The establishment of the day comes at a particularly critical time for the health of Africa’s environment and its contribution to the social and economic development of the peoples of Africa.
Today, Africa faces enormous challenges. The UNEP publication "Africa Environment Outlook" (http://www.unep.org/aeo/)highlights the sharp increases in air and water pollution, land degradation, droughts and wildlife losses, growing population, wars, AIDS, high level of national debt and natural disasters. The report further states that over the coming decades, new and emerging threats, including climate change, the spread of alien introduced species, uncontrolled expansion of cities and pollution from cars and industry are likely to worsen poverty, damage the environment further and cause more ill-health.
Africa Environment Day is intended to examine ways of protecting the environment, as well as to sensitise populations and promote the exchange of information between African countries on environmental issues. African governments have agreed to organize conferences, roundtable discussions and workshops on the occasion to sensitize citizens and make them feel more responsible towards environment issues. They also agreed to give prominence to anti-desertification and anti-drought programmes, especially through a ban on the over-exploitation of natural resources on the continent.
Africa Environment Outlook