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Civil society and indigenous forest communities have expressed concerns over the accelerating decline of forests in African countries, and called on drastic measures to reverse the trend. 

Around 100 participants from 20 forest-dependent countries across Africa are meeting alongside the “African Climate Week” organised by the UN to share experiences and  exchange ideas on various efforts spearheaded by governments to address deforestation and forest degradation, popularly known as REDD, in Africa.

Welcoming the participants during the meeting, the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Mithika Mwenda decried the inertia in some governments, but appreciated innovative mechanisms that are being put in place to promote forest preservation.

He particularly pointed at the mechanisms Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) funded by the World Bank to support forest programmes in support of the global call for action against climate change.

It is not enough to agree, sign and adopt the Paris Climate Agreement,” he emphasised, “it is important to move beyond it and take action at local level, at communities we come from.”

“Climate Justice Movement is growing tremendously and we see how it is being energised by young people across the world,” he said, noting that this is the only way to bequeath a better planet to the next generation.

“It is our desire to contribute at this ACW and share our perspectives on the climate solutions and how they impact our livelihoods and environment,” he added.

Joseph Ole Simel, the Executive Director of the Indigenous organisation, Mainyoto Peoples Integrated Development organisation (MPIDO), which is co-hosting the meeting with PACJA, reiterated the strength in the collaboration among organisations and people sharing common heritage and challenges.

“The impact of climate change is affecting the vulnerable communities we represent here and thus we need to be very proactive as we cannot be spectators anymore,” he said, adding that Indigenous people in Africa will continue with such collaborative efforts until their visibility and impact is assured. “So far we are doing very well but I think we must do more”, he noted.

The workshop will facilitate regional exchange to encourage first-hand learning and sharing of experiences from civil society and forest-dependen IPs engagement in REDD+ processes, and from the Capacity Building Project being implemented by PACJA and MPIDO

The meeting is part of the activities implemented by PACJA and MPIDO, which are the intermediaries for the Pan African FCPF Capacity Building Program on REDD+ for CSOs and Forest dependent IPs supported by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank.

The two-day meeting seeks to enhance linkages with national REDD+ processes, identify challenges and best practices in forest preservation in Africa.

It will also broaden the conversation around the FCPF Capacity Building Program and broader REDD+ Readiness/ implementation process as well as strengthening the REDD+ community of practice among 18 FCPF Countries in Africa through.

Among the countries represented are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda. In addition to civil society and indigenous groups, government representatives from some countries also attended the meeting.

Background

Kenya’s economy is highly dependent on the natural resource base, and thus is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, resulting in increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts and flooding threaten the sustainability of the country’s development. ASALs are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts especially in the absence of sufficient investments in mechanisms to build resilience.

PACJA with support from Trocaire has for the last 2 years been implementing the Community Resilience and Climate change adaptation project in Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru areas which are currently under threat from land degradation and desertification caused by climatic variations and human impacts such as overgrazing of livestock, smallholder farming on poor soils, deforestation and unsustainable utilization of the scarce natural resources. Potential impacts include loss of biodiversity, threats to animal and plant species, change in vegetation composition and structure, decrease in forest coverage, rapid deterioration of land cover, and depletion of water quality and quantity through the destruction of catchments and underground aquifers.

 

Attached is the ,PROPOSED MONITORING SCHEDULE.

 

The PACJA Secretariat team is in Accra to provide support to its members, civil society and partners in the series of events organized under the auspices of the Africa climate week (ACW) 2019, hosted by the Government of Ghana between 18th and 22nd March.  The event, organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other partners including PACJA, seeks to broaden stakeholder engagement and will be instrumental in demonstrating that there is genuine international support for stepping-up climate action.

 The event brings together diverse actors from the public and private sectors and builds on the success of last year’s event especially key outcomes of COP 24 and the just-concluded UNEA4. Katowice Climate talks operationalized the climate change regime contained in the Paris Agreement as it includes guidelines that will implement the framework by setting out how countries will provide information about their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which includes mitigation and adaptation measures as well as details of financial support for climate action in developing countries.  Nairobi talks on the other hand (UNEA4) laid the groundwork for a radical shift to a more sustainable future, where innovation will be harnessed to tackle environmental challenges, the use of throwaway plastics will be significantly reduced, and development will no longer cost the earth.    

 In an effort to strengthen and build on the two outcomes, ACW 2019 becomes a wholly inclusive, “go-to” hub for showcasing groundbreaking action in the region, the event provides encouragement to the implementation of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement and climate action to deliver on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030.

