Climate Change (184)

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - As Africa prepares for the crucial climate change conference later in the year, President Hakainde Hichilema has assured his Kenyan counterpart, who is also Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), William Ruto, of Zambia’s unwavering support for Africa’s climate aspirations at COP28.

Speaking during a virtual CAHOSCC meeting on the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) that was co-hosted by President Ruto, in collaboration with His Excellency Mr. Mousa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), President Hichilema said, “Zambia, in its capacity as Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN), will continue to work closely with you in pursuit of Africa’s climate and development aspirations.”

The Africa Climate Summit is set to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 4th to 6th September 2023 while the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled for 30th November to 12th December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Writing on his Facebook page shortly after the meeting, President Hichilema congratulated President Ruto for the idea to host the Africa Climate Summit and assured him of Zambia’s support in achieving the summit's intended objectives.

President Hichilema emphasized the importance for Africa to clearly and specifically identify areas that need resolution in order to ensure a unified approach towards making a meaningful impact on the challenges posed by climate change.

The Zambian President further encouraged unity of purpose and speaking with one voice saying, “Africa should maintain coordination, consistency and rationality throughout the climate change debate and avoid polarisation.”

Some recent report statistics on climate ambition show that Africa is already sacrificing a lot of its resources towards the fight against climate change as captured in African countries’ highly ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

This is despite the continent’s both historic and current negligible contribution to climate causing emissions.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides the best available science, Africa is the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions with less than 4% of global emissions and yet the most adversely impacted region.

Despite this well noted imbalance, statistics show that Africa is demonstrating its commitment to combating climate change, through the submission of highly ambitious NDCs and spending up to 9% of their GDPs in addressing climate change.

However, the full ambition of African countries’ NDCs cannot be realised without support from the international community, hence the call for the global north to continue taking the lead in the climate action agenda by not only cutting their emissions but also supporting developing countries with finances and other means of implementation as espoused in the Paris Agreement.

In highlighting the importance of financial support from the global north, President Hichilema also used the meeting to highlight and acknowledge the continent's strong momentum in pursuing the green investment agenda as well as noting the importance of private sector investments.

He cited Zambia’s collaboration with the Democratic Republic of Congo which have prioritised electric vehicle and batter value chain.

“As an example, Zambia is collaborating with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prioritize the electric vehicle and battery value chain. To promote industrialization, combat high poverty levels, and achieve resilient socio-economic development, Africa must mobilize private sector investment. Private sector involvement is a critical tool for implementing the continent's transition towards a low-carbon development pathway,” said President Hichilema.



NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Global forestry experts sitting in Nairobi for a week long workshop have termed climate change as one of the major environmental challenges Africa is facing at the moment, and this calls for innovative solutions to tackle.
According to Dr Joshua Cheboiwo,   Chief Research Officer, Director at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), there is growing evidence that climate change is impacting on forests and forest ecosystems in Africa, and therefore on the livelihoods of forest dependent communities as well as on national economic activities that depend on forest and tree products and services. 
"There is thus need for innovative solutions for climate and ecosystem smart forest management" Dr Cheboiwo said at a regional workshop organised by African Forest Forum (AFF).
Cheboiwo was speaking at a workshop taking place in Nairobi-Kenya under the theme 'Forest and Tree-based ecosystems services for socio-ecological resilence to climate change in Africa'
Experts at the workshop emphasised on the role of ecosystem services, as a concrete, innovative, sustainable solution that can strengthen Africa’s climate efforts.
 ecosystem services procedure and the supporting business model to enable its effective roll out as a market-based instrument. He described ecosystem services as benefits that people obtain from nature as he presented the solution to the event’s audience.
He highlighted that forests have many positive effects on society, such as stable clean water supplies, productive soil, and carbon sequestration.
According to AFF executive secretary , Professor Godwin Kowero, the population of Africa expected to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050 and a projected demand for industrial wood  estimated to grow from about 75 million m3/per year in 2020  to 250 million m3 per year by 2030 . Consequently  the strain on the African forests and trees outside forests has to be carefully managed, especially in the context of increasing deforestation and forest degradation on the continent  that are increasingly been made worse by adverse effects of climate change. 
"These resources consist of a myriad of different tree species, good for timber and other building materials, as well as abundance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs), thus offering the resources the capacity to serve the people on the continent with many products to meet their many and varied demands " Prof Kowero said .
"One good way such demands could be met is largely through adding value on the resources through processing. This forward linkage to primary forest production is critical to Africa’s development, and especially so when the population is rising rapidly, urbanization is accelerating very rapidly," he added .
 According to experts , ecosystem services   demonstrate, and promote the beneficial effects of responsible forest management practices.
"There is need to increase commercial value for people that sustainably manage forests and take steps to conserve forest ecosystem," says Ben Chikamai, Executive Secretary at Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa ,NGARA, Kenya .
Experts from different countries presented the business case for ecosystem services in some African countries illustrating how  the innovation has been used to restore the capacity of watersheds, transformation on nontimber forest products, processing of timber through investments in sawmills and sawn wood etc .
 Ecosystems services experts are potentially beneficial to forest actors if sustainably managed. "Without ecosystem services, there is no water" said Dalington Duwa.
 He said mounting data evidence and practical ground experience demonstrate that certified forest concessions are essential sanctuaries for biodiversity and ecosystem services ,adding that the management of forests in Africa calls for a new economic paradigm.
The shifts in rainfall patterns and temperature changes can result into increased water scarcity and severe prolonged droughts that in turn directly affect agricultural production, food and nutritional security, as well as markets and trade potential of forest dependent population.
In this regard, climate change and variability continue to create serious challenges to the sustainability of biophysical and socio-economic systems on the continent, according to AFF .
 The continued erosion of such systems is slowing down socio-economic development and jeopardizing the environmental stability of most of the African countries, especially in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Agenda 2063, among other national and regional development aspirations .
According to Professor Kowero, "Africa shall be a continent where the free movement of people, capital, goods and services will result in significant increases in trade and investments amongst African countries rising to unprecedented levels, and strengthen Africa’s place in global trade"
Given these developments, the potential for the forestry sector to contribute to the aspirations of both Agenda 2063 and AfCFTA, needs to be addressed, especially given the already noted considerable exchanges of forest products among African countries, albeit most of them being traded informally.
This scenario he adds, compels the African continent to undertake a serious introspection of its forestry sector, possibly guided by questions like, how to meet the wood products needs of its growing population, how not to continue relying on imports for the ever-increasing demand for wood products.
"The intention is to change Africa into a relatively wood products self-sufficient continent, thus saving considerable foreign currency spent on importing similar products; savings that can be spent on other important domestic needs without recourse to expensive international capital markets," said Professor Kowero.

The Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) are an integral part of the Bonn Climate Change Conference. They consist of two bodies: the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). These bodies support the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The SBs take place every year, in many cases during the month of June, and they always happen at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, Germany. Whatever is passed during the Bonn conference, forms the agenda for the next Conference of Parties (COP), usually held between the months of November and December, and it rotates every year from one part of the world to another.

Here are five facts you need to know:

  1. The SBs meet twice a year: during the Bonn Climate Change Conference and COP

    They discuss and negotiate various aspects of climate change mitigation, adaptation, finance, capacity-building, technology transfer, and now, loss and damage. The meetings typically take place in June and November/December. The SBs work separately, but have joint agendas as they cooperate on cross-cutting issues within the areas of competence of both bodies.

  2. The SBI focuses on the implementation of climate policies and actions

    Its meetings include discussions on mitigation, adaptation, reporting and review processes, as well as on financial mechanisms and capacity-building initiatives. The SBI meeting plays a crucial role in enhancing transparency and accountability in the global climate change response.

  3. The SBSTA provides scientific and technological advice for implementing the Paris Agreement and other climate policy processes

    It assesses the latest scientific findings, technological advancements and transfer, as well as methodologies and guidelines relevant to climate change mitigation and adaptation. It also fosters inter-institutional collaboration in the field of research and systematic observation of the climate system.

  4. The SBs play a vital role in preparing the agenda and decisions for the annual Conference of the Parties (COP)

    COP is the highest decision-making body under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The SBs provide technical expertise and recommendations that shape the negotiations and outcomes of COP. The SBs also inform the CMA (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement) and the CMP (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol). The CMA oversees the implementation of the Paris Agreement and takes decisions to promote its effective implementation, whereas the CMP does this for the Kyoto Protocol.

