African ministers called for adaptation-mitigation parity in the 2015 climate agreement at the 15th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).
Ministers also supported measures to develop a common wildlife strategy, enhance natural resources management, ensure an inclusive green economy and support the continent's poverty eradication and sustainable development efforts.
6 March 2015: African ministers called for adaptation-mitigation parity in the 2015 climate agreement at the 15th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). Ministers also supported measures to develop a common wildlife strategy, enhance natural resources management, ensure an inclusive green economy and support the continent’s poverty eradication and sustainable development efforts.
Ministers and delegates from 54 African nations adopted the Cairo Declaration at the AMCEN session, which convened in Cairo, Egypt, from 2-6 March 2015. The session took place under the theme, ‘Managing Africa’s Natural Capital for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication.’
Ministers stressed that a new climate change agreement, which is expected to be agreed at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, must ensure that mitigation ambition keeps global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The Cairo Declaration calls for a global adaptation goal that recognizes the need for adaptation investments in and support to developing countries. The Declaration also urges the use of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and use of hydroflurocarbons (HFCs).
“Ambitious global mitigation action in the long-run, combined with large-scale, rapidly increasing and predictable funding for adaptation,” is the only insurance against climate change impacts, said Achim Steiner, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director.
Ministers agreed to adopt a common strategy to combat illegal trade in wildlife, which is expected to address the drivers of demand and supply. They agreed to discuss the strategy at the International Conference on Illegal Trade in April 2015. The Cairo Declaration also calls for the establishment of an inter-regional cooperation mechanism to combat illegal wildlife trade and an improved understanding of the role of indigenous communities in tackling illegal wildlife trade.
On natural capital and transitions to a green economy, African ministers supported integrating an inclusive green economy into development planning through creating jobs, targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mobilizing funds. Speakers at the meeting reflected that the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer an opportunity for the continent to move towards a green growth scenario while also stressing that climate change is threatening Africa’s development gains.
The meeting also discussed, inter alia: inequality and food security; illicit financial flows; and air pollution. Several reports were launched during the session, including on adaptation, biodiversity, the green economy and African mountains. [UNEP Press Release on Opening] [UNEP Press Release on Closing] [AMCEN Session Website] [UNEP Regional Office for Africa Director’s Opening Statement] [IISD RS Story on Publications Launched at AMCEN 15] [IISD RS Sources]