Sustainable Development

Abidjan, 5 June 2023 - Individuals, communities, civil society, businesses and governments around the world today marked World Environment Day with a focus on solutions to plastic pollution, with official celebrations held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with the support of the Netherlands.

The focus on solutions to plastic pollution this World Environment Day is particularly timely, following the recent conclusion of a second round of negotiations on a global agreement to end plastic pollution in France.


2023 marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day, after it was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. Over the past five decades, with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the helm, the day has grown to be one of the largest global platforms for environmental outreach. Tens of millions of people participate online and through in-person activities, events and actions around the world.


“Plastic is made from fossil fuels – the more plastic we produce, the more fossil fuel we burn, and the worse we make the climate crisis. But we have solutions,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his World Environment Day message. “We must work as one – governments, companies, and consumers alike – to break our addiction to plastics, champion zero waste, and build a truly circular economy.”


Speaking at the official event at Espace Latrille Events Deux Plateaux in Abidjan, Mr. Jean-Luc Assi, Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, said: “Côte d'Ivoire issued a decree in 2013 banning the production, import and marketing, possession and use of plastic bags. It has supported businesses in switching to reusable and biodegradable packaging. The country's largest city, Abidjan, has also become a hub for start-ups looking to beat plastic pollution. They are being encouraged. So let's all be aware of the need to combat plastic pollution. Let's act now and all say stop to plastic pollution.”

“World Environment Day helps to highlight the urgent challenges we currently face. Challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Plastic pollution touches on all three of those challenges,” noted Vivianne Heijnen, Netherlands’ Minister for the Environment. “It’s crucial that we continue raising awareness, collecting best practices, and ensuring commitment from all stakeholders. I hope that this edition of World Environment Day will prove to be a landmark event in our collective fight to beat plastic pollution.”


Humanity produces over 430 million tonnes of plastic annually, two-thirds of which are short-lived products that soon become waste. While the social and economic costs of plastic pollution range between $US300 to US$600 billion per year.

According to a recent UNEP report, Turning off the Tap, plastic pollution could reduce by 80 per cent by 2040 if countries and companies make deep policy and market shifts using existing technologies.


“For the sake of the planet’s health, for the sake of our health, for the sake of our prosperity, we must end plastic pollution. This will take nothing less than a complete redesign of how we produce, use, recover and dispose of plastics and products that contain them,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of (UNEP). “How the world produces, consumes and disposes of plastic has created a disaster. But it is one we can end by turning off the tap on plastic pollution. On World Environment Day, I call on everybody to join the global movement. And help us beat plastic pollution, once and for all.”


At the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on plastic pollution in Paris, France, the INC Chair was given the mandate to prepare a zero draft of an international, legally binding agreement on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.


In February 2022, at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2), a historic resolution (5/14) was adopted to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment with the ambition to complete the negotiations by end of 2024. The instrument is to be based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastic. The third session of the INC will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2023.


Action on plastic pollution

Across the world, in the lead up to, and on World Environment Day, the momentum for global action is clear. This World Environment Day Map showcases innovative, community-driven solutions to reduce plastic pollution. Hundreds of activities have been registered, from beach clean-ups in Mumbai to cloth-bag sewing workshops in Ghana and zero-plastic-waste live concerts in Atlanta.


The International Air Travel Agency and UNEP announced a Memorandum of Understanding, aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to address sustainability challenges in the aviation industry. Reduction of problematic single use plastics products and improving the circularity in the use of plastics by the aviation industry is the initial focus of the partnership.


At a World Environment Day event at the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Global Public Transport Summit, in Barcelona, Spain, UNEP and the UITP unveiled a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise their partnership, with a strong focus on environmental and sustainability awareness raising across public transport networks.


With the support of UNEP, Jyrgalan, a village in the Kyrgyz Republic, recently inaugurated its first waste collection facility; the facility aims to address the village’s growing waste challenges – brought on by increased tourism - through building capacity for small businesses and strengthening the role of women in decision-making.


