Triple planetary crisis, green recovery at the top of the agenda of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment

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Meeting this week virtually at the 18th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (CMAE), 54 African environment ministers agreed to step up the continent’s response to accelerate the green and sustainable recovery program to address the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

In a ministerial declaration issued today following the first part of the 18th session of the CMAE, representatives of African governments reaffirmed their commitment and efforts to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic by prioritizing green and sustainable stimulus measures that can provide mutual benefits for social, economic and environmental resilience.

Speaking at the ministerial segment, the new president of CMAE and Minister of the Environment of Senegal, HE Abdou Karim Sall, said: “It is in the interest of Africa and our people that environmental issues receive the attention they deserve, especially in view of the COVID-19.

“It is not only an opportunity but an obligation that we, the African ministers in charge of the environment, take responsibility for ensuring that the necessary means are provided to translate CMAEof its objectives into urgent actions, ”he added.

Ministers pledged to ensure an effective multilateral approach to tackle climate change through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), his Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. They also reaffirmed their commitment to ensure its implementation in accordance with the principles of the Convention, while emphasizing equitable access to sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and the recognition of the specific needs of African countries.

At the high-level conference, held virtually under the theme Ensuring the well-being and sustainability of people in Africa ”, ministers called for a people-centered recovery that accelerates job creation and improved livelihoods.

The continent has suffered severe social and economic impacts from COVID-19 pandemic. This affected the already highly volatile markets, reducing the GDP from the continent to 3.4% with an estimated loss of between $ 173.1 billion and $ 236.7 billion for the years 2020-2021.

The ministers noted that the pandemic has hampered the ability of African countries to respond to crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, which are also already having a severe impact in many parts of the continent.

To accelerate a green and sustainable recovery plan for Africa, the online platform of the African Green Stimulation Program (AGSP) was officially launched. The platform provides a comprehensive gateway for governments, development partners, communities and stakeholders to access information and knowledge on the recently adopted. AGSP.

“The African Green Stimulation Program is a key step in taking advantage of this opportunity. The program hits all the right notes: climate action, air quality, land restoration, biodiversity, blue economy, green cities, etc. “Said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). “He will complete the AU Green Recovery Action Plan enabling countries and regions to take bolder action by integrating environmental considerations into their plans and programs. And it will build on the stimulus actions already in place. “

Ministers supported the common regional position for the next meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26). They also urged African member states to actively participate and represent the region at the resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) which will be held in Nairobi from February 28 to March 2, 2022.

On the occasion of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of UNEP (UNEP@ 50) in 2022, ministers agreed to engage in activities at national, regional and global levels to raise awareness of more ambitious future actions to protect nature, tackle pollution, land degradation and climate change. Environment ministers also agreed to support UNEP@ 50 providing a broad platform for awareness and systemic action on the African continent.

Ahead of the Ministerial Conference, a meeting of major African groups and stakeholders was held on September 10 with the participation of organizations accredited to UNEP. Their statement was presented to ministers by the group’s regional representative.

Speaking on behalf of major African groups and stakeholders, Ayman Cherkaoui from Morocco said: “We congratulate CMAE for his role in providing strategic and political guidance for the creation of the Green Stimulus Program in Africa. We call for the meaningful inclusion of major African groups and stakeholders in the Africa Green Stimulus program coordination committee.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

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