The environment summit is the brainchild of African Union’s development agency, NEPAD, which is aiming to drive Africa’s environmental sustainability agenda and strengthen the continental architectures for sustainable environment management.
At the event, the Green Belt Movement was recognized and awarded for exceptional environmental organization dedicated to empowering communities, particularly women, and environmental conservation for improved livelihoods.
Following the coming into effect of the Paris Agreement in November 2016, NEPAD is spearheading the initiative as Africa’s unique opportunity to strategically address the continent’s environment and sustainable development goals in line with the African Agenda 2063.
The overall objectives of the Africa Environment Partnership Platform are to place a premium on partnership to establish synergies and a more vibrant global partnership to drive Africa’s environmental sustainability agenda and strengthen the continental architectures for sustainable environment management.
According to the concept note it indicated that most African states are parties to many of the international environmental conventions.
African countries have ratified: the Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention); the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (Stockholm Convention); and the Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (Rotterdam Convention).
African countries have ratified: the Ramsar Convention; CITES; the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals; the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (the World Heritage Convention); the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa; the Convention on Biological Diversity; and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
There has been significant efforts and progress at continental, regional and national levels to address the multi-faceted challenges of sustainable environmental management in Africa with AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency Regional Institutions, UN Agencies, Civil Society Groups and Development Partners amongst others at the forefront.
The platform is expected to enhance synergies and to standardize discussions with other stakeholders such as Civil Society, private sector as well as important multilateral and bi-lateral partners that are working on environmental issues in Africa. The work and priorities of the platform will be guided by the Environment Action Plan as well as periodic decisions by the AU System.