You are viewing our old site. See the new one here

Environment & Tourism - South Africa - UNEP - CBD Secretariat
Africa Weekly
Sustainable Development Guidance Document
Edition 1:7 - Monday, 3 August 2009
Editors Note: Welcome to the seventh issue of IISD's Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document. The Guidance Document replaces our Linkages Africa newsletter, and we aim to provide this service on a weekly basis. If you should come across a news article or have a submission for the next issue, please send it directly to The Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document is an exclusive publication of IISD for the AFRICASD-L list and should not be reposted or republished to other lists/websites without the permission of IISD (you can write to Kimo Goree for permission.) If you have been forwarded this issue and would like to subscribe to AFRICASD-L, please visit:
Events in Review: 24–30 July 2009
24 July: UNEP/ICRAF: Agroforestry: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), are calling for the widespread uptake of “green agricultural practices” that have the potential to combat climate change, contribute to poverty eradication, boost food production, and provide sustainable sources of timber. According to UNEP, agriculture, deforestation and other forms of land use account for nearly one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and agricultural and environmental experts agree that all forms of land use should be included in a post-Kyoto climate regime. According to Dennis Garrity, Director General, ICRAF, if agroforestry is implemented over the next 50 years, it “could result in 50 billion tons of carbon dioxide being removed from the atmosphere, about a third of the world’s total carbon reduction challenge.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that a billion hectares of developing country farmland is suitable for conversion to carbon agroforestry projects. [UNEP press release]
27 July: IAEA: Sustainable Energy: Through its technical cooperation activities, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is helping member States to plan for, and achieve, the development of a sustainable nuclear power sector that can help meet countries´ rising demand for energy. The IAEA´s involvement in the development of a sustainable energy sector including nuclear power is extensive and touches on several areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, work is on-going to improve national and regional capacities for long-term strategic planning of the energy system. [More information]
27 July: World Bank: Climate Adaptation: Eight African countries have joined a World Bank Initiative- Agricultural Adaptations, or “AADAPT,” to support rigorous assessments of agricultural development projects known as “impact evaluations.” The Initiative aims to gather knowledge about agricultural best practices and to provide the evidence needed for more effective agricultural policies and programs. The initiative has the potential to “radically shift the path of agricultural development,” and improve the lives of millions of small farmers and others in rural areas who depend on agriculture for their incomes and very survival, says Arianna Legovini, head of Development Impact Evaluation at the World Bank. “Doing this as part of our agricultural program is critically important today,” says Legovini. “Countries were very vulnerable to the food crisis and vulnerability might increase with changes in climate. There is a new urgency to invest in knowledge for agricultural growth and food security.” [More information]
27 July 2009: UNICEF: Climate Change: The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported that farmers have lost their crops in the drought-affected regions of southern Madagascar. The UN agency indicates that droughts have now become the norm, preventing families to harvest their traditional crops of sweet potatoes and maize, and increasing child starvation and malnutrition levels. UNICEF estimates that malnutrition is affecting 80% of children under five, with 70% suffering from moderate malnutrition and 10% from severe acute malnutrition. To mitigate the effects of climate change on children, UNICEF has partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Malagasy Ministry of Health to put into place an early warning system, and with the help of community volunteers is providing doses of fortified ready-to-use therapeutic food to malnourished children in the affected regions. UNICEF has cautioned that, due to climate change, the malnutrition crisis in Madagascar risks becoming a way of life. [UNICEF press release] [UNICEF video]
28 July 2009: UNIDO: African Chiller Replacement Project: The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has signed an agreement with the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM), under which the FFEM will co-finance UNIDO’s African Chiller Replacement Project. The agreement was signed by UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella and FFEM Secretary-General Marc-Antoine Martin. The project was launched in 2006, and its aim is to replace chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-based chillers in Cameroon, Egypt, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan, in order to eliminate the use of ozone-depleting substances and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. UNIDO is the main implementing agency of the project. Surveys conducted in the six-project countries identified a total of 340 chillers that use CFCs as refrigerants. CFCs are ozone-depleting substances that have a high global warming potential, and replacing CFC-based chillers will protect the ozone layer and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, CFC-chillers have high leakage rates and a negative impact on global warming due to their high energy consumption. Their replacement by new more efficient chillers will lead to an indirect reduction of approximately 462,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions yearly, as well as a direct phase-out of around 80 tons of CFCs required for servicing the chillers annually. The African Chiller Replacement Project is worth €5.3 million. Yumkella highlighted that the project, inter alia, supports the transfer of green technology, the management of CFC stockpiles, and awareness raising.
[UNIDO press release]
30 July: TOGO: CAADP: The Republic of Togo signed a Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development programme (CAADP) country compact agreement on 30 July 2009, in Lome, Togo. Initiated by the African Union’s NEPAD, CAADP was put in place during the Maputo Summit in 2003, with the vision of redefining the future of African Agriculture by accelerating economic growth, minimizing poverty, and enhancing food security. Since the establishment of CAADP at the AU 2003 Summit in Maputo, Togo is the second country to sign the CAADP compact agreement after Rwanda, which made the first concurrence in 2006. [More information]
30 July: ECOSOC: NEPAD: At the conclusion of its Substantive Segment, held in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN Economic and Social Council, (ECOSOC), adopted a resolution on the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). In the resolution, the Council, inter alia, urges continuous support of measures to address the challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development in Africa, with a special emphasis on health, education, poverty and hunger-related Millennium Development Goals, including, as appropriate, debt relief, improved market access, support for the private sector and entrepreneurship, enhanced official development assistance, increased foreign direct investment and the transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms, enhanced economic empowerment of women, and the promotion of social protection systems, and the conclusion of the round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization. The Council also requests the UN system to continue to provide assistance to the African Union and the NEPAD secretariat and to African countries in developing projects and programmes within the scope of the NEPAD priorities.
[Press release]
30 July: UN/ Angola: Water for All: The UN has joined forces with the Angolan Government to achieve universal access to water to boost health and curb poverty in the Southern African nation. Under the “Water for All” scheme – also known as the Joint UN Programme on Water and Sanitation, launched last week in the capital, Luanda, Angola has committed to providing water for 80% of urban and 50% of rural dwellers by 2012, with targets raised to 100% and 80%, respectively, by 2020. The multi-year programme is a joint initiative of the Government, the UN Children’s Fund, the UN Development Programme, the UN International Labour Organization, and the non-governmental organization Institute of Medicine. Some 120,000 people are set to benefit directly from the initiative, funded by the Spanish Government, while 400,000 others are expected to impacted positively. [More information]
30 July: COMESA: Commodities: The East African Farmers' Federation (EAFF) has hailed the COMESA Authority for endorsing the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) as a Specialized Agency of COMESA under the Treaty. EAFF has described the creation of ACTESA as the most significant development in regional agriculture in 2009. EAFF President Philip Kiriro, speaking during the EAFF 2nd Congress, held from 28-30 July, in Arusha, Tanzania, noted that farmers in the region have long required a focused initiative that would comprehensively address their market development needs. The The 2nd EAFF Congress, held from 27-28 July, brought together over 200 representatives of farmers' organizations in the East African region to map strategies for the agricultural sector in East Africa over the next 2 years. In its resolutions, the congress urged COMESA, East African Community and member States to: put in place a strong early warning mechanism for potential food shortfalls in the region; carefully examine the tax regime affecting agriculture in the region; fully consult farmers before concluding international trade agreements; and deal with all security issues affecting farmers in the region, particularly those in the DRC. [More information]

