In a year lined up with major global environmental summits, thousands attended the first-ever digital conference solely devoted to African drylands and how to restore them. The Global Landscape Forum’s digital conference, “Restoring Africa’s Drylands: Accelerating Action On the Ground,” ran on 2-3 June and brought together youth leaders, scientists, environmentalists, community leaders, journalists, chefs, herders, farmers, policymakers and many others to explore ways to support sustainable livelihoods and ecosystems in a part of the world whose fragility is heightened by climate change. This conference serves as a prelude to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), and allowed participants to network, hear speeches, view films and learn from one another to engage in drylands restoration.
Here are some key numbers from the event:
- More than 7,000 registrants from 186 countries, of which more than 6,000 were African nationals from 53 African countries
- 4,631 youth participants (aged between 18 and 35 years old)
- 223 speakers (of which 108 are female) from 54 organizations
- 47 sessions, including 8 plenaries, 5 youth sessions and 19 interactive sessions
- 38 press registrations, with 68 journalists attending the media seminar
- 47 media hits
- More than 10,000 posts on social media using the #GLFAfrica hashtag
- Over 22 million reached on social media (and growing)
- 12 white papers published by participating organizations that provide critical insights on topics including new trends and tools for monitoring restoration progress, the critical role of youth and women, and under-explored sustainable livelihood opportunities
- As a run-up to the conference, around 60 students and young professionals from more than 25 countries joined a month-long “Restoration Road Trip” to learn from each other and other experts on getting ready for restoration.
If you missed any sessions, don’t worry! You can go back and watch them on the event platform for another two weeks. You can also get inspired by some wonderful quotes spoken at the conferences, or read a wrap-up of the event here and here.