Abstract

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 aseffectively communicating their importance. Land degradation, air pollution, and the provision of sanitation and safe drinking water are among the main problems on the continent. Many of the region's fisheries, both inland and marine, face overexploitation from illegal, under-reported and unregulated fishing. The continent has an opportunity to use it large young population to drive its growth. Low-carbon, climate-resilient choices can develop the continent's infrastructure, accelerate industrialization, increase energy and food production, and promote sustainable natural resource governance.