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Nature-based green infrastructure: A review of African experience and potential

Research report

Written by Mairi Dupar

Image credit:Mangroves, Vanga Bay, Kenya. Rob Barnes Image license:CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The African continent needs $68–108 billion in new financing each year to bridge its critical infrastructure gaps, according to President Adesina of the African Development Bank. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculates that climate change adaptation alone will cost Africa up to $50 billion annually, equivalent to about 3% of regional GDP.

Given Africa’s needs, nature-based solutions for green infrastructure (NBS-GI) are accorded high political priority by African leaders, with three ecosystem restoration trends – land degradation neutrality, catchment restoration, and coastal ecosystem restoration – increasingly prevalent on the continent. NBS-GI can improve people’s food and income security, enhance biodiversity, and contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

This report explores the existing and potential role of NBS-GI in disaster risk management and climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as wider development objectives. The research focuses on the application, financing and efficiency of NBS-GI in African contexts, as well as on the motivations for selecting NBS-GI investments in Africa.

It was launched at the ODI event ‘Nature-based green infrastructure: African experience and potential’ alongside ‘Mapping finance sources for nature-based solutions in Africa’.

Authors: Mairi Dupar, Elvina Henriette and Eric Hubbard