in carbon market opportunities for promoting NbS and the crucial need to use traditional ecological knowledge and locally based solutions. Dr. Duchelle stressed that it is imperative for international organizations to help support the mobilization of resources.

    • Answer: Mr. Polycarpe Masupa Kambale, ITTO
      Mr. Masupa cited numerous commonalities between the NbS defined by IUCN and the ITTO definition of sustainable forest management and the fact that ITTO has developed several guidelines which help ensure tropical forest resources are managed and used sustainably and tackle socio-environmental challenges such as climate change and water security. He stated that ITTO is empowered to assist its member countries in their efforts to achieve SDGs and reiterated the vital need for support from the international community. He stressed that human resource development was important to implement NbS in the field and break the vicious cycle of poverty and deforestation.

  • Summary from moderator (Mr. Kei Suzuki):
    Following the discussion, Mr. Suzuki stated that accelerating access to the accumulated knowledge effectively would be vital, as would leveraging the knowledge to catalyze and incentivize private sector investment. In conclusion, Mr. Suzuki encouraged international partners to engage in strengthening knowledge-sharing and encouraged people in Africa to access knowledge to ensure efforts to shape NbS on the ground could be optimally exploited.
  • Closing remarks
    In his closing remark, Mr. Tetsuo Tanimoto, Director of the Office of International Forestry Cooperation of the Forestry Agency at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, introduced the history of Japan’s cooperation in forestry with Africa while highlighting issues like technical development on afforestation in semi-arid regions and capacity-building of African governments. He acknowledged knowledge accumulated on areas like onsite practices on sustainable natural resource management and the creation of guidelines, plus technical tools which were tabled at the event. Mr. Tanimoto thanked all participants and everyone involved in planning the event and concluded the event with his closing remarks.
Mr. Tanimoto, Forestry Agency, Japan

This side event is available in YouTube
(English version) https: //
(French version) https: //
More for JICA TICAD8 Side Events Website:
(English version)  https: //
(French version)  Événements parallèles | Vers une Afrique résiliente, inclusive et prospère | l’Agence Japonaise de Coopération Internationale (