Wednesday, 11 April 2018 00:00

Scaling heights at the Africa Carbon Forum

We are at the Africa Carbon Forum taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 11-13 April, 2018. This forum is a collaboration of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP). This year, the Africa Carbon Forum is celebrating its tenth gathering under the theme Creating Action For Sustainable Development - Driving Change In Africa.

The Africa Carbon Forum, is an annual event with participants from all countries in Africa. The goal of the forum is to unify members from the public, private, and non-state sectors in climate change dialogue in reference to the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in accordance with the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the forum aims to open a dialogue on how to mobilize investment in the implementation of NDCs, and achieve enhanced climate resilience through achieving a low level of carbon emissions through sustainable development. The workshops will focus on practical examples of policies, initiatives, and actions supporting NDCs, barriers to engaging key sectors in implementation, and financial frameworks to support these actions.

Stakeholders from all African countries in several sectors have attended this forum to join the discussion in achieving climate resilience. Members from the private sector, CSOs, international organizations, National Governments, academia, and technology were all present, the Director of Climate Change & Green Growth division of the African Development Bank, Director of the County Programming Division of the Green Climate Fund, and the Manager of Sustainable Development Mechanism from the UNFCCC.

This three-day event allows professionals from all over Africa with an opportunity to hear about the achievements made in climate adaptation and the barriers that are still faced. Furthermore, participants are given tools and advise on how to proceed with current climate adaptation projects, such as legal framework and policy formation. The most common challenge that has been addresses is climate finance, engagement of private sector investment, and the mobilization of funds to fulfill adaptation measures.

Through this forum, stakeholders in Africa will be provided information about current climate adaptation measures and tools in order to enhance adaptation actions in future development plans. Participation of the private sector and civil society is essential in achieving progress in enhanced climate resilience and all sector engagement.

Within the African Carbon Forum, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) represents Civil Society Organizations' perspectives on how climate resilience can be enhanced across Africa and in a bid to play a complementary role to actions undertaken by the private and public sectors

MS Training Centre for Development Corporation in Eastern and Southern Africa (MS TCDC) together with partners met in Arusha, Tanzania from the 2 - 7 April 2018 to deliberate on the African agenda and to find continent - based solutions where challenges have been experienced. The conference theme was multifaceted conversations in Africa and discussions dwelt on leadership, the illicit financial flows, land issues, Inequality, Green Living and the role of Swahili language in East Africa regional integration. These conversations formed part of MS TCDC commemoration of 50th anniversary since its inception. At the end of the week, participants and the public would appreciate the ‘state of play’ in respect to these selected development and policy issues.

MS-TCDC in collaboration with Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance and EndaSolar, hosted Green Living Day as part of multifaceted conversation within the 6-days series of coordinated, but informal dialogues aimed at promoting reflection and action toward locally feasible solutions to local domestic concerns.

East Africa and Africa at large continues to face a double pronged challenge of expanding economic opportunities for all in the context of a growing global population and addressing environmental pressures that come with economic development. The challenge of environmental pressure is so crucial that when left unaddressed will undermines the opportunities that have been provided for by economic development. Green growth and green living is where these two challenges meet and it is about exploiting the opportunities to actualize these two. 

Speaking at the event, Mr. Ezra Mbogo, the Executive Director at MS TCDC in his welcoming remarks was categorical on the need to go back and embrace our root. “Mother Nature is crucial and important to our survival and the more we don’t interfere with it the more it will serve us. Let us embrace green living and ensure that our actions don’t deplete the environment further. It all starts with us.’’

On the Green living day, conversations revolved around evaluating key African Climate Change Response Initiatives specifically Gasification (Thermal Power) using Prosopis Juliflora in transitioning to Low-carbon Energy in Kenya, Solar Energy opportunities for Green Living and the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on mobilization and advocacy on Green Living in East Africa.

Green living is the practice of reducing demand on natural resources and reducing carbon footprint at various levels. It offers an opportunity for people to adopt actions for sustainable living that can help them to reduce their carbon footprint or environmental impact by altering their lifestyle. It is an opportunity for people to adopt actions for sustainable living that can help them to reduce their carbon footprint or environmental impact by altering their lifestyle. Simple measures like using public transportation more often, reducing energy consumption, becoming more eco-friendly can go a long way in reducing your environmental impact and making this planet a clean and safe place. Green living revolves around micro and macro choices on energy and water consumption, liquid and solid waste disposal and modes of transportation among others.


Why Green Living is should be central in our lives

Green growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. Green growth refers to development that improves human well-being and builds social equity while reducing environmental risks and scarcities. Green growth is an alternative to today's dominant economic model, which exacerbates inequalities, encourages waste, triggers resource scarcities, and generates widespread threats to the environment and human health.

Green growth is centered on the principles of sharing, circularity, collaboration, solidarity, resilience, opportunity, and interdependence. Green growth provides a practical and flexible approach for achieving concrete, measurable progress across its economic and environmental pillars, while taking full account of the social consequences of greening the growth dynamic of economies. The focus of green growth strategies is ensuring that natural assets can deliver their full economic potential on a sustainable basis. 

From the conversations, we all sat down and agreed that, Environmental protection is our responsibility thus we must adopt lifestyle habits that protect it and promote Green living. We also recognized the role non- state actors play to influence policies to ensure development sustainability and foster synergy and collaboration between all sectors of economy to promote Green energy development.

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