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Sunday, 12 September 2010 13:25

African Union Holds Conference on Agric, Food and Climate Change

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 12, 2010 (Press Release) -“The African Union Commission is encouraged by the level of enthusiasm demonstrated by all our agriculture and climate change experts and stakeholders gathered here today to address the subject of food security, agriculture and climate change. These are all inextricably linked with significant consequences for us if there are not carefully managed”.

 

Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AUC), was speaking during the opening ceremony of the African Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change on 6 September 2010, at the Conference Center of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on behalf of the Chairperson of the AUC, Mr. Jean Ping.

 

Other key speakers at the opening ceremony included: Mr. Girma Wolde-Giorgis, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mrs. Gerda Verburg; Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands; Mr. Ole Kristian Holthe, Ambassador for Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Norway;Dr Abera Deressa, State Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Ambassador  Munlo, Chairperson of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC).

 

According to the Commissioner the meeting is happening when the issue now is on to bring agriculture and food security at the centre stage of Climate Change discussions and negotiations in preparation for the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) in Cancun Mexico.

 

“This meeting will be part of those efforts to advance Africa’s position on Climate Change and to make sure that Africa will benefit from the climate change discussions keeping its initial African position on, ensuring transparency in discussions and putting agricultural aspects on the discussion table”, she stressed.

 

Meanwhile, the Commissioner called upon the conference to consider how Africa can benefit from carbon credit instruments like the Clean Development Mechanism noting that two percent of the total projects come from Africa; amongst others, adding that, areas such as sustainable land management have the potential to mitigate climate change and strengthen the resilience to its impacts, while advancing broader development objectives such as poverty alleviation and economic growth food security and environmental health. (See complete speech of Commissioner Tumusiime on the AU Website:www.africa-union.org)

 

Worth recalling that, at the 13th AU Summit in July 2009 the African Heads of States declaration on the Agriculture-Climate Change sub-theme urged the African Union Commission and NEPAD to act on three main issues;

  1. to develop an African Agricultural-based climate change mitigation and adaptation framework;
  2. to rally expert input and scientific knowledge to advance the recognition and integration of carbon sequestration on agricultural landscapes and carbon financing in global climate change mitigation and adaptation measures through the Post-Kyoto negotiations and other global-regional dialogue; and
  3. to establish an inter-Ministerial mechanism bringing together Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, and Water to advance inter-sectorial approach in addressing the climate change agenda.

The African Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change ended on September 8, 2010.

 

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