UNFCCC COP27 Side Event: All hands on deck to green Africa's drylands in the face of climate change


12 November 2022


Online (Zoom)
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (in-person)


Jonky Tenou (IFAD)

The Resilient Food Systems Program is hosting a side event at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, through RFS lead, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

Resilient food systems improve dryland productivity and investments to advance food security and livelihoods for people exposed to climate change. This event will highlight the innovative approaches and successes of the national RFS projects in Eswatini and Niger to achieve these goals. 

In addition to the country project presentations, IFAD will launch an exciting new video produced at the RFS 2022 Annual Workshop, which showcases the programmatic value of the RFS integrated approach in conversations with the stakeholders who have made the program what it is today.

A panel discussion will look at ways to scale up best practices in climate and food systems resilience for large-scale landscape transformation in Africa.

Stay tuned for updates and check out the resources posted on this page!

Panellist Biographies

Mr Massalatchi Mahaman Sani is Deputy Director General of Water and Forests at the Ministry of Environment and the Fight against Desertification of Niger. He is responsible for the formulation and implementation of national policies and strategies for forestry, wildlife, fisheries, aquaculture, beekeeping, wetlands, landscaping and environmental conservation in Niger. He has held several high-level positions in the Nigerien administration, including Technical Advisor to the Minister of Environment and Desertification Control, Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa of the CITES-MIKE program, and Joint Program Officer at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Mr Massalatchi is a Knight of the National Order of Niger. 

Mr. Sena Adessou is the current Executive Secretary General of Inades-Formation International, a pan-African development organization with headquarters in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire). He has acquired 17 years of experience in NGOs. He has capitalized on experiences in the field of agroecology, environment and local development. During his ten years of experience, Mr Adessou has coordinated several development initiatives related to agroecology, sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation in partnerships with, among others, the European Union, ECOWAS, UNDP, UNESCO and GEF. 

Dr Leigh Ann Winowiecki is the Global Head of Soil and Land Health Research at CIFOR-ICRAF, based in Nairobi, Kenya. A soil scientist, her research focuses on scaling up farmer-led landscape restoration, understanding drivers of degradation, and quantifying the impact of land management on soil organic carbon. Since 2009, she has co-developed and implemented the Land Degradation Monitoring Framework (LDSF) in over 40 countries in the tropics. She co-leads the Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health (CA4SH), which aims to catalyze investments in soil health for human well-being and climate. She serves on the Scientific Working Group and the Follow-up Working Group for the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, as well as the Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Soil Health Program. She co-leads the Transformative Partnership Platform for Landscape Restoration. She is also a founding board member of the International Agroforestry Union (IAU). 

Hon Moses Vilakati is the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs (MTEA) of Eswatini, a position he has held since 2018. From 2013 to 2018, Hon Vilakati was the Minister of Agriculture for Eswatini. He previously worked as a Project Manager in a parastatal organization, where he piloted capacity building and enterprise empowerment for smallholder farmers. He was also a lecturer at the University of Eswatini. Hon Vilakati holds a Master of Science in Agricultural Development from California, USA. He also holds a Master of Business Administration and two degrees in Human Resources and Project Management from the University of Eswatini.

Register for the virtual event here!

**This is a hybrid session and will include simultaneous interpretation between French and English!



Opening: Introductions and setting the scene

  • Sara Mbago-Bhunu, IFAD Regional Director for ESA

Session 1: Presentation of Resilient Food Systems country project experiences and video


Question and answer session


Session 2: Panel discussion

  • Hon Moses Vilakati, Minister of Agriculture (Eswatini)
  • Massalatchi Mahaman Sani, Deputy Director General of Water and Forests at the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Desertification (Niger)
  • Sena Adessou, executive secretary of the INADES training (Côte d'Ivoire)
  • Dr Leigh Winowiecki, Head of Global Soil and Land Health Research, CIFOR-ICRAF

Question and answer session with panelists



Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive updates on stories directly from the field across all our projects, upcoming events, new resources, and more.