In Panama, under the leadership of UNEP representatives of the Panamanian government, UN offices at the regional and national levels and civil society, including youth organizations, committed to reduce plastic waste both in their offices and their communities.


In Greece, thanks to training from the non-profit enterprise Enaleia, fishers from 42 ports have stopped littering and instead recover marine plastic with their nets. Co-founded by Lefteris Arapakis, a UNEP Young Champion of the Earth for Europe, Enaleia recently announced that it will now start working in Egypt and Spain and scale up its activity in Kenya and Italy.


The Kenya Plastics Pact released new industry guidelines on recyclability for plastic packaging. The guidelines aim to provide clear recommendations to decision-makers on how to design plastic packaging to be compatible with and future mechanical recycling infrastructure.


In New York, an art project made entirely of plastic waste will be launched at the World Trade Center. In India, screen stars and famous musicians have come together to create a music video and share messages to encourage more people to take action against plastic pollution. In Kazakhstan, local music group Great Steppe released a music video to mark the Day and highlight the environmental damage the Aral Sea is suffering, while a UN-supported sustainable fashion and art event in Almaty showcased pieces made from recycled materials.

Airports and transport networks around the world, from China and Indonesia to Chile and the United States, as well as billboards in Times Square and Piccadilly Circus broadcast World Environment Day messages, bringing awareness to millions of passengers and citizens of the importance of action to curb the menace of plastic pollution.

Hundreds of thousands of people participated in World Environment Day online, with the day’s hashtags #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatPlasticPollution trending at number one and two respectively on Twitter. More than 50,000 people downloaded UNEP’s Beat Plastic Pollution Practical Guide.

These events, actions and exhibits, taking place in community centres, schools, businesses and homes, illustrate how individuals and communities are important drivers of environmental action. They can spur governments, cities, financial institutions and industries to use their capacity to invest in and implement large-scale solutions to overcome and reverse the plastic pollution crisis.

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Members of the governing council of the African Forest Forum, AFF have expressed the need for ambitious transformational actions by all actors in forestry in Africa, including regional and sub-regional organizations , other stakeholders, to achieve the institutions goals and targets of raising the profile of African Forestry.

 Accordingly, one of the core functions of the AFF is to strengthen high level political engagement, with the participation of major groups and other stakeholders in support of sustainable forest management.

“ African Forest Forum commits to sustainable management, wise use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources for the socio-economic well-being of its peoples and for the stability and improvement of its environment,” reads the organizations release at the 18th session of the governing council meeting in Nairobi Kenya 30-31 March, 2023.

In this regard, the governing council  and the technical support team in their working document outlined work plan blue print with proposals  that will improve forest management, reversing the loss of forest cover, enhancing forest-based economic, social, and environmental benefits and  mobilizing financial resources and strengthening scientific and technical cooperation; promoting governance frameworks to advance implementation of both local and regional projects.

According to Mcarthy Oyebo President of AFF governing council, the organization should forge ahead with its mission of information sharing and expertise,” create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote economic and social development and protect the environment”

Opening the session, the chair announced the inclusion of new members into the council from the media, research and academia.

AFF he said was the real power house in forestry thinking in Africa, calling on the body map out innovative ways to make to make forest part of the continent’s economy.

“The potential of forestry to pull investors and drive the economy of the continent is huge. The myriad of opportunities in the forestry sector should be fully exploited. Investors want to see return of their investments, so AFF should look beyond conservation and think business” Mcarthy said.

According to AFF executive secretary, the organization has since creation been spearheading a series of pan-African initiatives on how forest and trees can be better conserved to supports livelihoods, improve national  and individual incomes and the environment, adding that Africa Forest Forum main focus has always been centering on people and the environment they live in.

“The forests and trees outside the forests are resources that must be managed sustainably and used judiciously. This is the only way we can address the needs of the people and improve the environment,” Prof. Godwin Kowero said at the opening of the session.