 As a partner co-hosting the event, and bringing the climate justice perspectives, PACJA views ACW as a critical moment to interact and articulate the aspirations of civil society and local communities that constitute the bulk of its membership. The Alliance will seize this momentum to mobilise its vast constituency and to ensure that the voices of the most vulnerable – smallholder farmers, grassroots women, indigenous people, fisherfolk, youth, pastoralists, trade unions and small-scale social enterprises – are not only heard, but also influence and inform the outcomes of the ACW .

PACJA and partners have organized several sectoral and thematic convenings and side-events under the theme of the ACW; energy transition, nature-based solutions and cities and local actions. In addition to self-organised events, the Alliance will seek intervention in the official sessions organized to articulate the perspectives of various constituencies represented in the international climate dialogue processes. One key event during the ACW is the youth led side event which will provide African youth with an opportunity to interrogate their role in relation to intergenerational justice and equity. Furthermore, the youth will share ideas on how to enhance their engagement and clearly define their space in climate change discourse; through national positions on loss and damage or their stories and experiences from their own accounts of direct adverse impacts of climate change

For more information on Pacja Side events During ACW Click here

 

Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:00

STATEMENT ON THE ONE PLANET SUMMIT

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A workshop on Just Energy Transition and Access in Africa was convened as a pre-event of the One Planet Summit in Nairobi on the 12th of March 2019. It was convened through the partnership of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA) African Union, African Development Bank, UN Environment, the Society for International Development, Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Christian Aid.

President of the UN Environment Assembly and Minister of Environment of Estonia, Siim Kiisler has urged world nations to initiate policy change to tackle the problem of plastic pollution affecting the marine environment.

The calls coming amid revelation that, an average of 8 million tones of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans every year.

At Gigiri, Nairobi County the 4th session United Nations Environment conference kicked off with a moment of silence for the victims of Sunday’s Ethiopia Airlines crash that left 157 passengers dead.

At least 19 officials affiliated with the United Nation’s and who were on their way to the conference were among those killed in the crash.  The crush also took away the lives of 32 Kenyans who were en-route to Nairobi.

But the somber mood however did not distract the theme of the international environmental forum, with Siim Kiisler who also doubles as the Minister of Environment of Estonia, appealing for new policies, technologies and innovative solutions that would help reduce plastic pollution in the oceans.

Kiisler said the over 170 nations participating in Nairobi must consider Public-Private-Partnerships to protect marine environment to benefit from the blue economy.

“At this Assembly, we are focusing on how to consume and produce sustainably and on innovative solutions to address environmental challenges. Even more than anywhere, results in global environmental policy can only be achieved in collaboration. Evidence shows that we need to strengthen our efforts collectively and urgently”, he said.

He further said that over 2 billion people globally lack access to solid waste management services with 8 million tones of plastics making their way to the oceans annually.

UN Environment’s Acting Director Joyce Msuya called on nations to step up and deliver as a matter of urgency to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development.

Msuya reiterated the need for nations to embrace policy change to strengthen the global momentum on aquatic plastic litter.

She added that it will require political goodwill from those countries which have recently been blamed for being a gateway through which plastic bags are making their way to the country.

“We also need smart urban planning since a third of us live in the cities globally, in addition stop over reliance on fossil fuels as a primary source of energy to tackle challenges to the environmental conservation. We need to move quickly to a low carbon, green economy that by 2050 reduces fossil fuel use by 80%. It is time to be kinder to the environment in how we produce food, reducing the environmental impact of food production by two thirds”, she said.

She continued to say that the world needs to achieve a near- zero waste economy by 2050 that circularity must be the driving force of the future that we want.

Over 4,700 delegates including 8 heads of state and 88 ministers from over 170 countries are in attendance.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron are expected to grace the event later in the week when they will co-chair the One planet Summit.

 

 

Speakers on Friday, March 8, the second and last day of the 18th Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, highlighted issues of importance including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets maturing in 2020; a potential mismatch between the platforms for local communities and indigenous peoples intended by the
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties held in December 2018 in Katowice, Poland; climate justice and the dependence of indigenous peoples on their natural environment; and a perceived shift in priority from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for human rights to stronger investment in stakeholder interests.

Find Attached Day two Newsletter.

 

On Thursday, March 7th, Global Major Groups and Stakeholders’ forum opened with a reflection on the situation for Major Groups and Stakeholders since the 3rd UN Environment Assembly to present with a look toward the future. This reflection continued into the afternoon before the breakout sessions with a focused discussion on the engagement at UNEA-4 by the MGS. Inviting a dialogue with the UN Environment Executive Director was another point of discussion by the Major Groups and Stakeholders.

