- TICAD is a forum for dialogue and for raising awareness on issues in Africa that need urgent attention by donors and the international community. The TICAD-7 Declaration emphasized the need for addressing transboundary issues such as illegal wildlife trade, threats to biodiversity and to prevent spread of zoonotic diseases. The use of Geo-spatial technology was specifically recommended to address transboundary issues.
- Addressing human-nature conflicts using technology including space technology falls within the broader thematic area of TICAD 8 – Advancing Africa’s Development through People, Technology, and Innovation, and given credence on the sustainable developmental goals 15, 16 and 17.
- With the rise in human-nature conflicts such as poaching and illegal wildlife trade, Human-wildlife conflicts, agro-pastoral conflicts and spread of zoonotic diseases, it is important for African governments and policymakers to equip themselves with tools and modern techniques as well as relevant data that constantly update them about the situation for timely decision-making and informed enforcement action. Currently, such infrastructure is inadequately developed in many African countries, primarily due to lack of resources and experts.
- Lusaka Agreement Task Force in collaboration with United Nations Environmental Program, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Zambia, ESRI, RESTEC Japan, Digital Earth Africa organised an official TICAD8 side event themed “Spatial Data Infrastructure for Addressing Data Gaps for resolving Human-Nature Conflicts and Meeting Sustainable Development Goals in Africa”. The side event was held on the 27th August 2022.
- With growing crises in financial resources, it is also difficult for donors to build the capacity of each African country to resolve human-nature conflicts on country and interstate basis. Thus, regional African multilateral institutions such as the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) should step in to support countries to address the problem through a regional geo-data sharing platform such as Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) which should be enhanced and expanded as Regional Spatial Data Infrastructure or a Regional Command and Control Centre (RCCC) to cover the broader human-nature conflicts in Africa.
- In this regard the Lusaka Agreement Member states through its policy and decision-making organ, Lusaka Agreement Governing Council, has agreed to build a RCCC with the administrative support from UNEP and technical support from ESRI corporation, RESTEC-Japan and Digital Earth Africa.
- In the same vein, a consortium of research institutions such as National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) in Japan, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institution (TAWIRI), University of Zambia, University of Maryland-United States, Technical University of Munich- Germany etc, will help in the research and analysis of the data compiled by African governments and institutions.
- In addition to addressing data gaps related to combating illegal wildlife trade and human-nature conflicts, the RCCC will also help in meeting the national SDGs of each African government.
- By supporting the RCCC, developed countries such as Japan can contribute to meeting the SDGs in Africa.
- The RCCC will also be an information hub for policymakers, enforcement units, researchers, and other stakeholders from all over the world to come together through a common science platform.
- UNEP and Lusaka Agreement Task Force will explore prospects for fundraising for the RCCC and to get more countries to join The Lusaka Agreement so that this crucial facility can be utilized for the broader benefit of the African continent, especially in harnessing vital data and enhancing information sharing among the states and partners.
- The RCCC will support in developing indicators and supporting frameworks such as CITES, CBD and IPBES.
Finally, the participants called upon governments and international agencies participating in the TICAD 8 meeting in Tunisia to consider the need for the RCCC and to help support to build a regional geo-spatial platform to address the data