24 July: European Commission: The European Commission Staff Working Document entitled “Implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and its First Action Plan (2008-2010) - Input into the mid-term progress-report,” has been released.
[Staff working document]
28 July: UNFCCC: The third UNFCCC Newsletter of the year has been published, focusing on the informal negotiations that will take place from 10-14 August 2009, in Bonn, Germany. An update on the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) is provided, as well as developments and activities since the June climate talks under the relevant sections on mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology. The newsletter also highlights the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). The guest columnist, Chaitanya Kalia, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young, Mumbai, India, discusses strengthening the role of the private sector in combating climate change. He highlights: the clean development mechanism (CDM) as a business opportunity; clear political signals needed by the private sector; and the private sector as a major player. The publication also features articles on: the natural fix – the role of ecosystems in climate mitigation; the global assessment report on disaster risk reduction; and index insurance as a tool to help manage climate risks and reduce poverty.
[The newsletter]
30 July: CBD: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has published the fifth issue of its e-newsletter on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) and biodiversity. This issue features articles on: Forest Day 3, which will take place during the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC; an online course on REDD; the launch of a project entitled “Forest Footprint Disclosure;” a REDD Methodology Modules Project; and a discussion of carbon offset projects in California, US. The e-newsletter also includes summaries and links to several publications on the benefits of REDD, tenure issues and REDD, and incentives for the maintenance of ecosystem services. [The newsletter]

1-4 December: First Forum of African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD), Kinshasa, Congo: AMESD aims to increase the information management capacity of African regional and national institutions in support of decision makers by facilitating sustainable access to Africa-wide environmental information derived from Earth Observation (EO) technologies. The supply of information from Earth Observation Satellites is of relevance for a range of policies and their implementation and can ease the development of longer-term political vision for environmental management. To facilitate this regional and continental vision, AMESD is organizing for a gathering together of representatives of participating African countries and regions and international entities active in the EO for environment to exchange experiences on the use of EO products and services and in the implementation of AMESD, towards improved environmental governance and policy making processes. [Announcement]

4-6 August: Eighth AGOA Forum, Nairobi, Kenya. [More information]
7-10 August: African Regional Children’s Conference, Durban, South Africa. [More information]
10-14 August: Informal Meetings of the AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP (Bonn Climate Change Talks), Bonn, Germany.
[More information]
16-22 August: Twenty Eighth International Conference for Agricultural Economists, Beijing, China. [More information]
16-22 August: World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden. [More information]
17-23 August: 2009 UNEP Tunza International Children and Youth Conference, Daejeon, Republic of Korea. [More information]
21-22 August: Third East Africa Media Summit, Kampala, Uganda. [Download the press release here]
23-28 August: Second Congress on World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya. [More information] 
31 August - 4 September: Third World Climate Conference, Geneva, Switzerland. [More information]
31 August - 4 September: The 2009 Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) High Level Regional Policy Dialogue, Maputo, Mozambique. [More information]
The Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <>. This issue was compiled and edited by Tallash Kantai and Richard Sherman. The Guidance Document is part of IISD Reporting Service’s African Regional Coverage (ARC) Project in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Africa (UNEP ROA) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <>. The Programme Manager of the African Regional Coverage Project is Richard Sherman <>. Funding for the Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document has been provided by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Development Research Centre, Canada, through the African Regional Coverage Project for IISD Reporting Service’s coverage of African regional meetings. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Guidance Document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Electronic versions of the Guidance Document are sent to the electronic distribution list (in HTML format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the ARC, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, US.
| Back to ARC home | Back to IISD RS “Linkages” home | Visit IISDnet | Send e-mail to IISD RS |
© 2009, IISD. All rights reserved.