Climate Change (204)

KAMPALA, Uganda (PAMACC News) - African Parliamentarians challenged to push for a climate change legislative agenda African parliament through the Pan African Parliamentarian Network has been urged to initiate and influence a continental legislative agenda that will push climate change policies in their different countries.

African civil society organizations, Ugandan government representatives and other development stakeholders meeting at a regional consultative forum on Post Marrakech and the implementation of the Paris.

 Agreement April 19-21 in Kampala, Uganda were unanimous that the role of African parliamentarians in driving an African agenda for climate change was capital.

Hon Chebet Malkut, UNFCCC focal point and head of climate change department in the ministry of Environment and water in Uganda pointed out that putting in place the appropriate policies and institutional framework to drive Africa’s climate change agenda was cardinal.

This challenge he said falls squarely on the shoulders of African legislators who need to partner with civil society organizations led by PACJA for assured results.

“I believe a cross fertilization of ideas between African parliamentarians and civil society organizations will ease this task and this forum set the stage for such a project,” Chebet said.

The coordinator of PACJA-Uganda, Florence Kasule for her part lauded the interest and participation of a significant number of parliamentarians from Uganda in the forum, an indication of their interest in the climate fight.

“This a clear indication of the increasing engagement of legislators to drive through policies that will improve the fight against climate change,” she said.

Civil society experts hammered on the need to build alliances that will improve the momentum behind the climate change drive in Africa.

“Building a strong and united front in the fight against climate change is the way forward,” says PACJA secretary general Mithika Mwenda at the official opening of the regional COP22 consultative workshop.

He highlighted the growing threats to the climate change Paris Paris agreement with continuous shifting global politics and political ecological economy.

“ The implementation of the Paris Agreement faces the biggest threat from the United States after the stunning election of Danald Trump whose campaign platform hinges on the repeal of the Clean Air Act,” Mithika said.

He also criticized his appointment of an anti-climate administrator to the Environment Protection Agency, an indication of future roadblocks to climate change drive, he said.

Other speakers at the forum call on the need for a strong African voice that will influence climate actions on the ground, moving policies to realizable development projects especially in the areas of climate smart agriculture, renewable energy and other adaptable infrastructure.

“ Besides other priorities, climate change infrastructure projects should be at the top and this is the role of our legislators and civil society organizations to drive this agenda,” says Dr Mauwa Shadad.

The participants underscored the remarkable effort of PACJA in the coordination of CSO climate change policy processes and interventions across Africa With focused reflection and coordinated review of the COP 22  Marrakech outcome and Paris Agreement regime.

In some of the recommendations reached at the Kampala forum, the participants noted the continent’s conviction of moving from Commitment to Action with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) demonstrated by ratifying the Paris Agreement and its consequent entry into force, enhancing the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

They also showed deep concern about the continuous neglecting of adaptation needs of developing countries and inadequate levels of public climate finance, limited access to adaptation finance such demonstrated by the imbalance between financing of mitigation  and adaptation  within the Green Climate Fund.

Emphasis was also laid on the renewable energy drive considered to be the locomotive to drive Africa’s development pathways.

According to Njamnshi Augustine of PACJA Cameroon, Africa needs to break from the past and build stronger resilience for the fight against climate change to succeed.

KUMASI, Ghana (PAMACC News) - President Trump’s Executive Order on Climate Change will have far reaching impacts on many developing countries, especially on the African continent, which is already bearing the brunt of the negative impacts of climate change.
African Civil Society, under the umbrella of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), says reversing the Obama climate plan is one of the greatest injustices and an onslaught on Mother Earth, especially in the fight against climate change.
The Energy Independence Executive Order, signed by US President, Donald Trump on March 29, 2017, has been hailed by groups in the fossil fuels business, but condemned by environmental campaigners as over a dozen measures enacted by President Obama to curb climate change have been suspended.
“Trump’s Climate Change Executive Order is rolling back the many years of global efforts that yielded the Convention and the Paris Agreement. The global community and other world leaders should resist the temptation of following the footstep of Trump to take the world several steps back in the fight against climate change,” said Mithika Mwenda, PACJA Secretary-General.
For a safer world, countries that are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement will urgently need to raise their ambition to increase the level of their greenhouse emission reduction targets communicated to the UNFCCC and keeping the global temperature to below 1.5OC.
The current aggregate level of the communicated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are estimated to lead to the average global temperature increase above 30C by 2030, unless radical emissions reduction targets are urgently adopted by Parties.
The NDC of the United State of America submitted to the UNFCCC on March 31, 2015 commits USA to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 26%–28% below the 2005 level by 2025.
The US effort constitutes a part to the global comity of nations’ efforts to keep the planet safe.
“As one of the major contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions, the US continues to owe a huge ecological debt that can only be paid by the demonstration that it is committed to servicing this climate debt in an equitable, fair and just manner. Such efforts should align with the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capacity (CBDRC) of the Convention,” said a statement from PACJA.
African Civil Society is worried efforts to improve people’s vulnerability to climate change are being eroded by Trump’s Executive Order.
Currently, impacts of drought and famine in the Horn of Africa have led to deaths of humans and livestock in the region. Farmers in most parts of the Africa are feeling impacts of the changing climate in their agricultural production and productivity.
According to Sam Ogallah, Programme’s Manager at PACJA, Trump's action on climate change is likely to exacerbate the current migrant crisis.
"Climate change impacts are pushing many youth out of developing countries in search of better lives in developed countries. Some of these youth in an attempt to migrate to Europe have lost their lives. Addressing climate change in developing countries can go a long way to solving migrant crisis in Europe and other developed countries,” he said.

