African Environment Ministers commit to embrace innovative solutions

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The African Ministers wrapped up a three-day Meeting in Nairobi by resolving to embrace innovative environment solutions in implementing ecological actions in solving challenges facing their countries.

The ministers, who ended the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), also agreed to enhance capacity building of human capital to achieve sustainable development in Africa.

“We are going to start empowering innovators, the private sector, micro-small and medium enterprises and civil society to use new approaches to address environmental challenges in our own countries,’’ said Nezha El Ouafi, Morocco’s minister of environment and vice-president of AMCEN.

The environment ministers resolved to invest in innovative solutions to change the development pathway in a sustainable way as opposed to the current plans that are not yielding faster results.

The ministers agreed to support pan-African platforms on the environment to promote and share experiences and solutions across the continent.

“Public-private sector partnership will have to play a key role in embracing innovation and turning environmental policies into concrete actions to achieve the objectives of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’’ the ministers added.

The ministers, who have been meeting in Nairobi for the last three days, committed to enhance their countries’ efforts to implement policies, legislation and programmes  to fast rack conservation and other environmental plans.

They called on the UN Environment Assembly and UN Environment to increase support to African countries as well as facilitating access to innovative partnerships.

They announced that a pan-African action agenda is being prepared to respond to land and ecosystems degradation challenges and restore ecosystem in the continent.

“We intend to develop common positions on various priority issues and speak with one voice during the upcoming 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference, which will be held in Egypt in November 2018,’’ they added.

The ministers stressed that adaptation and finance should be core elements for effective operationalisation of the outcomes of climate change COP24 agreement.

They emphasised the importance of enhancing accessibility, predictability and sustainability of means of implementation, in particular finance.

Earlier, while addressing the conference, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) called on African governments to put human and environmental health at the centre of policy making in all sectors.

Ghebreyesus said environment is central to human health adding that every year almost 12.6 million people die from hidden risks in the environment.

Joyce Msuya, deputy head of UN Environment said that Africa has the human resources, natural wealth, and leadership to innovate and transform the region.

Msuya noted that the continent stands to benefit from environment once they massively engage in environmental conservation.