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Items filtered by date: May 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted plans by civil society organisations, especially the ones that, like the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, focus on climate change.

To champion climate justice, PACJA, in all its platforms, had planned several activities that also involved physical work in partnership with several other stakeholders, but, like the rest of the world, a lot has remained to be done virtually. When he spoke to the Press Monday, Oboue Anicet Durand, the PACJA Corte d’Ivoire National Coordinator, regretted that a lot of things would have to be done at a later date, especially where activities involved working with indigenous or other communities.

Mr Durand was interviewed by MEDI 1 TV channel where he shared on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on environmental and climate championing activities and actions.

“A lot of action plans’ implementation will have to wait, and this problem is not unique to PACJA Cote d’Ivoire, or even the entire PACJA organ,” said Durand. Indeed, the activist’s claims can be confirmed, as only this week the UNFCCC’s national Focal Point announced that its next Conference of Parties (CoP26) had been postponed to November 1-12 2021.

Several other conferences or meetings that were to ensure the climate crisis discourse, including its mitigation and adaptation, negotiations and tracking of pledges by individual nations on reduction of Green House Gas emission and releasing of green climate fund, was advanced.

Already the Subsidiary Body meetings that were supposed to happen in the second quarter of the year have been pushed to October.

Some of those that CSOs may have to postpone are bilateral meetings with funders or donors, such as the African Development Bank, in the case of PACJA. “For us they include restitution of Africa’s participation in COP25; bilateral meetings with key stakeholders and the Ivorian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, of the UN-Environment, awareness activities in universities, high schools and colleges,” said Durand.

PACJA, including its Côte d'Ivoire platform, has, however been able to hold online meetings with employees and other technical and financial partners. In Kenya, PACJA, with the leadership of its Executive Director Mithika Mwenda, planted at least 100,000 bamboo trees in riparian and other areas. The trees are expected to save the environment while at the same time giving local communities a source of income.

For now, the PACJA Cote d’Ivoire will be actively involved in a pan-African webinar to analyse the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on climate actions in countries such as Morocco, Gabon, Senegal and Côte d Ivoire itself. “A strategic risk plan is ready with a view to strengthening actions with the sub-regional and United Nations institutions and agencies,” he said, adding that the world would eventually find a way around the health crisis and adapt to an already visible new normal.

On May 26th, the UNFCCC announced: “Having consulted widely, and taking into account the international event calendar, the UK is proposing to hold CoP 26 on November 1-12, 2021”.

Already PACJA Executive Director Mithika Mwenda had welcomed the proposal to have the CoP 26 delayed, despite knowing that there would be another huge loss.

PACJA’s attention has not, however, shifted from the activities that help us champion climate crisis, and now plans to use every available opportunity to make the next big event, which is the World Environment Day, as helpful and successful as possible.

Other PACJA platforms in Cameroon, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, to mention a few, have equally stepped out of this world quarantine and distributed food aid and sanitation equipment to the needy, as well as contributed in the stocking of personal protective equipment for medics, as was the case in Gabon earlier this week.

    The PACJA family did it again, using their kindness to tackle the effects of the killer Covid-19, this time in Gabon. The Gabonese platform of PACJA, Network of civil society organisations for the green economy in Central Africa, continued its campaign to support and raise awareness among the rural populations hardest hit as the Covid-19 pandemic progresses. While leading a food and other aid distribution team valued at $15,000 to those most affected in Ngounié Province, Gabon, on Saturday, Roscevac executive president Nicaise Moulombi said anyone could do anything, however small, to help the needy. He said that his heart was bleeding for the suffering, in particular that of Mouila on Lot 3 of the multinational OLAM. The team, accompanied by the coordination team of Roscevac Mouila, led by Marie Paule Badjina, who is also the second vice-president of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of Gabon, also offered food kits and protective equipment individual at the hospitals of Ndende and Mouila. More aid was distributed to local Catholic and Protestant churches, targeting the heads of its various establishments. The aid was delivered under the watchful eye of Benjamin Banguebe, the governor of the province of Ngounié, who once again hailed Roscevac's stated commitment to genuinely support the populations of his province since the spread of his tentacles in Mouila. Mr Banguebe assured the president of Roscevac that the rest of the food kits made available to his institution would reach the target populations throughout the province. Ncaise called on the Gabonese to do their part in the fight against the new coronavirus, according to government instructions, saying the country will eventually overcome.