Find attached Day one Newsletter.

Thursday, 07 March 2019 00:00

TAKING OUR SPACE AT GLOBAL STAGE.

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The Global Major Groups and stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) has just kicked off at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi on at high note.

“The role of the civil societies in seeking solutions to climate change and global environmental issues that we are experiencing cannot be underestimated, we have a crucial role to play in not just supporting the progressive forces across the world but also holding governments responsible to the laws they pass affecting local people across the world.” Mithika Mwenda of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has said in his opening remarks.

PACJA is co-hosting the The Global Major Groups and stakeholders Forum in Nairobi.

Mithika has underscored the place of civil society in the global discussions and reiterated the civil society mantra of “Nothing without us”

Mr.Siim Kiisler, Minister of Environment of Estonia and UNEA President has also addressed the opening session. Kiisler has assured the Major Groups and Stakeholders that their voices will be heard and taken into account at the Assembly. He has also challenged stakeholders to pull together more, push and ensure that their positions are more robust and that their input in the various discussions has a cutting edge.

The opening session was also addressed by Mohamed Abdelraouf, Mrinalini Rai (Tina) and Khawla Al-Muhannadi. All of them have insiisted on the need for the major groups to pull together and push together for success in the agenda and interests of the groups and stakeholders.

Augustine Njamnshi, Technical & Political Affairs Committee at PACJA has  been offering valuable guidance as Chair and moderator of all the sessions from the Opening ceremony.

 

The Major groups and stakeholders will be holding their consultations for the next two days ahead of the United Nations Environmental Assembly that will be running from 11th – 15th at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi

“Addressing climate change requires collaborative efforts at both international, national, subnational levels, working in partnership with private sector, academia, civil society and communities, and no one should be left behind on any of the processes as the impact of climate Change is all encompassing.”Hellen Kuria, senior Programme Manager at PACJA said at the opening of the Post CoP 24 workshop at the Intercontinental in Nairobi.

Pan- African Climate Justice Alliance co-hosted the national stakeholders’ workshop on post 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 24), workshop on 28th February 2019 at Intercontinental hotel in Nairobi.

 The one-day meeting served as a platform to report back to the stakeholders of the Climate on the outcomes of CoP-24 outcomes as well as interrogate their implication for Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) implementation, climate change interventions and development initiatives.   

The UN Climate Change Conference (CoP24) took place from 2nd -14th December, 2018 in Katowice, Poland where the Kenya delegation was led by the Cabinet Secretary of Environment and Forestry Hon. Keriako Tobiko.  The civil society fraternity was ably represented by the PACJA family from across the continent.

Dr. Charles Mutai, Director Climate Change at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry highlighted that, CoP 24 was complex as most of the technical negotiations were unresolved and the CoP presidency had to intervene in a number of these cases. The outcome of CoP 24 is known as “The Katowice Climate Package” outlines the modalities, guidelines and procedures for operation and use of Public Registry, National Determined Contributions, (NDCs) enhanced framework for adaptation, transition of the Kyoto Protocol to Paris Agreement, and how to advance information on financial support to developing countries.

The Katowice Climate Change Conference was also the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 14); the Third Part of the 1st Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1-3) and 7th part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1.7). In addition, the 49th Sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies (SBSTA 49 and SBI 49) also took place at the same period.

 There is a general consensus among the Climate change fraternity that while CoP24 outcomes generally resonate with Kenya’s position for Climate change, commitment for support is weak there were critical decisions and outcomes realized during CoP24 which have implications on how Kenya implements and reports on her Climate Change initiatives which include the following.

 

  • There is need for common Portal for Mitigation and Adaptation. The interim registry to be presented to the parities by June 2019.
  • Establishment of Katowice Committee of Experts to develop a 6-year work plan on impacts of implementation of response measures. The committee of experts to review the work-plan by 15th April 2019
  • Adaptation communication will be part of the Nationally Determined Contributions in order to increase visibility and profile of adaptation. it should be voluntary, not post additional burden to countries and will be not be subjected to technical review. It should however be linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sendai framework to disaster risk reduction 2015 – 2030.
  • Public Registry pro-type to be developed by June 2019. Other stakeholders including, non-state actors, private sector can access the registry.
  • On means of implementation, there is need balance funding for adaptation and mitigation and  for predictability and transparency on climate finance. Developed countries will therefore provide information on support provided while developing countries will provide information on finance needs supported.  Collective quantified goal scale of funding is USD 100 per year and new target will be set in 2025.
  • Parties determined to keep adaptation a domestic matter. The Adaptation fund shall serve Paris Agreement under guidance of meeting of the parties (CMA). Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) shall be replaced by sustainable adaptation mechanism.
  • Education, training and awareness shall be called “Action on Climate Empowerment. Parties committed to capacity building and will be enhanced through regional, multilateral, and bilateral arrangements.
  • Linkages between technology development and financing mechanism was complemented at CoP 24.
  • Parties shall submit biennial transparency report and national inventory report.

