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Africa’s Policy Makers Talk Climate in Uganda

06-Oct-2010

Entebbe, Uganda - Parliamentarians from across Africa assembled along Lake Victoria’s shores in Entebbe, Uganda to exchange ideas on ecosystem and community based approaches to Climate Change Adaptation. The three day dialogue examined the status of various national climate change adaptation plans of action while identifying constraints, gaps and challenges to climate change adapting policies.

 

 

This interactive dialogue was structured to cover issues ranging from assessing climate change vulnerability and challenges by policy makers, integrating ecosystems into infrastructure construction and communities into Climate Change Adaptation activities, financing mechanism for addressing Climate Change Adaptation activities at national and local levels, advocacy for including “water target” into the agenda for United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity

According to the Forum’s host Hon. Maria Mutagamba, the Ugandan Minister of Water and Environment such dialogue that “build’s common understanding is crucial to the development of relevant policies principle to Africa’s climate change responses”.

The Communique below was unanimously adopted at the Entebbe meeting.


Communique

Recalling:  the commitment of our respective governments towards the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol.

Aware: of our respective national obligations towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the risks that climate change poses towards achieving these goals.

Appreciating, the efforts made by African countries towards addressing Climate Change issues and realizing, the challenges faced by countries in Africa in their response to climate change.

Recognizing: the important roles ecosystem and community based knowledge and approaches play in Climate Change Adaptation.

Also Recognizing: the vital importance of water to sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity.

We, the participants of the Africa Policy Makers Dialogue on Climate Change Adaptation, hosted by Wetlands International and the Ministry of Water and Environment of the Republic of Uganda at Entebbe, Uganda from the 3rd - 5th of October, 2010 ;

·          Having examined the varying concepts and definitions of climate change adaptation, the role of ecosystems especially wetlands, and community based approaches to climate change adaptation;

·          Having noted the grassroots level perspectives on climate change impacts and drivers;

·          Having noted that empowerment of local communities is crucial to the success of the implementation of Climate Change Adaptation at country level.

·          Having noted that there is more awareness on what livelihood services provided by ecosystems are lost due to climate change, but less on the adaptive and mitigative services that ecosystems provide.

·          Having noted the limited mention of water in the CBD action plan targets.

 

 HEREBY EXPRESS WITH CONCERN

         That the role of ecosystems and community based knowledge and approaches to climate change adaptation processes are not adequately recognised and addressed in most country level adaptation strategies;

         That major stakeholders in the region, such as the private sector, are not usually involved in climate change adaptation activities;

         That there are inadequate national financial allocations and other support for the implementation of national and sub-regional climate change adaptation activities/projects;

         That trans-boundary cooperation, essential for ecosystems management and climate change adaptation, is insufficiently addressed;

         That there is inadequate inter-sectoral harmonization of relevant instruments such as policies and strategies, and often uncoordinated implementation amongst the various government Ministries and Agencies.

         That the limited number of African countries accessing climate change financial mechanisms including the Adaptation Fund, is an indicator of the need to build national capacity for accessing these funds and to identify key national or regional adaptation projects for the region

         That there is limited information sharing and cross-learning from climate change adaptation activities in the region

 

WE THEREFORE,

         Call on our governments, to take necessary steps to mainstream climate change issues, into regional and national policies, legislations, and other legal instruments , taking into account the roles that ecosystems and local knowledge play in climate change adaptation;

         Call on our governments to make commitments by devoting resources towards the overall implementation of Climate change adaptation strategies, including National Action Plan of Adaptation (NAPAs)

         Call on our governments to carry out Strategic Environmental Assessments of policies and development programmes in order to climate-proof development

         Call on development partners to assist in providing adequate funding to support implementation of climate change adaptation strategies, including NAPAs;

         Call on our governments and international organizations to facilitate international and regional cooperation towards realizing trans-boundary ecosystem approaches/programmes to climate change adaptation;

         Call on our governments to support the development and empowering of local communities towards strengthening their Climate change adaptation efforts

         Call on our governments to establish mechanisms that ensure an inclusive process for developing relevant climate change adaptation frameworks that create incentives for local participation

         Call on our governments to ensure that its relevant Ministries, responsible for national climate change strategies as well as sectors, work with Ministries of national planning and development in drawing up appropriate budgets to accommodate national climate change strategies

         Call on our governments to monitor and evaluate key climate change adaptation programs and to make available this information for sharing and learning across the region.

         Call on our government in consideration of relevance of water to livelihoods and biodiversity towards promoting the need for water targets within the 2020 strategic plan of the CBD. 

 

Communications and Media Coordinator

Pape Diomaye THIARE

Communications and Media Coordinator

Wetlands International Africa

Email: pthiare@wetlands-africa.org

Phone: +221 33 869 16 81

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