PAMACC News (NAIROBI, Kenya)
The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) has reiterated its commitment to exploring solution pathways to a cleaner and safer African environment, but the organisation requires the necessary resources to walk the talk.
The President of AMCEN and Gabonese Minister of Forest, Sea and Environment, Pacome Moubelet Boubeya, told environment journalists at the ongoing UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya December 5, 2017 that the organisation cannot play its role fully without the much needed finance and urged its member-states to clear their outstanding commitments to the conference.
Many of the AMCEN member-states have not been paying their annual contributions to the organisation, it was disclosed
«We know much is expected from AMCEN and we have a clear plan of action to drive our assigned role but we also need funds to do this, « says Pacome.
The President said the organisation was aware of the numerous environment and climate change challenges faced by African countries, promising to make sure they get the necessary support from AMCEN.
« Our mandate to accompany African governments, institutions provide advocacy for environmental protection in Africa, ensure that basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner is very clear, » Pacome explained.
He however added that many obstacles lie ahead of the implementation phase of AMCEN action plan, calling on the different governments to work in tandem with the organisation for the interest of Africa.
«Africa is rich, endowed with resources. We just need to believe in ourselves and work together to get what we want, » he said.
Accordingly, the measures adopted by AMCEN in seeking solutions to environmental concerns in Africa have consistently been participatory and consultative since its inception.
The President lauded the achievements of the organisation so far.
« The existence of AMCEN today impacts on the manner in which environmental issues are being handled in the region. It has among others contributed to strengthening Africa’s participation and active involvement both in global negotiations and in international agreements on the environment, » he noted.
Accordingly regular sessions of AMCEN have been convened every second year since its inception to discuss environmental and development issues.
It should be recalled that the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) was established in December 1985, following a conference of African ministers of environment held in Cairo, Egypt. Its mandate accordingly is to provide advocacy for environmental protection in Africa, ensure that basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner and that social and economic development is realized at all levels.
The method adopted by AMCEN in seeking solutions to environmental concerns in Africa has been participatory involving the different stakeholders. The President said they have also been very active at the UN general assembly of high-level policy makers and global experts on environmental management.
At the opening of one of the high level sessions, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta lauded the global leadership of sustainable management of the environment.
“Working together in the fight against environment abuse has become imperative. This is particularly important because we expect a more effective, efficient and responsive organisation, given the growing importance of the work to ensure a better future,” President Kenyatta said.
Taking note of the praise heaped on Kenya for its recent ban of plastic carrier bags, President Kenyatta encouraged other nations especially in Africa to also follow suit in this endeavour.
“My advice is that nations should not heed the sceptics, who say that all countries cannot protect our planet better by banning plastic carrier bags,” he said.