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In a bid to catalyze impactful research and sustainable land management strategies, a two-day workshop titled “Understanding the Factors Driving Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Impacts in Sub-Saharan Africa” took place from September 25 to 26, 2023, at Sheila’s Executive Hotel in Sunyani, Ghana. This event was a collaborative effort between the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Ghana, and Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

The central objective of the workshop was to foster research partnerships and collaborations, paving the way for joint research proposals and responses to funding opportunities. Bringing together a diverse audience of researchers, policymakers, and community leaders, the workshop facilitated discussions on available funding avenues and garnered insights for research proposals through engaging roundtable discussions and presentations.

Dr. Nicholas Ozor, the Executive Director of the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) based in Nairobi, Kenya, delivered one of the keynote presentations, titled “Funding Opportunities within Africa / Global South for LULUCF Research.” His paper explored emerging research funding areas and trends in LULUCF, encompassing crucial themes such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, community engagement, indigenous knowledge, data utilization, and technological applications, among others.

The paper emphasized various financing mechanisms for promoting research and innovation in LULUCF, including government and non-governmental avenues such as green bonds. It underscored the critical role played by international finance organizations like the African Development Bank (AfDB), Afreximbank, philanthropic organizations, and foundations as essential funders in the realm of LULUCF. Moreover, the private sector emerged as a noteworthy contributor to funding and financing LULUCF research and innovation.

Dr. Nicholas Ozor’s paper served as a clarion call to all relevant stakeholders, encompassing national and regional governments, multilateral donor organizations, philanthropic entities, international donor organizations, private sector players, and non-governmental donor organizations. The paper advocated for a conscious and continuous mobilization of funds and resources to support LULUCF in Africa, with the aim of not only sustaining previous developmental strides but also forging ahead to unlock new horizons in land use, management, and conservation across the continent.

This workshop, through the wisdom of Dr. Nicholas Ozor and the collective efforts of dedicated stakeholders, marks a significant step toward harnessing research potential and securing sustainable land management practices for a brighter, more resilient future in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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