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (PAMACC News) - Parliaments in sub-Saharan Africa have established a framework that will see a rapid implementation of climate change policies in their different countries into practical ground actions.

The peoples’ representatives through the Pan African Parliamentarians’ Network on Climate Change, known with French acronym as REPACC say they are now set to bridge policy and actions on the ground that have so far lagged behind in visible climate change projects and infrastructure.

Even with the existence of climate change policies that continue to stay on paper and the creation of institutions that have continued to lay fallow, little or no actions are visible on the ground for most countries in sub-saran Africa, experts say.

“ It is time for action to move climate change challenges in Africa to a new level with adapted infrastructures and skills that will help find lasting solution,” says Cavaye Djibril, House Speaker of the National Assembly in Cameroon.

He said the countries in Africa,most of who submitted their NDCs and signed the Paris Agreement(to quantify climate protection goal) lack the necessary expertise to effect national measures and projects to make climate finance available for the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

African Parliamentarians say they have now got the backing of the Climate Policy and Energy Security Programme of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Germany with the training of the required expertise to formulate , prepare, supervise the implementation of projects to help their different countries adapt to climate impacts.

To that effect, a cooperation agreement was signed in Yaounde on March 27, between the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Pan African Parliamentarians’ Network on Climate Change to help fast-track measures needed to bridge climate policies into action in the different countries, to speed up the emergence of body of knowledge on climate and the relevant legislation and to manifest the role of parliamentarians in African climate change responses in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, globally, regionally and locally.

According to the President of the Permanent Executive Committee of the Pan African Parliamentarian Network on Climate Change (PAPNCC), Cameroonian born, Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian, the backing of  the German Konrad Foundation now gives African law makers the claws to better push climate policies to action.

“The Pan African Parliament for Climate Change will hence be better armed for actions that will bring m the much expected solutions to climate change challenges,” Awudu said.

Professor Olivier Ruppel, resident representative and director, climate policy and energy programme of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung said technical expertise, financial support with help in the infrastructure development and international cooperation needed by African countries to implement climate change projects on the ground.

Cameroon created the Cameroon Councils against Climate Change, National Observatory on Climate Change in 2011 aimed at monitoring the effects of climate change on people, agriculture and ecosystems, and guiding work on climate action.

Other policy actions have since followed  like the creation of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction under the ministry of territorial administration, becoming a member of COMIFAC and submitting a national REED+ plan in 2013 etc. But these have not succeeded to hold the line of climate disasters in the country, officials noted.

Like in Cameroon, Parliamentarians in the continent believe with the active involvement of law makers and support from their new partner, the necessary actions including relevant legislation will bring a lasting solution to climate change impacts in the country in particular and  sub-saharan Africa in general.

KIGALI, Rwanda (PAMACC News) - African Union Commission has embarked on continent-wide training program to equip various government environmental experts with knowledge on guidelines of how to benefit from Africa Union grants for earth observation.

The Coordinator of the Global Monitoring Environment and Security in Africa under AU, Dr Tidiane Ouattara said the training, which kicked off in Kigali, Rwanda involving environmental experts from the Eastern Africa region including the Indian Ocean Islands is the first in a series organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) to be conducted in five regions of the continent.

“We are meeting in Kigali with delegates from the Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands to provide them with information on grants for the Global Monitoring Environment and Security in Africa (GMES & Africa) initiative.

The GMES & Africa is a cooperation initiative between Africa and Europe in earth observation. First launched in 2007, the initiative avails an opportunity for Africa to utilize Europe’s earth observation services. The initiative seeks to promote development of local capacities, institutional, human and technical resources for sustainable development in Africa.

The earth observation initiative aims to provide sustainable, reliable, and timely space-derived environmental and security information to the public and policy-makers at national, regional and continental levels.

Dr Tidiane Ouattara said, the initiative has nine thematic areas but aseries of consultation with stakeholders led to prioritization of three themes under two services which are Water & Natural Resources and Marine & Coastal Areas to be implemented in the first phase.

GMES & Africa is a €30 million program with the EU providing €29.5 million while the AU will contribute €0.5 million. The coordinator noted that, €17.5 million is earmarked for grants and another part of the money will be paid to European institutions for their technical support and the reminder used for coordination of the program.

The coordination unit advised participants that to access the grants, institutions should work together to gain more credibility. The projects accessing the grant are also required to have at least 20% in funds or other necessary materials for executing their projects.

Grants will be awardedafter rigorous evaluationsusing AUC procurement procedures, to institutions that will act as regional outlets on the identified applications. Applicants encouragedto access the grants include academic, public and private institutions in the area of earth observation.

Among the participants at the meeting is Dr Gaspard Rwanyizire, the Director of the Centre for Geographical Information System (CGIS) at the University of Rwanda. CGIS deals with disaster management and maps by analyzing and advice on land.

“As far as Rwanda is concerned, these grants can support to solve problems related to disaster management through innovative technologies, underlined Dr Rwanyizire. “The negative effects of climate change in the region can also be addressed.”

After the meeting in Kigali this weekend, the AU training team is scheduled to travel to other different regions of Africa. The West Africa region meeting will be in Dakar from 22 to 23 February; North Africa in Egypt from 27 to 28 February; Central Africa in Libreville (Gabon) from 06 to 07 March and the Southern Africa region meeting in Gaberone (Botswana) from 09 to 10 March 2017.

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