Tonga is one of four Pacific island countries chosen by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London for a study of small island states that looks at governance and levels of vulnerability and resilience to external shocks. Visiting Nuku’alofa this week a team of three researchers were building up a profile of Tonga’s strengths and weaknesses in its ability to govern itself and respond to challenges of many kinds. The information was gathered through consultation and surveys presented at a Resilience Profiling Workshop for different sectors held at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre on January 25, presented by Dr Denny Lewis-Bynoe, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Adviser and Head of Climate Finance and Small States Economic Policy, with Mr Wonderful Hope Khonje, Economic Officer, and Mr Jean Paul Fabri, a consultant.
During the climate negotiations in Paris, representatives of African governments announced the launch of the AFR100 initiative. This strategy aims to restore almost 100 million hectares of forest and woodland in Africa between now and 2030. The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) have contributed to the launch of AFR100.
A delegation from the European Union and European Commission and officials of Concern Universal Country Office last Friday visited the Waste Innovation Centre in Brikama. The occasion was also graced by ward councilors, senior staff of the Brikama Area Council, Women Initiative Gambia (WIG) and officials from The Global Climate Change Alliance Livelihood. The centre, located at the Brikama Area Council Annex, is part of a four-month pilot project funded by the European Union, Waste-Aid and Concern Universal, in partnership with the Brikama Area Council and Women Initiative Gambia (WIG).
An issue paper adopted by the ACP Group’s Sub-committee on Sustainable Development will serve as the basis of a common ACP position at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 in Paris this December. Essentially, the document reaffirms the view that climate change is the single greatest challenge to the sustainable livelihoods, security and well-being of African, Caribbean and Pacific peoples, posing immediate and long-term significant risks to sustainable development efforts. Climate change threatens the very survival of the 79 developing countries that make up the ACP Group.
On Thursday 5th November, the European External Cooperation Infopoint held a lunch time conferecen on ‘Services to face climate change: Making climate information available and pertinent for everyday decisions.’ Mr. Denis Salord, Head of Unit, DG Development Cooperation on Thematic intra-ACP prgorammes introduced the conference, alongside Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou , Assistant Secretary General of the ACP and Head of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade at the ACP Secretariat. Presentatioins were made by Mr. Jolly Wasambo, MESA Project Coordinator at the African Union Commission.
The Commission's international public consultation on how the EU could contribute to achieving better international governance of oceans and seas to the benefit of sustainable blue growth has been completed. The EU is a global frontrunner in the development of sustainable ocean-based economies through its robust set of environmental rules, reformed Common Fisheries Policy and its global fight against illegal fishing. The Commission shall analyse the contributions received and based on the views gathered, it will launch an initiative on international ocean governance next year. Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella remarked: "Governance gaps exist when it comes to managing our oceans sustainably. This puts our marine resources and environments at risk."
The Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations is well underway and the draft interim report has been published for comments until 24 October. The Trade SIA on the EGA negotiations are also known as the “Green Goods Initiative”. The Trade SIA uses qualitative and quantitative research to assess the potential environmental, economic and social impacts of the liberalisation of trade in environmental goods and services. In support of this analysis, the Trade SIA will employ the use of this questionnaire to gather stakeholder feedback on key issues. Stakeholders will have yet another opportunity to provide feedback when the SIA draft final report is published for comments during the month of November. A survey is being conducted to feed into the SIA analysis.
This study on Blue growth Potential outlines how the Horizon 2020 research is embedded in the wider context of Food Security, sustainable agriculture and forestry , marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy. The report highlights one of the main purposes of this societal challenge, namely to sustainably optimize biological resources. The Framework Programme provide a number of bilateral agreements and dialogues, as well as international cooperation initiatives such as the EU-Africa dialogue on research and innovation (R&I).
The European Union (EU) has launched a new programme called Building Disaster Resilience to Natural Hazards in Sub-Saharan African Regions, Countries and Communities. It provides 88 million (US$95 million) over the next five years and targets funding local climate research centres and help the continent prepare for natural disasters. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural economy and agriculture said, “Over the last decade, Africa lost about 700,000 lives to natural disasters such as floods and droughts (…) Addressing this requires predictable financial resources.” The programme focuses on five priority areas, including: (i) climate research and data centres; (ii) increasing regional coordination and disaster risk reduction monitoring.
At the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development, the EU announced €80-million package of funds to support disaster risk management across Sub-Saharan Africa that will be financed as part of the EU-ACP cooperation. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction congratulated the project and expressed UNISDRs excitement to partner with African governments to implement the programmes. She explained, “This is a strategic long-term investment in building resilience in Africa. It will help to reduce mortality and economic losses by improving preparedness, early warning systems and putting in place systems for understanding how disaster losses are generated in order to avoid them in the future.”