The African Forest Forum (AFF) participated in the eleventh session of the Conference of Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) held from 16 to 27 September 2013 in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia. This was the first time AFF attended COP sessions of UNFCCD.
AFF wasaccredited, at this meeting, to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Conference of Parties (COP). AFF is already accredited to sessions of UNFF and UNFCCC. Dryland and dry forest issues are at the heart of climate change debates as well as central to the work of AFF.
AFF has been instrumental in pushing the UNCCD agenda especially in Africa mainly by:

Supporting strengthening of the capacity of delegates from African countries in negotiations at regional and international levels that relate to forestry; as well as to internalize decisions from international processes and to monitor compliance to the same;
Preparing studies on climate variability of biophysical and economic systems related to the different African forest types;
Providing a platform for information sharing and expertise on sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forests and tree resources.

Prior to the conference, AFF in conjunction with United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) facilitated the preparation of African delegates to COP 11, in a meeting that took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on August 21-23, 2013. The sessions were  partly facilitated by Mr. Macarthy Oyebo and Dr. Mahamane Larwanou, both being members of AFF’s Technical Support Team to International and Regional Negotiations.
AFF and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)  organized  a side event at the COP 11 on ‘The Partnership Creating an EverGreen Agriculture’. Dr. Larwanou (AFF) and Dr. Dennis Garrity (UNFCCD Drylands Ambassador and former  ICRAF-Director General) organized the event. Dr. Larwanou presented a paper on ‘The Quiet Revolution on the Sahel’ which focused on the adoption of EverGreen Agriculture in the Sahel region of Africa.
The objectiveof this side event was to update participants on the progress made on advancing EverGreen agriculture worldwide.
The side event was held in the backdrop of increasing adoption of EverGreen Agriculture in Africa. Millions of women and men in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia and other countries are already practicing EverGreen Agriculture, and the momentum for its spread is accelerating. Many countries in Africa are now either implementing or develop­ing national EverGreen Agriculture, scaling up initiatives along with India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines in Asia. The community of regional and international organizations has been greatly expanding its support for these efforts.
In light of the above developments, discussions during  the highly interactive side event revolved around new partnership op­portunities to support this broad-based effort for transformative change; experiences deriving from evergreen agricul­tural practices such as farmer managed natural regeneration and the use of fertilizer trees; and scaling-up approaches that have contributed to these successes.
Discussants also shared their perspec­tives and suggestions on the processes of scaling-up, and the imperatives for accelerated expansion.
AFF also participated in another side event, titled ‘A Landscape Approach to Invest in Africa’s Drylands – Wishful Thinking or a Foundation to Build Resilient Economies’ organized by TerrAfrica, World Bank, and World Resources Institute. Dr. Larwanou also represented AFF at this event, in which he presented a video on ‘Sustainable Land Management – the case of agroforestry parklands in the Sahel’.
The side event aimed at providing background information on the landscape approach and highlight real-world applications, provide a preview of an upcoming report that builds the economic and ecological evidence and share stories of effective country applications.