The GEO 6 regional assessment recognizes Africa’s rich natural capital - the diversity of soil, geology, biodiversity, water,landscapes and habitats- which if wisely managed, hold the promise to lead the region to a future where ecosystem integrity,as well as human health and well-being are continuously enhanced. It also observes that the economic growth of Africa hingeson the sustainable management of its natural capital that involves reconciling wise stewardship with human development fortoday’s population and future generations. This requires both the protection and valuation of these natural assets, as well as effectively communicating their importance.
Africa’s natural capital is challenged by competing uses, illegal off-take, weak resource management practices, climate change and pollution. This calls for forward looking, flexible, inclusive and integrated approaches in the formulation and implementation of policies. Africa has an opportunity to use its large young population to drive its growth. To that end, low-carbon, climate-resilient choices can develop its infrastructure, accelerate industrialization, increase energy and food production, and promote sustainable natural resource governance.