Some of the Unresolved matters

  • There was no consensus on time frames for reviewing the Nationally Determined Contributions. Some are doing it in 5 years while others are proposing 10 years.
  • Transition to Clean Development Mechanisms while meeting safeguards that is addition of baseline requirements, environmental integrity and alignment of parties NDCs;
  • Sectors to include or exclude in the determining nationally determined contributions (NDCs) given the unique circumstances of countries.
  • Emissions trading systems – some countries are against commercialization of nature “mother earth”

The workshop brought together all stakeholders, from government, academic institutions, Private sector development partners, civil society organizations and grassroot organizations to reflect on the CoP 24 outcomes and their implications

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA has just completed a two-day workshop for middle-level and experienced science reporters and editors on Climate Change reporting in Nairobi.

The 18 young and experienced journalists both men and women drawn from10 Counties and have been keen and interested in environment and climate change issues. The journalists were drawn from urban and rural-based print and electronic media and got in-depth training that covered the key areas of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of the Paris Agreement, and climate finance. The overriding objective of the training was to build capacity of the science reporters to understand and report effectively on Climate Change.

This training is the 3rd in a series of capacity building endeavours from PACJA strategically designed to respond to the knowledge and information gap in society about climate change larger environmental and natural resources values and threats.

 In recognizing the value and space that journalists occupy in society PACJA uses a comprehensive knowledge management approach in creating awareness on effective climate/environmental threat coping mechanism and wise use of natural resources

The journalists expressed their expectations at the beginning of the workshop, some of which included; advance knowledge on Climate change, skills to pitch climate change and environmental stories that would get airtime.  They also expressed their desires to get content for their media outlets that create more awareness on climate change stories they could tackle and how they could make the communities understand why the climate was changing and how they could handle such situations and such change.

Mike O’maera, the Communications and Knowledge Management Officer at PACJA stated that Climate change is a development issue that should be given the necessary attention, with properly trained journalists who can articulate Climate Change issues competently. He pointed out that PACJA was working with all strata of society not only to bring awareness but also to enhance climate change legislation from local government levels all the way to regional and international circles.

While leading the journalists to reflect on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Jacob Olonde, of the University of Nairobi, urged the reporters to track the implementation of climate change projects in the country. He noted that “Most African media houses, science reporting is not a daily routine, unlike politics, business and sports, science reporting is generally placed on the fringes of mainstream journalism”.

Various deep-rooted factors tend to keep science at the bottom of news reporting. Olonde explained that Kenya submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution on 28th December 2016, when it deposited its instrument of ratification for the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Kenya’s NDC sets out an ambitious mitigation contribution of abating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2030.

 

Shakespear Awiri from Climate Finance Directorate at the National Treasury in Nairobi led the participants through the intrigues and the answers to the climate finance dilemma. He told the journalists that they should report on how the finances in the climate change sector are acquired and used in the country to tackle issues of climate change.  He pointed out that the National treasury is the best source for such information. He also explained some of the environmental projects that are ongoing in the country and Africa and how they could followed up on.

The workshop came to an end on the second day with the journalists taking turns to pick up assignments for their various media outlets. Mike O’maera, thanked the participants for responding positively to the call to attend the workshop albeit on a short notice. He said the training work-shop was a learning experience for all. He reiterated the need for maintaining the network of journalists and scientists to ensure accurate and sustained media coverage of climate change issues.

The journalists arrived at some key recommendations, which included, Strengthening relationship and trust between journalists and scientists through joint training. Secondly; they recommended supporting activities of existing and emerging national, regional and country or local Media Networks to help in promoting effective and responsible climate change reporting. They also recommended future trainings be long enough, should last at least five days so that more practical sessions, including field excursions to mitigation and adaptation activity sites can be accommodated.  Finally, they recommended facilitation of rural-based media outlets in terms of content to report more on climate change.

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