Conservation of forest ecosystems analysed at the African climate week

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African climate week (18 to 22 March) which is seen as a call for dialogue to combat climate change has enabled participants to invite policymakers to put in place more inclusive climate policies, initiating a structured dialogue between Governments and local authorities. Panelists underlined this necessity during a side-event on "CDN in Africa" as part of the African climate week open in the ghanan capital.

In clear terms, the African climate week participants noted in Accra, Ghana, the alarming state of the forest situation at the African continent, calling for measures to preserve forest ecosystems. 

Emphasizing the emission reduction mechanism due to deforestation and forest degradation (REDD +), set up at the UNFCCC Conference of the parties, to economically encourage major tropical forest countries to avoid deforestation and forest degradation, participants noted the need to provide an economic incentive for developing countries to reduce deforestation and invest in more sober alternatives to carbon for a sustainable development.

Speaking on this occasion, the Executive Director of the Pan-African Alliance for Justice and climate (PACJA), Mithika MWENDA, called for the need to implement innovative mechanisms to promote forest conservation.

According to Ms MWENDA, "it is not enough to accept, sign and adopt the Paris climate agreement. However, it is important to act at the local, national and regional levels, noting the role of civil society in the search for innovative solutions to combat deforestation and climate change.

For his part, the Secretary General of United Cities and local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa), Jean Pierre elong Mbassi, noted that local authorities are the first to be concerned with the effects of climate change.

"For this reason, Governments are called upon to open consultations with local authorities and allocate them the necessary resources to play their part in the implementation of nationally determined contributions ( CDN or INDC), "stressed Mr. Mbassi.

On the other hand, Executive Director of the non-governmental organization "MPIDO", Joseph Ole Simel, noted that the impact of climate change affects vulnerable communities, especially indigenous people in Africa.

"So far we are doing very well, but I think we need to do more," he said, adding that this event is an opportunity to share experiences and identify challenges and best practices in preserving of forests in Africa.

The Senior Manager at the International Council for local environmental initiatives, Meggan spires, meanwhile, called for the need to develop the necessary conditions of territorial governance, to engage national and non-State actors and improve the collection of data on the CDN implementation process.

The objective of the African climate week is to encourage the implementation of nationally determined contributions (CDN) under the Paris agreement and climate measures to achieve the sustainable development goals of 2030.

The event, which brings together various public and private actors, aims to help demonstrate that there is genuine international support for strengthening climate action.

The week focuses on how engagement between parties to the UN-led international process to cope with climate change and other actors can be further strengthened in key areas for Africa, including energy, agriculture and human habitat.

Moctar FICOU/VivAfrik                 

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