  5. The Bonn Climate Change Conference serves as a platform to advance the global climate agenda

    It is a meeting point for governments, civil society organizations, scientists, and other stakeholders to come together. The Conference provides opportunities for dialogue, knowledge sharing, capacity-building and consensus-building among parties involved in the UNFCCC process.

BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - African civil society organisations attending the ongoing climate change conference in Bonn, Germany have called on developed countries to demonstrate leadership and courage in tackling the climate crisis that threatens the common future of humanity and the entire ecosystem.

Led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the activists drawn from different organisations from across Africa reminded the Parties to the UNFCCC of their moral and legal obligations to protect the planet and its people from the existential threat of global warming.

“Africa is at the frontline of climate crisis. We are experiencing the worst effects of a problem that we did not create. Our communities are facing severe water scarcity, crop failures, malnutrition, diseases, displacement, conflicts, heat waves and loss of lives due to climate change. Our natural resources and ecosystems are under immense pressure from climate change and other human activities,” said Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director – PACJA.

“We are not here to ask for charity or sympathy,” he told delegates during the first civil society briefing in Bonn. “It is far from that, we are here to demand justice and equity; to demand that the Parties, especially from the North, should stop procrastination; to call on them to listen to the voices of the people, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalized, and to act following the best available science and the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities,” said Mwenda.

Below are the demands as articulated by the team in Bonn:

  1. That all Parties cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of solidarity to reach credible progress in the conference. The time for delay and excuses is over. The world is watching and expecting concrete results, and we cannot afford to fail.
  1. That big polluters increase their mitigation ambition and announce enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that are consistent with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement and reflect their fair share of the global effort. The current NDCs are insufficient to close the emissions gap and put the world on a safe, ecologically-just and sustainable pathway. This requires Developed country Parties demonstrate leadership and responsibility by reducing their emissions at source and in providing adequate support to developing countries for their mitigation actions. These countries have a historical and moral obligation to assist developing countries in their transition to low- carbon development and to compensate them for the loss and damage caused by climate change.
  1. That developed countries take urgent and concrete actions to increase their needs –based adaptation finance for Africa. We urge them to commit to a clear and transparent roadmap for scaling up their support and to ensure that at least 50% of the climate finance provided by developed countries is allocated to adaptation and inform of grants. We stress that this is a matter of justice and equity, as Africa is the most vulnerable region to the impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to its causes. We also emphasize that adaptation finance is essential for enhancing the resilience and adaptive capacity of our communities, ecosystems and economies. We call on developed countries to deliver on their promises and to meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC. We expect them to report on their progress and achievements by the end of 2023, and to demonstrate their solidarity and partnership with Africa in addressing the climate crisis.
  1. The global goal for adaptation must receive the attention it deserves ; parties must be more decisive in fast-tracking negotiation on this agenda item. Time is running out yet there is so much to be done, since 2015, we have been going round in circles without a clear plan of action on this agenda. This is a make-or-break year for this agenda as time lapse for the work program on global goal for adaptation. We call for parties to clearly establish strong targets under the GGA framework that will enhance adaptation ambition, and at the same time ensure that a standing agenda item is established on the global goal for adaptation beyond the two-year Glasgow Sharm -El -Sheikh work program on global goal for adaptation which ends this year.
  1. That all parties work together to overhaul the climate finance architecture to ensure that it is transparent, accountable, accessible, and responsive to the needs and priorities of African communities. Specifically, we call for the following actions:

 The developed countries must fulfil their commitment to providing at least $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries, and increase this amount significantly in the post-2020 period;

 The Green Climate Fund must allocate at least 50% of its resources to adaptation projects and prioritize direct access and enhanced direct access modalities for African countries;

 The Adaptation Fund must be replenished and sustained as a key instrument to support adaptation efforts of the most vulnerable countries under the Paris Agreement;

 The Climate Technology Centre and Network must enhance its support for technology development and transfer in Africa, especially for locally appropriate and community-based solutions;

 The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage must operationalize its action and support functions and establish a finance facility, compete with a replenishment mechanism to address the irreversible impacts of climate change in Africa, latest at COP28.

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