African Regions Asked to be change agents to climate change


Some of the participants at the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions workshop in Kigali yesterday. (Doreen Umutesi)

Some of the participants at the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions workshop in Kigali yesterday. (Doreen Umutesi)

Tshering Sherpa, a programme officer with the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), made the call yesterday in Kigali while opening a three-day workshop that brought together 70 climate change experts from 50 African countries.

Participants also include representatives from international organisations, as well as representatives of the private sector.

?We hope that this workshop will sow some seeds for collaboration,? Sherpa said.

NAMAs are voluntary climate change mitigation measures proposed and taken up by developing countries  to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to contribute to domestic sustainable development.

NAMAs can take the form of regulations, standards, programmes, policies or financial incentives.

While NAMAs are supported and enabled by technology, financing, and capacity-building and are aimed at achieving a reduction in emissions relative to human activities by 2020, Sherpa said. He added that African countries need to be more involved in preparing NAMAs.

?We want as many African countries as possible to be engaged in climate change mitigation measures,? she said.

Organisers say Rwanda was chosen to host the meeting because of its proactive approach in mainstreaming climate change in its long-term national development strategy.

Vincent Biruta, the Minister for Natural Resources, said hosting the workshop is an opportunity for Rwanda to share with the rest of the world its experience in the implementation of NAMAs.

For Rwanda, the minister added, the workshop presents a great opportunity for the country?s experts to have a deep understanding of how to benefit from available opportunities.

?Specifically, Rwandan participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with mitigation experts on NAMAs Information Notes (NINs) that were recently developed in the seven sectors including agriculture, energy, industry, waste management, buildings and forestry. They will also have a chance to discuss with donors on support opportunities for implementation of the NINs,? Biruta said.

At the workshop, designing and implementation of NAMAS will be presented by regional mitigation experts and the private sector, whereas participants will share experiences, lessons learned and best practices.

Other discussions will focus on challenges, financial engineering, investment strategies for leveraging multi-source financing, measurement, reporting and verification, sustainable development co-benefits and the NAMAs registry.

Participants lauded the idea of sharing experiences, emphasising that countries need to cooperate if they are to succeed in fighting climate change.

?We need to work together. If there is no rain in Burundi, it affects Rwanda too,? said Dr Rose Mukankomeje, the director-general of Rwanda Environment Management Authority.


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