Large-scale landscape restoration: Spades and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD announce partnerships

PR Newswire | 11 December 2023

Large-scale landscape restoration: Spades and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD announce partnerships
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Large-Scale Landscape Restoration: Spades and the African Union Development Agency–NEPAD announce partnerships with Cote d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Spades and the African Union Development Agency (NEPAD/AFR100) are proud to announce landscape restoration agreements with Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cote d'Ivoire. Each agreement calls for partnerships in the development of large-scale landscape restoration. Combined, the projects plan to span around 10 million hectares, plant 1.5 billion trees, and generate more than 3 billion MtCO2e over 50 years. Each project has shared ownership and governance with benefits accruing to all stakeholders.
The projects propose to restore natural areas, develop plantations, and restore coastal mangroves. Most importantly, smallholder farmers and communities are prioritized with regenerative agroforestry in rural areas and increased income. These developments follow each nation's ambitious strategies to improve climate resilience, biodiversity, reforestation, and food security. Economic development is expected to be significant, delivering thousands of jobs in each country.
The projects will align with UNFCCC protocols and are designed to help meet Nationally Determined Contributions. These collaborations demonstrate the opportunity for sustainable development structured to serve the communities and nations where they are implemented.
Spades' distinctive approach spans landscapes, seeking long-term, verified sustainability. Although existing natural areas are to be stabilized, the primary effort is focused on large-scale planting of indigenous species. "The leadership of these countries demonstrates a pathway for large-scale landscape restoration. It is time to get moving and not just talk about it," says Raymond Menard, CEO and Founder of Spades.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Key Player in Climate Action
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is recognized as a "climate solutions country." With its vast natural resources, including the second largest tropical forest in the world, measuring 155.5 million hectares and sequestering 160 million tons of carbon per year, and extensive peat bogs that store 30 gigatons of carbon, the DRC is poised to lead the charge in environmental conservation and sustainable development. Professor Isaac Kalonda, National Designated Authority and Focal Point for the Green Climate Fund and CDM and Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement, notes, "The Spades initiative builds on the President's billion trees initiative, and engages our communities so they benefit from our country's rich resources."
Cote d'Ivoire's Ambitious Forest Cover Initiative
Cote d'Ivoire has set an ambitious national initiative to achieve 20% forest cover by 2030, in line with its environmental and climate objectives. The country's dedication to sustainable development is evident in its leading role as an agricultural and agroforestry producer. As the world's top producer of cacao, cashew nuts, and kola nuts, it has made significant contributions to advancing sustainable farming practices. This initiative underscores Cote d'Ivoire's commitment to environmental preservation and its pivotal role in addressing climate change on both national and global scales. Minister of Water and Forests Laurent TCHAGBA says, "The large-scale Spades initiative will have a significant impact on our reforestation and climate goals and support rural communities."
African Union Development Agency – New Partnership for African Development (AUDA-NEPAD)
Their program, AFR100 – The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative - is a country-led effort to restore Africa's degraded and deforested land.  Their goals include accelerating restoration to enhance food security, increasing climate change resilience and mitigation, and combating rural poverty. Mamadou DIAKHITE, Acting Head of Environmental Sustainability for AUDA-NEPAD says, "The Spades effort leverages almost a decade of our successful work to engage 34 countries across Africa committed to restore 130 million hectares." For more information visit
Spades is a Public Benefit Corporation committed to developing profitable projects to reforest the world. Our vision is to sustain the world by integrating thriving human, environmental, and economic solutions. For more information, visit
Contact Information
Spades Media: [email protected] | Investors: [email protected]
DRCongo: Isaac Kalonda [email protected]
Cote d'Ivoire: Col Major Aboa DOGUI [email protected]
AFR100: Teko Nhalpho [email protected]
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