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News and Updates

WHAT NEXT AFTER CoP24?

Representatives from across the world gathered in Katowice, Poland, for the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They set the course for action on climate change by discussing the implementation plan for the 2015 Paris Agreement which aims to coordinate international effort to reducing global warming with the target of  at 1.5°C.

While negotiators and observers breathed a sigh of relief that COP24 delegates managed to reach an agreement that will keep the Paris Agreement on climate change on track, many also acknowledged that the rules now in place are a far cry from what will be required to prevent dangerous climate change and help vulnerable countries adapt.

Every country had its expectation and position paper; Kenya, and Africa in particular, expected Katowice climate talks to come up with a strong decision on issues like ‘loss and damage’ to protect vulnerable communities at the frontlines. A section of stakeholders accused developed countries of blocking any link between loss and damage and finance, right across the guidelines.

 The Katowice Package confirmed that whatever the cost, the climate action burden will be borne by the world’s poor, rather than those responsible –The rich countries, who have abandoned their moral and legal obligations yet again!

It is in connection with this that Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) will hold a one-day workshop to engage participants on the key outcomes of COP24 especially on the agreed rules to implement the Paris Agreement that will come into effect in 2020.The workshop will also interrogate the overall Country performance at COP24, the Outcomes and implications to the country and Africa in the short and long-term.

This one day workshop will take place in Nairobi and is expected to bring together all stakeholders in the climate discourse, government, academia and Non state actors.

 

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Global Major Groups and Stakeholder Forum (GMGSF-18)

 

 

 

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) will co-host the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, which facilitates the participation of civil society in the UN Environment Assembly and associated meetings. This event will take place prior to the fourth meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA- 4), which it taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 11-15 March 2019.

This year’s Forum will benefit from the outcomes of the preceding Regional Consultative Meetings. The outcomes and results of those meetings are direct inputs by Major Groups and Stakeholders into the Assembly’s preparatory processes as well as actual proceedings.

The Forum will prepare participants for the Assembly and associated meetings, identify important themes and decisions under consideration by the Assembly, and will provide a platform for an exchange of views and expertise on these themes between governments and Major Groups and Stakeholders, as well as UN Environment.

The Forum will also focus on the main theme of the Assembly “Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Production and Consumption” and will link it to the “Towards a Pollution Free Planet” theme of the previous Assembly allowing Major Groups and Stakeholders to contribute with their unique expertise to the inter-governmental decision-making process.

Some of the outcomes that were made during the 17th GMGSF include;

  • The major groups and stakeholders applauded UNEA for the introduction of an online resolutions platform and facilitating of major groups access to the resolutions negotiations processes. This has enabled the major groups to provide inputs as they are developed.
  • The stakeholders expressed their disappointment on the stakeholder engagement policy not being on the agenda of the UNEA 3 assembly. They stated that it was important to have transparent, progressive and proactive policies for stakeholder’s engagement in national decision-making processes.
  • They also expressed their disappointment in the budget allocated for stakeholders’ engagement in UNEA3.They stated that the budget allocated was only half as much as for the last Unite Nations Environment assembly. They urged member states to take up their responsibility to obtain more funding for UNEA.

 

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ONE PLANET SUMMIT

Kenya will host world leaders, heads of state, business leaders and non-state actors in the Third edition of the one planet summit in Nairobi. The summit will be co-chaired by president Uhuru Kenyatta and France president Emmanuel Macron during the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), on 14 March 2019.

The summit Organized by the Government of France, with the UN, the World Bank Group and Bloomberg Philanthropies, aims to accelerate and step-up climate action to deliver high-impact outcomes for African populations and to protect biodiversity in Africa. While Africa is responsible for only 4% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, 65% of the African population is considered to be directly impacted by climate change. This first regional edition of the One Planet Summit will therefore highlight the unique role of Africa as a global partner facing both challenges and opportunities, in particular in the field of innovative solutions for adaptation and resilience.

The second edition of the One Planet Summit reviewed progress on commitments taken in 2017 and announced a variety of new initiatives to accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The report titled, ‘One Planet Summit: The Review of the Commitments,’ released at the conclusion of the event, describes 30 actions being taken under 12 broader commitments that span 150 countries. https://www.oneplanetsummit.fr/sites/default/files/2018-09/OneplanetSummit_ReviewOfTheCommitments_VGB_1.pdf The report also describes announcements and commitments made at the 2017 One Planet Summit, reviews accomplishments and implementation to date, and outlines next steps to be taken.

Some of the announcements made at the second edition of the summit include establishment of research innovative agendas to build on support climate action, lead efforts on climate finance, encourage more climate friendly and sustainable finance innovations.  https://www.oneplanetsummit.fr/sites/default/files/2018-09/Fact%20Sheet%20Annoucements%20-FINAL%20V4_0.pdf

 The Summit will bring together high-level officials and inspiring voices from youth, and civil society to showcase concrete achievements and breakthrough initiatives, and trigger new coalitions and commitments.

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CLOSING THE SCIENCE GENDER GAP IN TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS.

Boosting the number of women and girls entering careers involving science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, UN chief António Guterres said in a message to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science..

Each year in February, the United Nations marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. It’s a chance to reflect on how the situation has improved for women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM), and how much remains to be done. The day of February11th was established in 2015 is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technological communities and that their participation should be strengthened.

Recent studies show that, while more girls are attending school than before, they are under-represented in STEM subjects and they appear to lose interest as they reach adolescence. Women are mostly under-represented in STEM careers despite the high number of females graduating from university in the fields.  For example, in Kenya, slightly more than 35% of the 6,664 doctors and dentists registered with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and dentists board by 2018 are women. Figures from UNESCO indicate that the representation of women researchers is also low in other science fields in Kenya. The exclusion of women from STEM is not unique to Kenya but common around the world.

Women and girls’ voices and expertise in science, technology and innovation are vital to bring solutions to disruptive change in our rapidly evolving world. We urgently need to close the gender gap in STEM fields and promote gender equality in the respective careers.

In the recent months we have seen young women and girls around the world being vocal in calling for action to combat climate change. When 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg charged World Economic Forum attendees in Switzerland to ‘act as if our house is on fire’, she was voicing sentiments similar to many of her age.

When women have the educational and leadership opportunities to pursue careers in STEM, they have influenced the development of policies, programs, and inventions that have changed our world. We cannot afford to leave the talent and contributions of half the world’s population on the table. Advancing women’s participation in STEM to ensure a new generation of female scientists follows in the footsteps of these pioneers is a national security and moral imperative.

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