Nairobi, 6 September 2023 (TDI): In a groundbreaking move, the Bezos Earth Fund has committed $22.8 million to bolster restoration projects in two pivotal African regions.

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These regions, namely the Greater Rift Valley in Kenya and the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin, spanning the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi, are not only vital for carbon capture but also play a significant role in preserving biodiversity and enhancing human welfare.

This announcement was made at the Africa Climate Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya, by Andrew Steer, the President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund.

This funding is a fragment of the Earth Fund’s overarching $1 billion global commitment to landscape restoration.

It builds upon the previously allocated $42.2 million to propel Africa’s restoration movement, AFR100. This initiative also aligns with contributions from The Audacious Project and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI).

Dr Steer remarked on the continent’s unparalleled potential in the restoration domain, stating, “Africa is home to the world’s largest restoration opportunity and is a critical player in the global fight against climate change, nature loss, and poverty.”

He further highlighted the collective vision of 34 African nations to rejuvenate 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.

The grants, which are currently underway, target the restoration of 600,000 hectares in the Greater Rift Valley and the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin. Such expansive restoration can sequester 42 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent by 2050.

The grants have been meticulously crafted to address several key areas of restoration. Firstly, they aim to provide technical guidance to community groups and restoration enterprises operating in the Greater Rift Valley and the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin.

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In addition to this hands-on support, there’s a commitment to extend multi-year organizational assistance to grassroots African restoration organizations, ensuring their sustained growth and impact.

Also Read: Africa Climate Summit addresses climate change challenges

Much of the funding is also dedicated to amplifying the value chains of products and services that emerge from these restoration efforts.

Lastly, a pivotal aspect of these grants is to propel research and development initiatives. The goal here is to significantly improve the quality and availability of native tree seeds, effectively addressing and overcoming the existing challenges in meeting annual tree planting targets.

The grants announced encompass support for various organizations, including the Albertine Rift Conservation Society, Barka Fund, World Agroforestry, The Green Belt Movement, Maliasili, Rabo Foundation, Regeneration, and the World Resources Institute Africa.

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