Harnessing Restoration for Climate Resilience
Many of Africa’s rewilding initiatives being undertaken are often huge, continent-wide operations. But they are crucial if we want to see a future for our continent’s amazing wildlife, eco-systems, and her people.
Another key reason for rewilding Africa is to help combat climate change. The continent is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of global warming, such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves.
Scientists claim that, at this stage, solely reducing greenhouse-gas emissions will not help us quickly enough. A rapid phasing out of fossil fuels aside, many believe that nature restoration is the cheapest and simplest way to draw down substantial amounts of the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. Other high-tech alternatives need research, money, and time before they can be used on a large scale. Therefore most Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change pathways for limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels continue to look to forestry and improved land management to help with carbon drawdown over the next few decades
Rewilding – especially the recultivation of indigenous vegetation – can help to inhibit these effects by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide that is absorbed by flora and soils. This process, called ‘carbon sequestration’, helps to slow down the rate of climate change. A rewilded landscape is more resilient to the effects of climate change, as a greater variety of plants and animals increases the chances that some will be able to adapt and survive.