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The Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) leads the Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) programme in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), under the DGIS strategic framework.

V4CP is working with 51 locally-based civil society organisations (CSOs) around the world to bridge the gap between the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their implementation within society, especially amongst low-income and marginalised communities. It does so by strengthening the capacity of CSOs to influence stakeholders and decision-makers with solid and contextualised evidence in order to get the interests of communities embedded into government and business policies and practices.http://www.snv.org/update/story-change-including-pastoralists-voices-formulating-climate-related-policies-kenya

The just concluded African Union Summit in Addis Ababa has ended on a high note with key recommendations among them the ones contributed by PACJA and partners from the high-level summit that was held on the sidelines of the summit in Addis Ababa on 8-9th February, 2019.

From the communique that was developed by PACJA and the team of experts the heads of states Summit has picked the following recommendations

  • Urged parties to the Paris Agreement to recognize the special circumstances and needs of African countries, in line with the relevant and previous decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties, and called upon the incoming presidency of the Conference of the Parties to continue with the consultations, with a view to reaching a decision in that regard by the twenty-fifth session of the Conference of the Parties, and requested the AGN to continue pursuing the issue.
  • Urged developed countries to continue to scale up mobilized climate finance towards achieving the 2020 finance goal through private and public funds to deliver on the US$100 billion annually, building on the needs of developing countries and enhancing the country ownership of developing countries, and further enhance the provisions of predictable and sustainable finance building on the floor of the 100 billion USD annually
  • Encouraged African countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal protocol as a vehicle to strengthen efforts to tackle climate change.

The full Recommendations from the 32nd Session of the AU Summit are attached below in both English and french.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa is responsible for a mere four per cent of global CO 2 emissions.  Yet, no continent is equally affected by the double burden of climate change and political fragility as Africa. A recent study by United States Agency for International Development shows that globally 57 per cent of the countries facing the highest double burden of climate exposure and political fragility risks are located in sub-Saharan Africa 

African societies, moreover, face socioeconomic and political challenges, such as endemic poverty, weak and corrupt governance structures, protracted conflicts, demographic pressures and urbanization. These issues alone overwhelm the capacity of many African states to achieve goals within the AU’s long-term strategic framework ‘Agenda 2063’.

The evidence is clear—climate-related changes compound social and political challenges. Africa’s high vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is due to African economies’ dependency on agriculture, a sector acutely affected by climate fluctuations. The risks that ensue include that of violent conflict—which in itself is an additional push factor for migration and forced displacement.

These findings have been collaborated by high level discussions organized by Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on the sidelines of the 32nd Session of the African Union Summit.  The side event convened to discuss the implications of CoP24, its outcomes on responding to climate-induced human insecurity in Africa brought together drawn from the United Nations, the environmental civil society organisations, academia and African governments.  They observed that apart from grappling with poor agricultural productivity due to poor climatic conditions, human displacement has had untold impacts on nearly all the African economies.

Harsen Nyambe Nyambe of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the AUC observed that the cost of climate change to GDP is escalating due to reduced agricultural productivity and higher costs of adaptation, in a speech read on his behalf at an event.

Globally, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) points out that an average of 22.5 million people have been displaced each year by climate or weather-related disasters in the last seven years, equivalent to 62,000 people every day

“In my country Rwanda, the government has always been forced to move hundreds of families each year to safer grounds, and these are budgets that we have not planned for,” said John Bideri, the Chair of the PACJA Board, an organisation that brings together over 1000 climate related civil society organisations .

He observed that many other people have as well been forced to move to other continents as refugees due to climate related hostilities and phenomena. “Why are people moving away from Africa, and yet, Africa is the most endowed continent on earth?” he paused.

Bideri says that the only way to reverse the situation will be by reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but again, the developed world must provide finances to help Africa cope with the prevailing situation, given that Africa has contributed the least towards emission of greenhouse gas emissions. “We should continue playing our roles as African countries, but also demand for our rights,” Bideri told experts in Addis Ababa.

Already, Africa is experiencing higher warming and more extreme weather events, leading to disruptions in ecosystems, economies and livelihoods. These disruptions are in turn causing new insecurities in the populations of the continent, leading to conflicts, displacements and dis-empowerment.

