Anna Obi Akpe, Kamanzi Claudine, and Steve Misati will receive funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities from international organizations in 2024 for their projects in the wetlands, drylands, and oceans of Nigeria, Rwanda, and Kenya.
Bonn, Germany (19 December 2023) – Young people across the globe are spearheading the movement for a fairer and healthier world through activism, outreach and community-led solutions for ecosystems and livelihoods. Ecologist Anna Obi Akpe, nature conservationist Kamanzi Claudine, and marine conservationist Steve Misati were selected from over 300 candidates as three of the 2024 Restoration Stewards, by international organizations the Youth in Landscapes Initiative and the Global Landscapes Forum to receive funding, mentoring and networking opportunities.
In the program’s fourth year, Anna, Kamanzi and Steve will restore wetlands, drylands, and oceans in their countries, respectively. To deepen the impact of their projects, they will be offered scientific and peer guidance, training, a grant of 5,000 EUR and other resources.
Meet the African 2024 Restoration Stewards:
Mitigating climate change from biodiversity hotspots: Anna Obi Akpe, from Nigeria, is one of the two 2024 Wetland Restoration Stewards. A graduate in plant and ecological studies, Anna is a passionate and dedicated biodiversity conservator. She will represent the Biodiversity Rescue Club (BRC)’s Mangrove Restoration Project (MRP), which aims to revive and reconstruct the natural structure and functioning of mangrove forests in the community of Esierebom in Calabar South Local Government Area, Cross River State, Nigeria. The project will enhance biodiversity, local livelihoods, carbon capture and water quality.
Community development interconnecting ecological, social and economic components: Kamanzi Claudine, from Rwanda, is one of the two 2024 Dryland Restoration Stewards. The founder of the Forest for Life Project, she is an environmentalist expert in conservation agriculture, photography and video direction. With fellow youth, Kamanzi restores lands in the Kayovu Model village in Bugesera district to enhance biodiversity, improve soil fertility and promote sustainable land management practices. She helps create a resilient and productive landscape through capacity building, reforestation and agroforestry systems using native indigenous trees.
Support local communities for mangroves and sustainable livelihoods: Steve Misati, from Kenya, is the 2024 Ocean Restoration Steward. The founder of Youth Pawa, he is a marine conservationist and climate justice advocate fostering youth engagement. His organization adopts a community-based approach to mangrove restoration, involving raising awareness and training communities in the city of Mombasa on restoration and conservation. The Mangrove Eco-Restoration Project aims to restore over 50 hectares of degraded mangrove forests by 2030.
Along with Anna, Kamanzi and Steve, four other young ecosystem restoration experts from Bolivia, Brazil, India and the Philippines were selected for the one-year Restoration Stewards program (stewards.globallandscapesforum.org) to restore drylands, forests, mountains and wetlands in 2024.