Monday, March 4, 2024

African CSO’s to engage in climate change dialogue

A statement from Botswana Climate Change Network indicates that the world is engaged in critical negotiations that will lead to adoption of a post-2015 development agenda, including a set of sustainable development goals that will chart a path for the next generation of development.

Consequently, various stakeholders will spend this weekend discussing Climate Change and Sustainable Development at Somarelang Tikologo Ecological Park. The dialogue is a follow-up to the 20th Session of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) held in Lima ÔÇô Peru from 1stÔÇô 12th December, 2014. It also serves as a platform for Civil Society and relevant stakeholders to build-up momentum towards the 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP).

“The dialogue will offer attendants an opportunity to deliberate on substantive issues of importance to Africa as a follow-up to the key outcomes of the Rio+20 Summit and chart a way for the Post 2015 development agenda,” said Somarelang Tikologo.

The dialogue also prepares for African Ministerial Conference and Pre African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN)- Civil Society Consultative Workshop to be held from 2-6 March 2015 in Cairo, Egypt, which will focus on harnessing Africa’s natural capital, taking into consideration the region’s diverse biodiversity and ecosystems. Accordingly, the session will be held under the theme: “Managing Africa’s Natural Capital for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication”.

“This, in a nutshell, brought to the fore the crucial role played by Governments and all relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, civil society and the private sector in combating illegal trade in wildlife, and affirms Member States’ determination to prevent, combat and eradicate the illegal trade and wildlife products. To turn declarations into practice and practical actions, AMCEN-15 will come up with a framework to guide each Actor in the next two years.”

The Cairo AMCEN session is expected to be a turning point, and an important moment to watch for those in Africa who are looking forward to a future international climate change agreement and a post 2015 development agenda that are responsive to African realities, aspirations, and priorities. Over the years, AMCEN has distinguished itself as a common platform where Civil Society and governments exchange information and constructively challenge each other’s standpoints until they come up with positions touching on environments that have made Africa the most solidified negotiating block in international dialogue processes.

The Pre-AMCEN Civil Society Consultative workshop will be convened on the sidelines of the AMCEN and will offer Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders an opportunity to play a role in policy making processes and contribute towards Africa’s sustainable development agenda.

“It is imperative that African governments together with civil society exchange experiences and strategies, carry the voice of African peoples forward and framing of the narrative of green economy in the context of sustainable development, poverty eradication and ensuring African issues are reflected in Post 2015 Agenda/consultations. This meeting will also afford African CSOs an opportunity to contribute to the continent agenda on effective stewardship of the continent’s natural capital and efforts at combating illegal trade in wildlife.”

The statement emphasizes that Africa has a lot at stake in this important year for global climate change dialogue process with COP 21 in Paris concluding a four-year process to deliver a global climate deal that will include all countries that are party to the Climate Change Convention; and the Post-2015 development paradigm requires concerted efforts, and robust engagement by all stakeholders ÔÇô Governments, civil society and development partners. It is imperative that African governments, civil society and other stakeholders find common platforms to exchange experiences and strategies to articulate the popular African people demands and positions, especially framing the narrative of people-centered climate and development models that are consistent with science and community realities.

Hosting the workshop at the sidelines of AMCEN is a recognition of the need to strengthen African CSO’s analysis and contributions to respond in a timely and resolute manner to these key issues, focusing in particular on the role they must play vis-├í-vis governments and related inter-governmental institutions, such as African Union, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), UNECA and Regional Integration Economic Blocs and others. It is also in further recognition of the need, potentials, and contributions of CSOs to the processes that there is a compelling reason to tap the expertise and organizational capacity existing in sectors as trade, finance, food security, ecological debt, human rights, wildlife and biodiversity, the rights of indigenous peoples and gender equality to bear in the processes.

This year’s Pre-AMCEN African Civil Society Consultative main goal will be to foster unities and collective campaigning efforts among African CSOs (both at national and at sectoral/continental level) so as to contribute decisively to the development of new discourse, parameters, advocacy, and movement building that will contribute to effective, equitable, and participatory solutions that address the causes and impacts of Africa’s development challenges.

Objectives of the session include development of a common assessment and analysis of international climate change dialogue processes, outcomes and consultations, and emerging trends and issues, and forging common position and strategies for the way forward; providing holistic analysis of the latest Open Working Group on SDGs’ Environmental Sustainability Goal, and explore whether a stand-alone (or integrated) goal on climate change would the best option for Africa in the ongoing debate on Post-2015 Development Agenda and develop assessment and analysis on Africa’s effort to address illegal wildlife and biodiversity trade as a way of natural resource conservation and management ; Strengthening common platform and campaign plans for CSOs unified actions; Strengthening broad public participation in Climate change and overall sustainable development decision-making.


Read this week's paper