Africa

Countries Pursue National and Regional Actions on Land Degradation Monitoring and Restoration [viewed]

eld_fao_unep_ittoApril 2016: Capacity development efforts by the Action Against Desertification (AAD) programme in West Africa, the first-ever nationwide assessment of contaminated soil in Serbia, a handbook for community restoration of degraded coastal dune ecosystems in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and cost-benefit analyses of sustainable soil fertility management practices in Kenya are among recently-announced initiatives to boost local monitoring of land degradation and desertification as well as community-level adaptation efforts.

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Event: First Great Green Wall Global Conference [viewed]

Since its inception in 2007, the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) has evolved into a pan-African sustainable landscape program to address land degradation and desertification, boost food, environmental and economic security, and support communities' adaptation to climate change. The First Conference on the GGWSSI will gather representatives from more than 20 Sahelian countries and partners to discuss the further scaling-up of implementation based on commitments made at the Paris Climate Change Conference with a view to: develop a “road map for transformational action on 
the ground,” including a Great Green Wall results framework; confirm political commitments in support of the initiative; strengthen the GGWSSI Community of 
Practice; and set new strategic directions for GGWSSI 
communication and knowledge management. The Conference will be organized around three days of technical sessions to exchange and share knowledge about programs and projects in support of the Great Green Wall, and a one-day high-level segment bringing together African Ministers and development partners. Practical interactive seminars will also take place on innovation, communication and knowledge services. Coordinated and sponsored by diverse partner organizations, the conference will draw on experiences from ongoing Great Green Wall projects, including: the World Bank and Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP); the AAD programme, which is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and funded by the partnership programme between the EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP-EU); and the Front Local Environnemental pour une Union Verte (FLEUVE), an EU-funded Great Green Wall project coordinated by the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).  

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175 Parties Sign Paris Agreement, 15 Ratify Agreement on Earth Day [viewed]

iisdrs_paris_agreement22 April 2016: During the High-Level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change held at the UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 22 April 2016, 175 Parties to the UNFCCC signed the Paris Agreement (174 countries and the EU), the largest ever number of first-day signatures to an international agreement. Of the 175 Parties that participated in the ceremony, 15 States deposited instruments of ratification. The signature ceremony was preceded, on 21 April, by the High-Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which highlighted the interlinkages among the actions necessary to address climate change and foster sustainable development, and a briefing on forest conservation and restoration that discussed the implications of the formal signing of the Paris Agreement.

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IMO Approves Mandatory Fuel Consumption Data Collection for Ships [viewed]

imo_mandatoryfuelconsumption22 April 2016: In a step toward determining what possible climate change actions are needed from the international shipping sector, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved a mandatory system for collecting data on ships' fuel consumption. Ships of 5,000 gross tonnage or more will have to record and report their consumption for every type of fuel they use to their flag State at the end of the calendar year. The flag State will determine whether the reporting meets requirements, issue a Statement of Compliance to the ship and transfer the data to the IMO Ship Fuel Consumption Database.

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UN, World Bank Announce Members of High-Level Panel on Water [viewed]

wb_un21 April 2016: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced the appointment of ten Heads of State and Government and two Special Advisors to the High-Level Panel on Water, which was first announced in January 2016. The presidents of Mauritius and Mexico serve as Panel co-chairs, with the prime ministers of Australia, Bangladesh, Jordan and Netherlands, and the presidents of Hungary, Senegal, South Africa and Tajikistan also on the Panel.

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Fishackathon, FAO, WorldFish and Partners Address Challenges to Sustainable Fisheries [viewed]

FAO - Fishackathon - World FishApril 2016: Over Earth Day weekend, from 22-24 April, coders and science enthusiasts are participating in the third annual Fishackathon, during which teams develop new applications and tools to promote sustainable fisheries and address fisheries challenges, ranging from data collection to facilitate cost effective fish stock assessments to ghost fishing. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has also been working to address ghost fishing during the month of April, including through a process to develop a set of international guidelines on the challenges. Other fisheries related developments during the month of April include progress on signatories to the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and the creation of a locally managed marine area (LMMA) in Timor-Leste, a member of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF).

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Event: Ecosystem Services Partnership Africa Conference [viewed]

The first Conference of the Regional Africa chapter of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) will convene under the theme, 'Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa'. Discussions will focus on Africa's contribution towards evidence on best practices for the management and restoration of ecosystem services for decision making, particularly towards the realization of sustainable development goals.  

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African Environment Ministers Table Regional Priorities Ahead of UNEA-2 [viewed]

Amcen119 April 2016: Ministers of Environment and other high-level representatives from 45 African countries agreed to accelerate action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the prevention of illegal trade in wildlife at the Sixth Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). Participants also finalized a set of resolutions reflecting the region's priorities to be tabled at the second session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in May 2016.

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Organization of Islamic Cooperation Commits to Implementing SDGs, Welcomes Paris Agreement [viewed]

oic15 April 2016: Heads of State and Government of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the OIC's 13th Islamic Summit. In the Conference's Final Communiqué, participants supported actions to address climate change and implement the SDGs, among others.

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Event: Sixth Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) [viewed]

The sixth special session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) will address the theme 'Agenda 2030 and Paris Agreement: From policy to implementation in Africa'. The session opens with a two-day meeting of the expert group, followed by the ministerial segment on 18 and 19 April 2016. The objective of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for ministers and experts to deliberate on how to move forward with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as to assess the implications for Africa of the Paris agreement on Climate Change, especially in relation to the swift implementation of the African initiatives on Renewable Energy and Adaptation. Established in December 1985 following a conference of African ministers of environment held in Cairo, Egypt, AMCEN's mandate includes advocating for environmental protection in Africa and ensuring that: basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner; social and economic development is realized at all levels; and agricultural activities and practices meet the food security needs of the region. Regular sessions of AMCEN have been convened every second year since its inception. In addition, several special sessions have been convened in between regular sessions to consider specific issues of concern.  

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