SOUTHERN AFRICA: AFD launches call for applications for pro-nature projects

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SOUTHERN AFRICA: AFD launches call for applications for pro-nature projects © Simone Crespiatico/Shutterstock

The French Development Agency (AFD) has launched a project to encourage pro-nature initiatives in eight Southern African countries. In this framework, the French financial institution is launching a call for applications for the selection of at least 30 entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Southern Africa is at the heart of a nature conservation project recently launched by the French Development Agency (AFD). The Biodiversity Partners Program (BIPP) pilot project aims to promote innovation for environmental conservation. The initiative coordinated by the AFD Campus aims to support 30 participants from the world of business, entrepreneurship, public institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in their pro-nature projects in Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

According to AFD, the pilot project aims to encourage new institutions and companies to create pro-nature approaches, to broaden the common perception of the link between humans and biodiversity and to develop an ecosystem of regional actors. The French bank is therefore launching a call for applications aimed at entrepreneurs who have created an NGO or a company with a pro-nature ambition and intrapreneurs with a pro-nature project within their institution or company.

The call for expressions of interest opened on April 1st, 2020 and closes on May 6th, 2020. “These 30 participants will be selected for the innovative and replicable nature of their project and for the diversity of their profiles. The aim is to create multidisciplinary and multisectoral synergies around biodiversity issues,” AFD says. The agency is implementing the BIPP pilot project in partnership with the Sustainability Institute and the African Management Institute.

According to AFD, the BIPP pilot project will allow participants to explore and test a range of knowledge and tools in their projects, from nature-based solutions to ecology, systems thinking, local knowledge and biodiversity project management. “In order to provide project leaders with a comprehensive training, the programme offers them a broader vision, an anchoring of their commitment in the field and an orientation to action adapted to their evolution in a complex environment,” AFD says.

This initiative is also in line with AFD’s new commitments to biodiversity conservation. During the One Planet Summit held online on January 11th, 2021, AFD pledged to invest one billion euros in biodiversity conservation by 2025. A large part of this funding will be earmarked for the African continent.

Jean Marie Takouleu 

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