The role of miombo woodlands in the three Rio conventions

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Miombo woodlands are some of the most important and widespread woodlands in eastern and southern Africa across southern Africa. The 1992 earth summit in Rio resulted in the formation of three conventions United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This article aims at analyzing the national commitments to the three conventions from the miombo ecoregion. The national reports were screened for references to miombo. The analysis shows that limited references were made to the miombo woodlands. Highlighted significantly in the CBD and UNFCCC national reports, the miombo does not feature in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or Nationally Determined Contributions. The lack of differentiation between miombo and other woodland types hinders further coordination. The numerous ecosystem services and non-timber forest products from miombo woodlands are not well captured in national economies, and thus receive little attention at the policy level. The study concludes that there is a momentum for countries to improve regional collaboration on the miombo woodlands and to share experiences and lessons learned. It would be key to improve the knowledge and understanding of the immense role miombo plays in national and local economies.

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