Eastern and Southern Africa

Our work

Recognizing the interdependency of the three pillars of sustainable development - social, economic and environmental, IUCN’s work in Eastern and Southern Africa underscores the fact that sustainable economic development depends on sound environmental management. ESARO, in line with IUCN’s Global Programme goals, focuses on five global thematic areas, namely biodiversity conservation, climate change, sustainable energy, human well-being and green economy. Working within these themes, the region has the following programmes:

Conservation Areas and Species

IUCN engages directly in biodiversity conservation in the region through its innovative thematic programme, Conservation Areas and Species Diversity (CASD).



Water and wetlands

IUCN has a long history of engagement in water and wetlands conservation in the region.



People and Landscapes

The People & Landscapes Programme takes the lead in work to effectively manage and conserve the drylands, forests and woodlands of the region to provide multiple benefits to society with a focus on Community-based rangeland management, Reducing forests loss and Forest landscape restoration


Climate change:

The Climate Change Programme provides the knowledge, tools and support required to reduce people’s vulnerability to climate change and enhance their capacity to adapt to its impacts.




Drylands—from hyper arid to dry sub humid —cover over two thirds of the Eastern and Southern Africa region and are home to more than 60% of the region’s population.



The Resilient Coasts Initiative

Addresses the high level of vulnerability of ecosystems and livelihoods using a “resilience framework” that integrates four components: (i) Ecological and Social Diversity, (ii) Innovative and sustainable infrastructure and technology, (iii) Equitable and resilient governance systems, and (iv) Data and information for adaptive management.


Biodiversity, economics and business:

The value of biodiversity and ecosystem services to human well-being is increasingly being recognized in Eastern and Southern Africa.





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