African girls pointing to a pile of waste in their village. African environment ministers committed to eliminate open dumping.
Photo: ©Shutterstock/Riccardo Mayer

Africa steps up efforts to protect the environment

African environment ministers discuss how to secure people’s well-being and ensure environmental sustainability in Africa at African Ministerial Conference on the Environment.

African environment ministers adopted a number of decisions and key messages on tackling climate change, nature loss, pollution and waste at the 18th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). The conference took place from 12 to 16 September 2022 in Dakar, Senegal. 

The decisions included a commitment to eliminate open dumping and the burning of waste across the continent, and to promote use of waste as a resource for value and job creation. The ministers called on development partners to support African countries to better monitor and reduce methane and black carbon emissions associated with waste.

They also agreed to improve awareness of the risks of antimicrobial resistance to human health and sustainable development in Africa, and they called for urgent and collective action to prevent and minimise its adverse impacts.

The ministers also committed to make AMCEN stronger and more effective, including by strengthening collaboration with the African Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning.

Regarding the UN climate conference (COP27) to be held from 6 to 18 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Ministers emphasised the importance of recognising the special needs and circumstances of Africa under the Paris Agreement. They called upon developed countries to fulfil their financial commitments and for COP27 to set an ambitious new goal for 2025, including on loss and damage and a just transition financing framework to support developing countries. Finally, they highlighted the need to support African countries in leapfrogging fossil fuel-heavy development models while enhancing energy access.

On the UN biodiversity conference (UNCBD-COP15) to be held from 7 to 19 December 2022 in Montreal, Canada, Ministers reiterated that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework had to include a solution for sharing the benefits from the use of digital sequence information on genetic resources. Ministers underlined the need to close the financial gap to ensure the framework’s goals and targets would be achieved and called for the establishment of a global biodiversity fund.

(UNEP/ile)

Read more on the UNEP website

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