Environment & Natural Resource Management
Natural resource management issues have attracted increasing attention in recent decades, particularly in Africa, partly in response to a sequence of crises in energy, food, water, and other resources. As a result of population growth and climate change, pressures on scarce natural resources are mounting. As water demand grows for household, industrial, and agricultural uses, the functioning and quality of watersheds and irrigated land are deteriorating. Desertification, deforestation, overgrazing, salinization, and soil erosion are increasing as well, especially in developing countries. As a result, precious natural resources—from fertile soil to freshwater streams—are rapidly diminishing, with devastating impacts on the poor, who rely on these resources to generate most of their income and subsistence goods.
Effective governance and management of resources have always been important, but have become increasingly challenging in the face of changing climate, livelihoods, and market pressures. Many African countries have compromised their natural resource base for the sake of development, and are consequently facing various environmental challenges. The pressure on natural resources has potentially been aggravated by the development of infrastructure, advancement in extraction techniques, and expanding product markets that enlarge extraction opportunities for concession holders as well as local populations. Under such circumstances, the quality of land, water, and forest is threatened, and the regenerating capacity of resources is hardly guaranteed. These are evidenced in rural areas where most of these natural resources are located.
CA’s programs and projects under Environment & Natural Resources are aimed at land management, quality water, afforestation, water resource allocation, supports poverty reduction and food security through more productive, equitable, and sustainable use of resources in developing countries.