The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced a landmark agreement reached by over 30 African ministers to mainstream climate change adaptation measures into national and regional development plans, policies and strategies.
The Nairobi Declaration adopted at the Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) called on the international community to support the continent in implementing climate change programmes while at the same time achieving sustainable development, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable, such as women and children, who bear the brunt of the impact of global warming.
“Africa’s environment ministers have today signalled their resolve to be part of the solution to the climate change challenge by forging a unified position, within their diversity of economies, in advance of the crucial UN climate change convention meeting in Copenhagen in just 192 days time,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
The Declaration highlights the need for a coherent financial mechanism to battle climate change, with equitable governance and simplified access procedures. In this regard, African ministers are advocating for the improvement and modification of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in order to ensure equitable geographical distribution of projects that contribute to sustainable development efforts on the continent. They are also calling for the expansion of eligible categories to benefit from carbon credits and other international incentives to include sustainable land use, agriculture and forest management, in order to promote agricultural productivity in a way that improves resilience and adaptation to climate change.