swimmers in the ocean at sunset
Sunset at the Beach Swimming in the Indian Ocean in Beau Vallon, Mahé Island's main tourist area, Seychelles. © Jason Houston

Stories in Africa

Tackling Climate Change in Africa

TNC is investing in natural climate solutions that can deliver emissions reductions and help local communities adapt to the impact of climate change.

July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded on planet Earth. Parts of Siberia registered temperatures of 103 degrees Farenheit (39° C) and large parts of Argentina and Chile were sweltering in the middle of winter.

Climate change is not in the distant future. We are feeling the impacts now. These realities are already having profound impacts on people’s lives in Africa and around the world, from devastating drought to loss of wildlife habitat. What we do between now and 2030 will determine whether we can slow warming enough to avoid climate change’s worst impacts. 

Luckily, we can turn to nature to be part of the solution.

A young man picking tea leaves on a tea plantation in the Upper Tana River Watershed, Kenya.
WOPA151120_D037 A young man picking tea leaves on a tea plantation in the Upper Tana River Watershed, Kenya. © Nick Hall

What Are Natural Climate Solutions?

Natural climate solutions are actions to protectbetter manage, and restore nature to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and store carbon.

In 2017, TNC led a landmark study that found that natural climate solutions can provide 11 gigatons of avoided emissions every year, or about one-third of the mitigation needed by 2030 to keep global temperatures livable. Moreover, many natural climate solutions offer additional benefits, such as water filtration, flood buffering, improved soil health, protection of wildlife habitat, and resilient communities.

A Natural Solution to Climate Change In this video, it's the future, and we look back on how we saved the world with nature. In the 2020s, we learned that nature could pull 11 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. This was a full third of the emission reductions we needed! So how did nature do all this?

Our Approach in Africa

Many African nations are already pioneering more carbon-friendly, nature positive alternatives to damaging land use and water use practices, and TNC is working to be a resource to leaders in government, the private sector, and local communities to deliver alternatives that work in the real world.

TNC works to create linkages between globally proven strategies and new science with Indigenous expertise and African ingenuity to unlock solutions that work in local contexts and improve lives in local communities. This includes reduced impact forestry, climate-smart agriculture, renewable and sustainable energy development, and increasing nature’s ability to provide freshwater.

Natural climate solutions must be implemented at unprecedented scales and sustained for the long-term. To do that, TNC is bringing to bear one of our key strengths: creating sustainable finance solutions, from incubating community-led carbon enterprises to supporting national governments to lead debt conversions for conservation and climate action.

Morning mist rolls up from the valley floor below wind turbines from Kipeto Wind Farm at sunrise.
Using the Wind Morning mist rolls up from the valley floor below wind turbines from Kipeto Wind Farm at sunrise. © Bobby Neptune

Africa Climate Projects

Explore how TNC is leading the way on natural climate solutions in Africa.

  • TNC Kenya's team planted 2,000 seedlings at a secondary school and three neighboring farms in Kenya.

    Africa Forest Carbon Catalyst

    The Africa Forest Carbon Catalyst, created by TNC, finds and refines African forest projects, giving them much-needed upfront funding, as well as technical and operational advice, and helping them to prepare to successfully seek investment. Learn About the AFCC

  • women with mangrove seedling

    Kenya's Mangrove Mothers

    A group of women on Kenya's coast are leading the charge in planting and restoring mangroves—"super trees" that are critical for absorbing carbon, buffering storm surge, and providing habitat for wildlife both above and below the water.  Read the Magazine Feature

  • aerial view on a farm in Tanzania's East Usambara Mountains

    Water Funds in Africa

    Water Funds are a proven way of investing in the services that nature provides—in this case, clean water. Africa now has more than 15 water funds launched or under development, creating healthier watersheds that are more adaptable to climate change. Read More About Water Funds

  • Aerial view of Gabon coastline

    Debt Conversion for Gabon

    TNC's fourth Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation project will refinance $500 million of Gabon’s national debt and generate an expected $163 million in new funding for ocean conservation. Read the News

A closeup view of a yellow flower.
In Bloom This type of protea, commonly known as a pincushion, has a special relationship with ants who take the seeds and bury them for protection. Cape Floral Region, South Africa. © Roshni Lodhia