Greater productivity, food security, job creation and a better quality of life for all can only be achieved if South Africa’s natural resources are safeguarded through the cooperation of all sectors of society.
This was one of the issues deliberated at the recent seventh Biennial National LandCare Conference, under the sub-theme ‘Experiences of LandCare committees, civil society organisations – including community-based and non-governmental organisations, and youth empowerment in promoting community-based natural resource management’.
Going forward, it was decided that information should be better disseminated through both the media and information brochures; and that global scholarship be strengthened through publications in accredited scientific journals.
Also receiving attention at the conference was the African LandCare Network (ALN), a network of individuals, institutions, government and non-government organisations that are committed to championing the LandCare approach in Africa.
Resolutions at the ALN session included that partnerships and LandCare capacity-building events continue to be used to reach other countries in Africa; and that awareness be created of the role of the LandCare approach towards achieving pertinent issues in the global agenda.
These include meeting country level targets on land restoration and land degradation neutrality; climate change mitigation and adaptation; and local-level ‘green’ entrepreneurship, job creation and niche market development.
Additional ALN resolutions included that the LandCare approach be positioned as the best option currently for upscaling sustainable livelihoods; and that more spirited efforts be made towards the development and realisation of the green belt in Southern African states through enhanced fundraising and awareness creation by 2017, thereby ensuring sustainable agricultural productivity and livelihoods in the region.
Steps will also be taken to mainstream the LandCare approach in country programmes and projects. It was decided that awareness creation and partnerships be fostered through maximising opportunities offered via side events at major conferences and meetings; and that members continue with regular cost-effective meetings and teleconferences, at least on a quarterly basis.
In addition, special fundraising focus and support will be given to regional and national LandCare networks; through awareness creation and partnership development, especially in support of public-private partnerships; and the documentation and dissemination of lessons learned.