Greening Africa’s growth corridors could contribute to global Sustainable Development Goals, says IUCN

Nairobi, Kenya – Building inclusive, resilient, green growth corridors is one way African countries can ensure their ambitious economic agendas support the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said IUCN at the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) regional meeting held here 13-14 May.

IUCN at 3GF meeting in Nairobi

Many African countries, including Mozambique and Tanzania, have created growth corridors to attract investment that will stimulate economic development, job creation, public revenue, and ultimately, contribute to the eradication poverty. By adopting long-term goals for these corridors that promote greater food, energy, water and climate security, as well as enhance livelihoods and well-being, governments will be better positioned to deliver tangible evidence of sustainable growth and development.

Through an innovative programme called SUSTAIN-Africa, IUCN is working with local, national and international partners to demonstrate the benefits of sustainably managed natural resources in these areas. With a particular emphasis on landscape management and restoration, the programme aims to support development of improved and diversified farm, forest and wetland production that links local communities to new business opportunities, fostering green growth throughout the corridor.  

Alignment between development and sustainability goals is essential. Therefore,we must recognize the role of nature in addressing the continent’s development challenges,” said Marie Parramon-Gurney of IUCN’s East and Southern Africa Regional Office, speaking at the 3GF conference. The two-day event examined how partnerships can assist in delivering the post-2015 development agenda, which is due to be adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September.

“Globally, the SDGs attempt to bring together a universal set of goals for all countries, so it is critical that their implementation integrates the various goals into one cohesive vision,” said Parramon-Gurney.

“This integration needs to take place at a governance level in terms of policy and decision making, ensuring that different ministries collaborate and strategically map out an implementation plan for SDGs. It will also require incorporating natural capital in development scenarios including growth corridors, taking a landscape approach, and sustainably managing natural infrastructures, such as watersheds and wetlands, as well as involving all stakeholders through partnerships,” she added.

Since 2014, IUCN has been working with partners in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT); and, a kick-off workshop for SUSTAIN in Mozambique will be held on 18 May in Maputo to discuss plans for the area, where the Beira Agricultural Corridor and the Zambezi Valley Development Corridor overlap.


IUCN has actively contributed to the discussions on the SDGs since 2013. Through its Permanent Observer status at the UN General Assembly, IUCN has brought the importance of integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services into the discussions on the SDGs.

In 2015, the international community will be focusing on three main streams of the post-2015 development agenda, namely: the outcome document; the means of implementation; and, the review and monitoring framework to measure progress. The quality of these mechanisms will determine the level of implementation and success of the SDG framework by 2030.

To learn more about IUCN’s position on the SDGs, click here.

To learn more about SUSTAIN-Africa, click here.

Work area: 
Climate Change
Global Policy
Social Policy
Environmental Law
Climate Change
North America
East and Southern Africa
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