African countries need to come up with a common political stand on UN climate change conference, State Minister of Planning and Development Sandokan Debebe underscored.
The nineteenth ordinary session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) kicked off today in Addis Ababa.
The conference, organized under the theme "Seizing opportunity and enhancing collaboration to address environmental challenges in Africa," will be convened for the coming 5 days.
In his opening remark, Planning and Development State Minister Sandokan Debebe said Africa faces unique environmental challenges that require innovative solutions.
Ethiopia's Green Legacy Initiatives which surpassed its ambitious target by planting 25 billion seedlings exemplifies a commitment on nature based solution, he said.
The initiative leverage national capacity including tree planting experience, citizen’s engagement, media outreach, fostering a green culture to combat climate change environmental degradation, Sandokan added.
Ethiopia's national wheat production program also signifies another domestic endeavor thriving for food sovereignty and resilient in the face of shocks such as droughts.
“We need to address this issue including the unwise and unequal utilization of resource, the proportionate severe impact of climate change experienced by Africa manifests through recurrent droughts, hurricanes and rising sea levels. Additionally, the swift loss of biodiversity leading to the wildlife migration and rapid expansion of desertification are pressing matters.”
The engagement in internal discussions such as the one taking place today, along with presenting in united and robust stance at the global dialogues is crucial, Sandokan pointed out.
"We expect the event participants to commit to presenting Africa's interest in the global negotiations to ensure that our continent benefits from the necessary resource, technical experts while we are maintaining our positions in the global arena," the state minister said.
UN Environment Program UNEP, Regional Director and Representative, Regional Office for Africa, Rose Mwebaza on her part said we face multiple global crises and plastic pollution now is the critical concern that threatens human health and environment in Africa.
“Climate change continues to pose profound threat to our nation states. It affects a very survival of our people and therefore at UNEP, we are going to continue working with you to leverage climate finance across the multilateral funds to support the African countries to deal with the climate change,” she said.
Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority, Director General Getahun Garedew on his part said we are expecting the meeting to pass resolutions that will help the African group of negotiators in different multilateral environmental agreements.
Now African countries all coming together, we need implementation. As an output from Addis on climate agenda, the common stand of African countries will be that the loss and damages are surpassed and passing irreversible stage, we need action now.
“We expect the African group of negotiators to give an input for their respective ministers to have political stand regarding common stand of African countries for the COP session and there are some other multilateral stages that expect input from African countries.”
The main objective of the conference that attracted more than 40 environment ministers and over 440 participants, is to strengthen collaboration among the various institutions and enhance implementation of regional and global environmental frameworks in order to address the environmental challenges facing the continent.
The session is believed to provide a platform for strengthening Africa’s collective engagement in the global environmental agenda, including in the various conferences of the parties of environmental agreements, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and other multilateral processes related to combating climate change and desertification among others.
The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference will convene from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), it was indicated.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency