Rwanda : EAC pushes for regional response to climate change
Senior officials from the five member countries of the East African Community are meeting in Kigali to finalize a regional policy response to worsening climate conditions in the region.
The five-day forum, which began January 29, 2013, will adopt key policy and strategic documents. The session is being attended by permanent secretaries with climate portfolios and officials from the EAC secretariat.
The documents to be adopted include the draft EAC Climate Change Strategy, the EAC Climate Change Master Plan, and Operational Modalities for the EAC Climate Change Fund. The others are: draft EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Strategy and draft Terms of Reference for establishing a Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group and EAC Regional DRR Platform.
Launching the forum, Dr. Nyamajeje Weggoro, Director, Productive Sector at the EAC Secretariat said Environmental degradation continues to negatively affect national, regional and international efforts toward sustainable development.
The adverse impacts of climate change have been singled out as one of the biggest threats to management of our natural resource base leading to food insecurity, scarcity of water, health hazards, diminished energy production and increased risks to disasters and loss of natural ecosystems and habitats.
The Kigali forum is also expected to formulate appropriate recommendations with policy and financial implications including launching the COMESA-EAC-SADC five-year Programme of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Eastern and Southern Africa focusing on Climate Smart Agriculture.
After the permanent secretaries have adopted the policy documents, the line ministers will consider recommending them to regional leaders.