||KEY POLICY RESPONSES
|Environment and development
- Development of national strategies for sustainable development (NSSDs),
and in some cases National Conservation Strategies (NCSs).
- Translation of the global Agenda 21 into National Agenda 21s and
Local Agenda 21s.
- Establishment of fully fledged ministries of environment and environmental
protection authorities or agencies.
- Improvements in sub-regional and regional coordination of environmental
- Preparation of poverty reduction strategy papers and poverty eradication
- Formulation of sustainable livelihood strategies.
- Promotion of south-south and intra-Africa trade.
- Lobbying for greater access to developed country markets and, in general,
removal of trade barriers.
- Modernization of agriculture.
- The majority of states are parties to the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention to Combat Desertification
- Several countries have produced National Action Plans in accordance
- Establishment of Early Warning Systems.
- Establishment of food reserve programmes.
- Crop research to identify drought resistant varieties.
- Improving housing design and construction.
- Urban planning to reduce vulnerability of human populations.
- Ratification of UNFCCC, and the Kyoto Protocol..
- Undertaking of Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJs) projects through
joint ventures with the private sector of developed countries.
- Development of National Communication Strategies to provide detailed
inventories of emissions and sinks, and programmes to mitigate the impacts
of climate change.
- Exploration of options for further exploitation of alternative sources
of energy (e.g. solar, wind, micro-hydro, and biomass), particularly
by countries of Northern and Southern Africa.
- Establishment of air quality standards and guidelines.
- Monitoring of ambient air quality.
- Operations of the Air Pollution Impact Network for Africa (ALPINA),
a network of scientists, policy makers and NGOs established to provide
information on air pollution, methodologies and databases, and to bridge
the gap between information and policy making.
- Upgrading public transport systems, imposition of age limits for private
and commercial vehicles, and the provision of subsidies for switching
to unleaded fuels.
- Preparations of plans for adoption of cleaner technologies to reduce
- Formulation of land use policies and plans, including zoning.
- Land reform (e.g. land redistribution and resettlement).
- Development of environmental management programmes (district, national
environment action plans).
- Promotion of community-based natural resources management (CBNRM)
- Development of erosion hazard mapping.
- Regional initiatives for the conservation and utilization of soils,
e.g. Southern African Regional Commission for the Conservation and Utilization
of the Soil (SARCCUS).
- Regional initiatives to combat desertification (SADC, Sub-Regional
- Reducing the rate of growth of the human population.
- Environmental education programmes.
- Promotion of private sector involvement in land management issues.
- Universal primary education.
- Plans for modernization of agriculture.
- Ratification of a large number of international conventions.
- Increase in the number and extent of protected areas.
- Ratification of conventions related to biodiversity, (CBD) in particular,
and RAMSAR and CITES.
- Promoting community based natural resource management programmes (CBNRM).
- Development of national environmental action plans and conservation
- Promotion of sub-regional cooperation in conservation.
- Formulation of natural biodiversity strategy and action plan (NBSAP).
- Ratification of conventions related to biodiversity, CBD in particular,
but also RAMSAR and CITES.
- Ex-situ plant propagation in nurseries.
Alien invasive species
Inadequate attention to indigenous knowledge and intellectual property
- Tightening controls on imports and spraying of aircraft (and in some
cases disinfecting of passengers too).
- Gene banking (Southern Africa).
- Reform of policies to assign intellectual property rights to certain
countries, communities or individuals.
- Establishment of resource centres across Africa that focus on identification
and dissemination of indigenous or traditional knowledge and practices.
- Using indigenous knowledge in the treatment of HIV/AIDS (Tanzania).
- Improving forest harvesting sustainability through removal of subsidies
for commercial logging and privatization of state-owned forests.
- Ensuring greater stakeholder participation in forest management through,
amongst other things, partnerships between state or private and local
- Use of technologies such as remote sensing and geographic information
systems to provide more accurate information.
- Formation of the ATO whose member states collectively control over
80 per cent of Africa’s natural forests.
- Development of implementing and indicator programmes through the Dry
Zone Africa Process (Southern African States).
- Having some forest area certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
(Southern African States).
- Including forests in wildlife protected areas such as national parks
to accord them greater conservation status.
- Proposal for a consortium approach to ease access to funding (African
|Limited access to water resources
- The United Nations International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation
- Africa 2000 Initiative of 1994, by the World Health Organization (WHO)’s
Africa Regional Office.
- Construction of dams on almost all major rivers in Africa to provide
water storage capacities, hydro-electric power, and to supply domestic,
industrial and agricultural users. There are more than 1 200 dams in
- Revision of water policies and pricing mechanisms, as measures to
manage demand and encourage more conservative water use.
- Recycling of wastewater as irrigation water, and upgrading of reticulation
- Increasing favour for integrated water resource management (IWRM)
in several countries.
- Public-private partnerships in water resource management and water
- Establishment of international agreements and protocols, either as
proactive measures or in response to escalating conflict over shared
water courses (e.g. The Nile Basin Initiative, the Regional Programme
for the Sustainable Development of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer, and
the SADC Protocol on Shared Water Courses).
|Poor water quality
- Development of wetlands policies and/or conservation strategies (e.g.
Ghana, South Africa and Uganda).
- Establishment and enforcement of effluent water standards.
- Rehabilitation of existing wastewater treatment facilities as measures
to control water quality.
- Incorporation of the polluter pays principle in many policies
- Schemes for improving drainage, purification and decontamination of
freshwater systems, and public awareness campaigns.
- Declaration of marine protected areas (MPAs).
- Integrated environmental management, particularly integrated coastal
zone management (ICZM).
- Promulgation of laws and regulations requiring environmental impact
studies to be carried out before development proceeds in the coastal
zone or hinterland.
- Sub-regional and regional agreements.
- Ratification of several international conventions aimed at enhancing
conservation of natural resources.
- Support for capacity building and access to financial resources.
|Marine and coastal pollution
- Ratification of international agreements such as the Convention for
the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), the Convention for
the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal
Environment of the Eastern African Region (Nairobi Convention), and
the Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Development of
the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African Region
- Participation in UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme.
- Public health legislation.
- Clearing of coastal areas.
- Various management measures including minimum net size limits, bag
limits, use of appropriate fishing gear, and closed seasons.
- International agreements between African countries, and between African
and European or other international fisheries (the United Nations Law
of the Sea).
|Sea level rise
- Construction of groynes, sea walls and other physical barriers.
- Signing of the Convention for Cooperation in Protection and Development
of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central African
Region (Abidjan Convention).
|Poor urban conditions
- Increased production of low-cost housing stocks, and introducing housing
subsidies for low-income groups.
- Creation of the United Nations Commission for Human Settlements (Habitat)
and Local Agenda 21.
- Revision or formation of constitutions and national legislation to
promote the right to adequate shelter.
- Revision of policies to recognize women’s rights to own property.
- Formulation of environmental policies.
- Development of integrated water policies and waste management strategies.
- Privatization of municipal services in an effort to improve coverage
- Development of effluent standards and tighter controls on waste management.
- Housing programmes, subsidies for low income families, poverty alleviation
programmes, and decentralization strategies.
- Attainment of international best practices and awards (Angola and
- Establishment of ministries (departments) responsible for disaster
preparedness, prevention and management.
- Formulation of policies and action plans for disaster prevention and
- Formulation and implementation of poverty reduction strategies.
- Establishment of early warning systems.
- Preparation of long-term perspectives, strategic framework for national
development (National Vision 2025).
- Preparation of poverty reduction strategies, based on national Vision
- In some cases (e.g. Uganda), preparation of development plans for
lower levels government in conformity with the national poverty eradication