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UNEP Executive Director Concludes Visit to Uganda

Kampala, 27 August 2015 - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner yesterday concluded a successful visit to Uganda, where he met with H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, to present the Uganda Wetlands Atlas as a contribution to launching a major wetlands restoration initiative for the country. He also discussed enhanced UNEP-Uganda cooperation on key environmental issues affecting the country, including sustainable development and green economy solutions, renewable energy options and the consequences of climate change on Uganda's people and natural resources.

Mr. Steiner said, "Uganda is a country blessed with natural resources. While true across the world, it is even more apparent here that the environment is the foundation of all of our livelihoods. UNEP is keen to continue to cooperate with Uganda to address vital environmental issues and help chart a sustainable development path for the country that will benefit Ugandans long into the future."

During his trip, Executive Director Steiner also met with Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Water and Environment, with whom he signed a Country Cooperation Framework agreement.

Mr. Steiner also participated in two launches during his time in Kampala. Alongside Minister Kamuntu, he unveiled Volume One of the Uganda Wetlands Atlas and the Uganda-wide initiative, "Greening of the Economy through Massive Tree Planting and Sustainable Forest Management". He also participated with the Minister in a ceremonial tree planting at the headquarters of the National Forestry Authority.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Uganda Wetlands Atlas

The Uganda Wetlands Atlas is an essential tool for policy makers, planners and legislators that resolves some longstanding questions on accurate facts, figures and statistics. Produced at the request of the Ugandan Government, in partnership with several national institutions and development partners, it provides evidence-based assessment of the rapid changes taking place in the country's critical wetland ecosystems in urban areas. Using earth observation systems to underpin scientific analysis of the country's wetlands ecosystems, the assessment spanned a period of 10 years in the urban areas of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso. The Atlas will contribute to firming up Uganda's resilience to the negative impacts climate change is expected to have on wetland areas.

About UNEP-Uganda Cooperation Framework

The UNEP-Uganda Cooperation Framework aims at laying the foundation for strengthening and consolidating long-term cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and UNEP. The Framework is designed to deepen the collaboration in ensuring that environmental sustainability becomes a key pillar in Uganda's development agenda at all levels. It is intended to consolidate UNEP's support to Uganda and enhance effectiveness, improve coherence and integration within the Uganda UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2010-2014 and UNDAF 2016-20, as well as to lay the foundation for the development and implementation of Joint Programmes and other activities.


2nd Africa Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Conference 2015


Experts & Policymakers Re-Imagine African Agriculture in Face of Climate Change

65% of Africa’s Land Affected by Degradation; New Approach Essential

Nairobi, 30 July 2015 – Over 1,200 experts, policy makers and participants today adopted the Nairobi Action Agenda on Ecosystem based Adaptation for food security and formed the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), which re-imagines a system of agriculture for the continent that would be beneficial both economically and environmentally.

The formation of EBAFOSA and the adoption of its constitution come as land degradation affects nearly 65 percent of Africa’s land, with some 6 million hectares of productive land lost each year. Part of the Nairobi Action Agenda, the assembly is a result of the ‘Africa Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security (EBAFOSC): Re-imagining Africa Food Security Now and into the Future under a Changing Climate’ conference, the second of its kind.

As the world gears up for the Climate Change conference and the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) later this year, a new approach is urgently needed to build an inclusive food system that is robust enough to create jobs and wealth for all in Africa, including the youth. Ecosystem‐based adaptation (EbA) provides flexible, cost-effective, and broadly applicable alternatives for building robust food systems on fewer inputs while reducing the impacts of climate change.

The participants at the conference converted existing lessons and experiences into common solutions for food security and climate change adaptation on the continent, their objectives being to determine how to protect and restore Africa’s ecosystems, achieve food security, identify scalable inclusive business and finance models, put in place policies that incentivize public and private investment in EbA and increase the likelihood of increased investment from oil earnings back into the Earth’s ecosystems, which underpin the entire food security system.

The adoption of the Nairobi Action Agenda reflects the importance of the issues on a continent where food imports exceed food exports by 30 percent and the agricultural sector uses over 60 percent of Africa’s labour force.

The EBAFOSA replaces the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Conference (EBAFOSC) to become the continental body dialoguing and working with the African Union and other partners to help drive the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) agenda in line with the Malabo Declaration as well as the proposed SDGs and Agenda 2063.

Delegates from the UN, regional economic communities, non-governmental organizations, Civil Societies, researchers, the private sector and others including UNEP, FAO, AfDB, AFRA, FARA, ACTS, Greenpeace, ActionAid, Global Environmental Facility, Equity Bank and many other partners discussed multiple topics including how ‘Green Revolution’ technologies can be made more EbA-friendly, how to build resilience under a changing climate, how to use examples from other southern countries, avert post-harvest loss, use EbA policy to shape the implementation of international agendas, subsidy reform, land tenure and tax incentives as well as how to harness EbA-driven agriculture to stimulate job creation, growth, and value additional partnership in Africa.



UNEP Receives 2015 Africa Peace Award for Environmental and Development Work

Nairobi, 13 July 2015 – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) received on Monday the Africa Peace Award, conferred by the United Religions Initiative-Africa (URI-Africa) to distinguished individuals or organizations for efforts towards sustainable peace, environmental protection, development, democracy and good leadership on the continent.

The award is presented annually since 2007. Its previous recipients include the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

After receiving the award on behalf of UNEP, Mr. Mounkaila Goumandakoye noted that while environmental issues are science based, they are also fundamentally ethical.

“UNEP will continue to work with URI and all stakeholders groups to advance the vision of our common future and work to ensure sustainable and inclusive use of the natural capital, peace and prosperity to all nations,” he said.

Presenting the award, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, the Regional Director and Representative of URI to the African Union, said:  "This award is an acknowledgment of UNEP's leadership in the promotion of environmental science and information, development of international environmental law, advocacy of environmental concerns within the international system and its effort to nurture partnerships with other UN bodies possessing complementary skills and delivery capabilities as well as enhancing the participation of the private sector, the scientific community, NGOs, youth, women, and sports organizations in the achievement of sustainable development and the preservation of environment”.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About United Religions Initiative

URI is an interfaith peace-building organization with consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Its purpose is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. Its African chapter is comprised of 156 organizations in 28 countries.

 

About the Africa Peace Award

The Africa Peace Award is presented annually to individuals or organizations whose leadership and policies reflect courage, initiative, and creativity that help to create peace and a better future for all.


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