The high-level meeting was addressed by James Murombedzi, Officer in Charge, ACPC, UNECA

Who welcomed the participants to Addis Ababa and officially opened by the PACJA’s Executive Director, Mithika Mwenda ,Others who addressed the high-level consultations and shared insights include, Augustine Njamnshi, the Chair of the Technical and Political Affairs Committee, Mr. Gebru Jember Endalew, Chair of the Least Developed States (LDC) Group, Prof. Seth Osafo, Legal Advisor, African Group of Negotiators, Stanislas Stephen Mouba, UNFCCC Deputy Focal Point, National Climate Council from the Republic of Gabon and Alvin Munyasia, Oxfam International

 The experts from the African Climate Change community also took time to examine how adequate the outcomes of the COP24 the “Katowice Climate Package” is in driving effective actions to address climate-induced human insecurity in Africa.   the discussions were crystallized into a communique that was shared with the African Heads of States during their Summit.

 

 

PACJA and ACPC/UNECA are gearing up for a high level side event on the sidelines of the upcoming 2019 African Union Summit in Addis Ababa running from 8-9th February that will interrogate the nexus between climate change and migration in the continent.  This is in line with the declared theme of AU as the year of Refugees Returnees and Internally displaced persons

 

This is in the background that large numbers of people are already and will be displaced from their homes and land through the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, sea level rise and depletion of drinking waters and other vital resources. Furthermore, the unplanned and planned displacement of people as a result of climate change triggers multiplies stress factors, including conflict. Governments are beginning to act: COP24 adopted a landmark set of recommendations to respond to the growing risk of displacement linked to climate change Yet, without far stronger efforts to reduce emissions, tens or hundreds of millions more people in Africa and the rest of the world  face displacement.


Critically, developed countries remain evasive on their responsibility to support African countries to adapt and mitigate the effects of the climate change crisis and to provide assistance to these vulnerable communities – for example public climate finance for Least Developed Countries(LDCs) and adaptation is being neglected, and grants are being increasingly replaced by loans.  This should ring bells of concern in the context of warnings about the rising burden of debt that already causing multiples challenges in some African Countries and the future African debt crisis in general. CoP24 agreed rules designed to give the confidence that long promised support will be delivered, yet loopholes remain, and follow-up work is needed to ensure additional and adequate support reaches those those who need it most
Appropriate strategies should be advanced to address the causes of climate-displacement, and to take measures for these people’s resettlement and rehabilitation in a dignified way. More importantly, adequate assistance and protection for people who are displaced internally and
across borders should be availed through appropriate policies and programs.The 2019 African Union theme, “the year of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons” is thus an opportunity to raise the profile and make climate migration more prominent
than ever. This is the year for African policy makers to provide guidance and build
understanding on the subject.

The recommendations made at the CoP24 ask countries to consider creating new laws and policies to deal with displacement, to enhance data collection and research on migration, and to consider the needs of migrants themselves—and of the communities where they end up. The high level event hosted by ACPC/UNECA and PACJA will deeply reflect on the trends and conversations on the nexus between climate change, displacement, migration and conflict, and come up with recommendations for the Heads of State Summit. A way forward and plan of
action for subsequent conversations and outreach will also be developed.

 

 

 

 

The theme Innovative solutions, covering policies, financing, technologies, partnerships and multi-stakeholder processes – are key both to solving many environmental challenges, as well as accelerating sustainable development more generally. This recognition of the need of transformative change to support Agenda 2030, already highlighted in at the 2nd and 3rd sessions of the UN Environment Assembly, directly underpins the choice of the overarching theme for the fourth session of the Environment Assembly by Member States in Nairobi in March 2019. 

The UNEA IV will be preceded by the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) which will take place on 7th -8th March, 2019. This will forum facilitates Major Groups and Stakeholders’ participation in the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP and associated meetings.  This year’s forum is being facilitated by PACJA alongside the Civil Society Unit of UNEP. 

Accredited Major Groups to United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP are automatically invited to the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF). During the Regional Consultative Meetings (RCMs), Major Groups’ organisations select representatives of each of the six UNEP regions which cover the entire globe.

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