Gabon’s forest alone absorbs 4 times the carbon that France emits
The high-level African leaders who included the Africa Union’s Chairman Hon. Jean Ping, the head of the African Development bank Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Congo-Brazzavile’s minister for sustainable development, Hon. Henrie Jombo and South Africa’s minister for National Planning, Hon. Trevor Manuel took the opportunity to launch the Green Initiative. This three-program initiative shall focus on protecting the Congo basin and forest, creating a green wall across the Sahara from Djibouti to Dakar that is aimed at halting desertification and thirdly, it shall revive the fast disappearing Lake Chad.
Dr. Kaberuka of the Africa development bank explained that under the Kyoto protocol only 12% was accessible to Africa with Least Developed Countries having access to only 2% of the funds. There was a need for a drastic shift in the climate financing with at least 60% being directed to the African continent currently experiencing the most adverse climate effects. There is urgent need to create mechanisms that will respond to the needs of over 14 million Africans in East and West Africa currently facing the worst famine in decades as a result of the changing climate.
The Africa day was held as the possibility of a deadlock in the climate negotiations becomes even more real. Many of the carbon-emitting developed countries are wrestling with tough economic times and are reluctant to make binding commitments.
As the COP 17 draws to a close, Wetlands International remains hopeful that the negotiating parties shall prioritize poverty reduction, conservation and climate adaptation and mitigation over their own economic interests.
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