Posted by: africanpressorganization | 8 December 2011

EAC-COMESA-SADC launch five-year climate change initiative / Regional blocs get $20 million to address climate change



EAC-COMESA-SADC launch five-year climate change initiative / Regional blocs get $20 million to address climate change


ARUSHA, Tanzania, December 8, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The East African Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) have launched a joint five-year Programme on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation.


The Vice President of Comoros, H.E. Fouad Mohadji officially launched the Programme 5 December at a high level event on the sidelines of the ongoing COP17 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.


The launch was also attended by the Norwegian Deputy Minister of State, Ministry of Environment and International Development- Hon. Arvinn Gadgil; the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary and Special Representative on Climate Change- Hon John Ashton, COMESA Secretary General of- H.E. Sindiso Ngwenya and EAC’s Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Mr. Jean Claude Nsengivumva, among others.


The Programme, an initiative of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite, aims to harmonize climate change programmes by the three regional blocs and address the impacts of climate change in the COMESA-EAC-SADC region through successful adaptation and mitigation actions to enhance economic/social resilience.


The focus of the Programme is increasing investments in climate resilient and carbon efficient agriculture (climate-smart agriculture) and its linkages to forestry, land use and energy practices by 2016. The programme has received $20 million funding from the Royal Government of Norway, the European Union Commission and UK’s Department of International Development (DfID), signifying an exemplary partnership between Africa and Europe on climate change.


In his statement at the launch ceremony, EAC Deputy Secretary General Mr. Jean Claude Nsengivumva applauded the joint efforts by EAC, COMESA and SADC through providing leadership to collectively respond to climate change in the region.


“The three RECs comprising the Tripartite will synergize on their respective comparative advantages that include: mainstreaming climate change in national and regional policies and strategies; climate resilient and climate smart agriculture; vulnerability assessment and disaster risk reduction approaches; and climate change policy negotiations to provide African solutions to climate change,” Mr. Nsengiyumva said.


He highlighted EAC’s key achievements in the area of climate change over the last few years which include: approval of the EAC Climate Change Policy and issuance a Declaration on Food Security and Climate Change by the EAC Summit; the establishment of the EAC Climate Change Fund and Climate Change Coordination Unit at the EAC Secretariat; as well as the development of a Regional Climate Change Position as input into the African Common Negotiating Position on Climate Change.


The Deputy Secretary General thanked the Royal Government of Norway, European Union Commission, DfID and other stakeholders for their continued support but noted the need for “enhanced financial and technical support to RECs and their specialized institutions in addressing climate change in Africa” to ensure the successful implementation of the Programme “for the benefit of our people”.


Note to the Editors


The 17th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol commonly known as COP17/CMP7 kicked off on 28 November 2011 in the South African city of Durban and will conclude on 9 December 2011.


The objective of the Conference is to bring together Parties to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol to find long-term solutions to address climate change through a shared vision comprising of a balanced package of mitigation and adaptation measures supported by technology, finance and capacity building to curb emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and reduce the adverse impacts of climate change that largely borne by developing countries.


Key expectations from the fortnight long negotiations include building on the outcome of previous COPs by agreeing on the post Kyoto regime to avoid a gap in the only legally binding instrument – the Kyoto Protocol whose first commitment period (2008-2012) is due to expire in and a decision on the modalities for operationalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) launched under the Cancun Agreement- the outcome of COP16 held in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010. The Fund is aimed at securing the required level of funding for long-term climate financing.


The conference constitutes a milestone in the climate change negotiations initiated in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (also known as the Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with the opening of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for signing by the UN Member States.



East African Community (EAC)


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