Among other things, AFF has been looking at how African countries are integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation options in the forestry sector and how this process is progressing. It has also looked at how national forest governance is responding to the Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiative, the capacity for implementing REDD+ activities sub-Sahara African countries , exploring the use of dryland resources and commodities to promote nature-based entrepreneurship opportunities that could enhance livelihoods, national incomes, and employment; specifically focusing on natural gums and resins, among others, Professor Kowero explained.

 The African Forest Forum (AFF) is a Pan-African non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an association of individuals who share the quest for and commitment to the sustainable management, use, and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for the socio-economic wellbeing of its people and for the stability and improvement of its environment.

DAR-ES-SALAAM, (PAMACC News)The Government of Tanzania intends to develop a Marine Spatial Plan to guide all economic activities within the Indian Ocean in order to reap greater benefits from a more sustainable blue economy.

The Marine Spatial Plan will encompass all activities in the ocean, including fishing (small scale and deep sea), aquaculture and marine products, seaweed farming, construction of strategic infrastructure for ports and sea transport, seafood and fish processing, oil and gas extraction, and beach tourism and water sports.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Vice President’s Office, Ms. Mary Maganga, the plan will deliver more benefits from the ocean to communities and the nation through sustainable practices while strengthening the blue economy.

To set the foundation for the plan, a pre-feasibility study has been concluded. Commissioned by The Nature Conservancy and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the study reviewed the current status of marine spatial planning in the country and the state of policy, legal and administrative frameworks. It proposes a roadmap for developing the plan.

Speaking at a workshop in Dar-es-Salaam to validate the pre-feasibility study, Ms. Maganga said: “The marine spatial planning is part of the solution to bring about the sustainable use of our ocean resources and open economic and employment opportunities based on proper management of the environment and dealing with climate change”.

The two-day workshop brought together ocean users, government officials, development partners, as well as local and international NGOs.

The Nature Conservancy’s Tanzania Country Director, Ms. Lucy Magembe told the workshop that 25 marine spatial plans have been implemented worldwide and have proven to be a practical approach for engaging communities, stakeholders, and governments to expand marine protection, meet conservation goals, and improve sustainability of both economic and non-commercial activities.

"We are working closely with the Government of Tanzania and other partners to manage human activities in the ocean to ensure they are sustainable. The Marine Spatial Plan will ensure that communities around the ocean benefit from it, while protecting the environment," added Ms. Magembe. 

The pre-feasibility study was funded by the German Government’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative, as part of a five-year (2021-2025) regional project entitled 'Strengthening the Blue Economy of the WIO through the integration of ecosystem services and effective biodiversity conservation’ covering Tanzania, Kenya, Seychelles, and Mauritius.

LOME, Togo (PAMACC News) - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a dual-currency Trade Finance Line of Credit for ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) comprising $50 million and EUR 50 million. An additional co-financing of $30 million for the credit line will come through the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

EBID will use the three-and-a-half-year facility to provide direct financing to local corporates. Part of the facility will also be channelled through select local banks for on-lending to key sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, and transport. The ultimate beneficiaries will be Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(SMEs), local enterprises cooperatives and farmers in the West Africa region.

Speaking soon after the Board approval, the Deputy Director General for the West Africa Region, Joseph Ribeiro noted that regional development finance institutions like EBID are key partners of the African Development Bank and serve markets and client segments critical to the overall development of the continent.

“They play an important role in promoting trade and regional integration. This is the Bank’s first financing support to EBID, and we look forward to an even stronger partnership in the near future,” he said.

The Bank’s Head of Trade Finance, Lamin Drammeh, stressed the critical need for such support in the region. “We are excited to work with EBID to increase access to trade finance in the ECOWAS region with a special focus on the agriculture value chain, SMEs and women-owned businesses”, he said. “Regional institutions like EBID complement the Bank’s efforts to bridge the trade finance gap in Africa and serve as an effective conduit for channeling much-needed funds to underserved countries and sectors”, he added.

The African Development Bank estimates the annual trade finance gap for Africa to be around $81 billion. Compared to multinational corporates and large local corporates, SMEs and other domestic firms have greater difficulty in accessing trade finance.

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