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Africa needs unity at Cancun

The Guardian

But most of all, we must speak with one voice,” Janneh said in his opening remarks at the Seventh African Development Forum (ADF VII) in Addis Ababa.

His sentiments were echoed by African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping, who said that now is the time Africa should strengthen its environment diplomacy by adopting a common stand during the negotiations.

The five-day forum, organised by ECA in collaboration with the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank, was held under the theme, “Acting on climate change for sustainable development in Africa.”

There is no gainsaying that climate change is one of the most challenging threats to sustainable development in Africa.

Although the continent contributes only about 3.8 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions, its countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change in the world due to many reasons.

First, the geographical location of many African countries is characterised by already warmer climate, marginal areas that are more exposed to climatic hazards such as rainfall variability, poor soils and flood plains.

Secondly, the economies of most African countries rely heavily on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, other natural resources and tourism.

Thirdly, the continent is unable to respond adequately to the direct and indirect effects of climate change because of widespread poverty, poor economic and social infrastructure, conflicts, limited human and institutional capacities, and inadequate technologies and financial resources.

Vulnerability to climate change in Africa is particularly high for the poor, who tend to live in environments that are most susceptible to droughts, floods and other extreme weather events.

It is against this background that ADF-VII was held to discuss and build consensus on how best Africa can cope with climate change through effective action on policies, strategies, programmes and practices.

“This forum offers an opportunity for various stakeholders to undertake a broad ranging discussion on all dimensions of climate change including the required leadership response while gaining an appreciation of the evidence and impact of this troubling phenomenon,” Mr Janneh said.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan noted that the challenges posed by climate change could result in widespread insecurity and conflicts both globally and on the continent.

These revolve around land use management, natural disasters in form of sea-level rise, flooding and water scarcity.

“Migration is already posing a major challenge both internationally and nationally, especially as environmental migrants are currently not provided for under the international law,” he said.

Climate change is one of Africa’s most daunting challenges, although its performance in the past two years shows some resilience.

According to the UN Under Secretary-General and executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa Abdoulie Janneh, Africa must speak with one voice in the next round of climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico next month.

“Given the scale of the problem and its impact on the continent, it is important to establish a consensual Africa-driven development agenda.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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