So far, 1,934 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Gabon, of which 12 victims have perished. There have also been 459 recoveries. The country has so far tested more than 6,000.

On 13 May 2020, the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) mobilised communities to plant giant bamboo seedlings across the Mt. Kenya East region. At least 100,000 tree seedlings were distributed and planted in strategic areas, particularly riparian areas, to help build resilience against the effects of climate change.

The activity, which was a pilot of a larger project – the Mt Kenya East Regeneration Partnership - seeks to strengthen nature-based ecosystems, and is expected to be scaled up to other areas in collaboration with PACJA's membership.

The tree planting was launched in a webinar that hosted several participants from around the world and is in line with Kenya's contributions to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) where the country seeks to achieve 10 per cent tree cover.

Speaking when the exercise was launched virtually and streamed live on local TV and radio stations, Dr.  Mithika Mwenda, who is also the PACJA Executive Director, said the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic had turned everything upside down was not an excuse not to continue the fight against the climate emergency.

Business, education, political and environment stakeholders and the local community that were involved in the exercise that is expected to spread to other regions, hailed the efforts by the team that conceived the idea and ensured its implementation.

“We want to see this kind of action, not just talk. We want to make tree planting part of us. This is a god way to conserve the environment while at the same time giving the local community economic muscle because of the goodness of bamboo tree,” said Cecilia Mutembei, a local woman who was glad to have had the opportunity to plant several trees on a riverbank near her farm.


Speaking at a primary school in Meru County, where the seedlings donated by several organisations, PACJA included, had been kept, Dr. Mwenda lauded the like-minded organisations such as Bidco Oil Company, the county governments that had put in place policies to help mitigate effects of the climate crisis and increase adaptation.

“We are grateful that the Bidco Oil Company, the Mugwe Community, Caritas Kenya, AWECA as well as the county governments are actively involved in this initiative to conserve the environment while at the same time improving the economic status of the locals, because bamboo tree serves both purposes so well,” added Dr Mwenda.

Governors H.E. Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi County) and H.E. Kiraitu Murungi (Meru County), speaking through their representatives, emphasised the role of the county governments in environmental conservation, catchment rehabilitation, especially promotion of the right varieties of trees in alignment with the Water Forum Resolutions 2019.

Gacheri Muthuri, who is the Chair of the Mugwe Community Development Organisation, urged communities to play their role in ensuring their surroundings were safe dwelling places by planting as many trees as they could.

PACJA has been actively mobilising communities such as SMEs, women's groups, youth groups, to mention a few, to take up climate action in the grassroots. This saw a huge turnout for the tree planting exercise. The Alliance has also supported many communities in several countries by providing resources as well as linkage to local and county level governments, government agencies such as the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), among others.

The teams chose the giant bamboo tree because it is a fast-growing plant and provides several benefits, particularly with many advantages for the environment and livelihoods of communities.

According to environmentalists, the bamboo tree can resist pests more than any other plant besides not being on top of the food list for deer, rabbits and several other mammals.

“The tree is also rarely bothered by insect pests, with the exception of bamboo mites, which may be a problem in dry climates,” reads a statement sent out to newsrooms by PACJA.

The bamboo tree has been found to absorb greenhouse gases and release oxygen into the atmosphere, as well as prevent soil erosion. Its other uses range from medicinal, infrastructural, textile, utensils, musical instruments and food. 

The exercise launched yesterday targets riparian and watershed areas degraded over the years, in order to stabilise riverbeds.

John Kariuki, who represented the Bidco Oil Company in the webinar said in spite of what is happening (COVID-19 pandemic), “we must continue to take care of the environment”.

He said Bidco would plant a million bamboo trees in the Mt Kenya region. 

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