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Nigeria, other environment ministers begin talks in Senegal

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
12 September 2022   |   2:50 am
Delegates will resume the eighteenth session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Dakar, Senegal today.

[FILES] Dakar, Senegal (Photo by Seyllou / AFP)

Delegates will resume the eighteenth session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Dakar, Senegal today.

AMCEN was established in December 1985, following a conference of African ministers of environment held in Cairo, Egypt. Its mandate is to provide advocacy for environmental protection in Africa; to ensure that basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner; to ensure that social and economic development is realised at all levels; and to ensure that agricultural activities and practices meet the food security needs of the region.

The measures adopted by AMCEN in seeking solutions to environmental concerns in Africa have consistently been participatory and consultative since its inception. The existence of AMCEN has had an impact on the manner in which environmental issues are being handled in the region.

AMCEN has also contributed to strengthening Africa’s participation and active involvement both in global negotiations and in international agreements on the environment.

Specifically, the session under the theme: “Securing people’s well-being and ensuring environmental sustainability in Africa,” will focus on the need for people-centred recovery with an emphasis on people’s well-being through environmentally friendly actions that create jobs and improve livelihoods.

It will review environmental challenges and opportunities in Africa in the post-COVID-19 era and consider other issues related to sustainable development in the continent.

Ministers will discuss how to make the AMCEN, the key environmental ministerial forum in the region, stronger and more effective as the region is facing tremendous environmental challenges including climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution.

They will also have the opportunity to provide policy guidance for the effective participation of the Africa region in the upcoming key global environmental events, including the 27th-7th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) scheduled to take place from November 6 to 18, 2022 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt; and the resumed 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD-COP15) to be held in Montreal, Canada, from December 5 to 17, 2022.

The AMCEN session will also provide an opportunity for the delegates to be briefed on the outcomes of the resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2), the status of implementation of the resolutions that were adopted at that session, including the development of an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, with a focus on the organisation of Africa’s participation in the intergovernmental negotiating committee as well as key issues for the continent on plastic pollution.

The session will also provide an opportunity for countries to reflect on the outcomes of the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP15) that took place in Abidjan in May and agree on the way forward, including the call for the development of an instrument on land degradation and the need for a group of countries that should represent Africa in these negotiations.