CGIAR Gender News

AWARD staff and alumni contribute to a position paper in the nature on safeguarding Africa’s biodiversity

AWARD paper Photo: AWARD

AWARD’s Deputy Director of Programs, Dr. Michèle Mbo’o-Tchouawou, and alumni, Professors Sheila Okoth and Petra Saghir, are among the authors and contributors of a recently published position paper in the journal Nature. The position paper is an initiative of the African BioGenome Project (AfricaBP), a pan-African platform fostering scientific collaborations for innovations and policy change through biodiversity genomics across Africa.

The paper, Africa: Sequence 100,000 Species to Safeguard Biodiversity, presents how Africa can lead the sequencing of its genomes of animals, plants, protists, and fungi to preserve the continent’s biodiversity.

The threats of biodiversity loss have been well documented, with the 2016 Protected Planet Report recording that the degradation and overexploitation of ecosystems will result in the loss of 50 percent of Africa’s bird and mammal species and a decline of wildlife and fisheries.

Since its launch in June 2016, AfricaBP has been at the forefront of championing the use of genomics to understand biodiversity and the sustainable use of indigenous plants and other organisms.

AfricaBP has prioritized coalescing national and regional institutions, countries, and corporations to address three main goals; build resilient and sustainable food systems in Africa; improve conservation and improve sharing of data and benefits.