Fighting Climate Change: UN Moves To Strengthen Regional Action

Representatives from countries of Central, West and North Africa are currently brainstorming on ways of improving regional cooperation in the fight against climate change. They are meeting in a workshop organised by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with focus on the drafting of national reports on climate change; project management. They are also looking at possibilities to create a regional network for Measurement, Reporting and Verifications (MRV) of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation.

Hele Pierre, Cameroon’s Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development opened the workshop on October 29. He said it is one of the ways of reinforcing knowledge and broadening information sharing and expertise on management of National Communications reports published every four years and Biennial Update Reports (BUR). The reports contain data on carbon emissions, climate change vulnerability and adaptation, among others. He also said the gathering will improve South-South cooperation and sharing of good practices, guarantee improvement in the writing of proposals, applications for financing, management of funds and project follow-up techniques. Participants are also expected to deliberate on the establishment of a regional network on MRV. Standford Mwakasonda, Programme Management Officer at UNEP , said the discussions and deliberations are done in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “This meeting is one of what is called the conference of partners. One of the main objectives is to come to an agreement in terms of what measures can be put in place by each country, depending on their circumstances. Each country has to determine what it can do and include it in the reports and make pledges based on them,” he said, adding that “we know that one of the best ways to handle the issue of climate change effectively is to create cooperation among countries whereby, we take advantage of capacities in some countries and assist other countries that do not have them. UNEP and UNDP created this support program to make sure that this type of cooperation works. The ongoing workshop is part of a series of regional workshops organised worldwide in collaboration with the Global Environment Fund and the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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