The second African Conference for Linear Infrastructure and Ecology (ACLIE), co-hosted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT) and Ewaso Lions (EL) will be taking place online on the 12th-13th and 16th-17th August 2021.
Africa is currently seeing exponential expansion of linear infrastructure (which includes roads, rail, power lines, pipelines, water ways, and fencing), as a result of continental, regional and national economic development targets. In its current form, much of this infrastructure has largely negative consequences for the ecosystems it transects, eroding landscape connectivity, accelerating biodiversity loss and undermining the ecosystem services on which long-term sustainable development relies.
The environmental and infrastructure sectors in Africa are at the early stages of adopting a meaningful collaborative agenda for developing ecologically sustainable linear infrastructure. There are efforts, lessons and knowledge emerging from various parts of the continent which highlight a pressing need to move this agenda forward.
ACLIE 2021 intends to foster and build on African cross-sectoral engagement and the exchange of solutions with a theme of Connecting for Resilience. In light of the most pressing issues of our time - climate change, biodiversity loss, Covid-19 and the spectre of future pandemics - efforts to maintain ecological and human resilience are critical. The ability of ecosystems to maintain their functions and services is foundational to sustainable development and human health. Ecosystem function is dependent on landscape connectivity, and linear infrastructure in Africa poses a risk to this. Consequently, mitigating the impacts of linear infrastructure is central to efforts to maintain ecological and human resilience on the continent.
At the same time, human connections in the form of cross-sectoral partnerships and collaboration are essential for strengthening the development of mitigation solutions and their applications. ACLIE 2021 aims to achieve a balance between best science and policy guidance through collaboration, adaption, and innovation. This effectively overcomes sectoral silos by attracting participants from both the public and private sectors, and from the fields of linear infrastructure development, scientific study, development finance, economics, policy, law, social sciences and conservation practice. Attendees will have opportunities to share current research, quality applications, and best practices.