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Africas biodiversity remains a major asset for sustainable development at multiple levels local, national, regional and global. Yet despite the considerable effort made in advancing conservation on the continent over the last several decades, much remains to be achieved with respect to alignment of priorities across these different levels. This is particular reflected in challenges associated with wildlife exploitation (from hunting for bushmeat to killing of elephants / rhinos for tusks / horns), protected areas (from management effectiveness to sustainable financing), and priority-setting for biodiversity conservation (from key biodiversity areas to biodiversity hotspots). I will draw on my professional experience from Sierra Leone and in the Diaspora to highlight the need for enhancing cross-scale linkages to tackle these challenges.

About the SpeakerMohamed Bakarr headshot

Mohamed Bakarr, Ph.D.
Senior Environmental Scientists and Regional Coordinator for Africa & the Middle East, Global Environment Facility

Dr Mohamed Bakarr is currently Senior Environmental Scientist and Regional Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East in the Global Environment Facility. He is responsible for coordinating the Land Degradation Focal Area, which directly supports implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) by affected country parties. His professional expertise includes integrated natural resource management, agroforestry land use, biodiversity conservation, and ecosystem restoration. Although focused mainly on sub-Sahara Africa, he has experience from several countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America. This was strongly enhanced during nearly seven years at Conservation International where he served in several capacities, including most recently as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (2007-2009); and four years at the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya where he served as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Director General. He previously served as Deputy Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (2000-2003), and has extensive knowledge of global environmental policy processes. Mohamed is a native of Sierra Leone where completed a four-year BSc degree in Biological Sciences at Njala University College, and holds a MS and PhD in Tropical Ecology from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.