U.N. URGES AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY TO ADVANCE AFRICA’S ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA

NAIROBI, Kenya- The UN Environment, called on African civil society organisations (CSOs), to help advance essential environmental agenda, that are critical to the effective implementation of policies and projects, in the field of environment and sustainable development.

Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director and Regional Representative at UN Environment Africa office, said that the CSOs could shape African countries’ innovative solutions to tackle environmental challenges that are facing the society.

“Use your networks and diplomacy, to shape the environmental agenda in the continent,” Koudenoukpo said, during the opening of a two-day African Major Groups and Stakeholders forum in Nairobi. Koudenoukpo said, there is need to move faster from “business as usual” approach and devise ways and means to address issues, such as, rising energy costs, poverty, environmental degradation, pollution and social inequality.

She said, Africa has the capacity and the knowledge to innovatively overcome environmental challenges.

The UN Environment official noted that, Africa needs to invest in innovative solutions, to unlock its economic and social potential and create inclusive wealth for the well being of their populations. She called on the organisations to involve the youths in changing policy, since they have innovative ideas and initiatives that are capable of making a difference in transforming societies.

“You represent the many voices of those most likely to be directly affected by environmental crisis, and the adverse effects of natural resource degradation,” Koudenoukpo said.

She said, the CSO’s have a role in bridging the gap between science and policy, and engaging key stakeholders in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s (AU) agenda 2063.

The two-day consultation conference for the African Major Groups and Stakeholders, is being held to prepare their inputs for the seventh special session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, which starts on Monday (tomorrow).

The outcome of the meeting will be a regional statement, including key messages by civil society from Africa. This regional statement will be incorporated into the overall information document, comprised of all regional statements by civil society and presented as an official preparatory document to the UN Environment Assembly in 2019.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK