Environment and government representatives from Africa have now committed to promote and invest in innovative solutions to overcome environmental challenges facing the continent.
In a ministerial declaration issued on Thursday at the closing of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), African governments agreed to enhance innovative environmental solutions and capacity building of human capital to achieve sustainable development in Africa.
Speaking on behalf of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Keriako Tobiko, Environment CS said:” It is important to note that environment is the foundation and the basis of the social and economic development of our countries.”
“I challenge you to come up with ways of enhancing the wealth from our rich biodiversity in forests, rangelands, wildlife and marine resources,” he added.
Under the theme “Turning environmental policies into action through environmental solutions”, the ministers came together from September 17 to 19 to mobilize political support and committed to integrate innovative solutions into their countries’ national development agendas.
At the conference, ministers stressed the need to empower innovators, the private sector, micro-small and medium enterprises and civil society to use new approaches to address environmental challenges.
They agreed to support Pan-African platforms on the environment to promote and share experiences and solutions across the continent.
“Public-private sector partnership will have to play a key role in embracing innovation and turning environmental policies into concrete actions to achieve the objectives of the AU Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Minister Ouafi added.
Addressing the Conference, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said, “Environment is central to human health; every year almost 12.6 million people die from hidden risks in the environment.” He called on African governments to put human and environmental health at the centre of policymaking in all sectors.
Through its strong convening power, it brings together African Governments to deliberate on common positions on important environmental issues for the region.
During the session, African Governments recognized the urgent need to combat land degradation and restore ecosystems in Africa. A Pan-African action agenda is being prepared to respond to land and ecosystems degradation challenges.
The Ministers agreed to develop common positions on various priority issues and speak with one voice during the upcoming 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference which will be held in Egypt in November 2018.
The priorities will inform the post-2020 biodiversity framework and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
On Climate Change, the Ministers stressed that the outcomes of COP24 should reflect the spirit of the Paris agreement.