UNEP's International Ecosystem Management Partnership hosted at the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Greening China-Africa Cooperation and First GEF Ecosystem-based Adaptation Project Launched
Greening China-Africa Cooperation
The past decade has seen increasing growth in China-Africa partnerships especially on international trade, technical assistance, and capacity building. Foreign direct investment in Africa alone has increased significantly over the past five years and reached $13 billion USD in 2010. The total trade volume between Africa and China was $168 billion in 2011 marking the importance of China’s “Going Global” movement. To date, China-African cooperation has expanded to new dimensions including the environment, science and technology, culture, health and agriculture.
« Current economic cooperation between China and Africa in terms of trade volume has increased rapidly from US$10billion in 2000 to US$200billion in 2012… Ms. Wenping He Director of African Studies, CASS »
These developments are also seen by many as an opportunity to streamline environmental management and planning into national economic development and to foster good governance and environmental practices. It is within this light that UNEP-IEMP in collaboration with the Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) organized an international seminar on “Greening China-Africa Cooperation: Building Pathways towards a Sustainable Future.” The objectives of the seminar was to share the results of recent research about China’s role in the African environment including sectors such as agriculture, forestry and mining, as well as bilateral efforts for managing ecosystem services for mutual benefits.
The one-day seminar included various presentations on ecosystem management that are currently being undertaken or completed in Africa by CIFOR, IEMP, and CCAP.
The seminar brought together approximately 50 national and international experts, donors, and civil society working along China-African initiatives through sharing insights, developing research partnerships, and identifying future opportunities for international collaboration on ecosystem management.
The highlight of the seminar was the interactive discussions on topical issues relating to the environment and development nexus and the take home message on new opportunities to explore for streamlining ecosystem management in development cooperation.
The seminar provided participants with enhanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities for ecosystem management in Africa and for strengthening cooperation on mutual benefits of human development. It also provided a platform for UNEP-IEMP to highlight its vision of enhancing the role of ecosystem management and green economy practices through our pilot projects on environmental monitoring, climate change adaptation, and integrated livelihoods.
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First GEF Ecosystem-based Adaptation Project Launched
The launch workshop had four main objectives; (i) to develop and agree on a work-plan with key partners in the first and subsequent years of implementation, (ii ) to take stock of the latest developments on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) initiatives in pertinent ecosystems (mountainous, coastal, and deserts) and within regional adaptation networks, (iii) to propose adjustments to project activities, baseline projects, indicators and targets based on latest developments, and (iv) to guide the project’s institutional arrangements including the set up of local team for
Climate change is slowly being recognized as one of the biggest threats to the environment and human wellbeing. As a result, several initiatives and partnerships have been developed to address these concerns especially in developing countries. A joint UNEPNDRC global project “Enhancing Capacity, Knowledge and Technology Support to Build Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Developing Countries” funded through GEF’s Special Climate Change Fund (GEF-SCCF) was officially launched on April 22, 2013 in Beijing, China. The project is also funded in collaboration with the National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) as well as other co-financing from other various partners including those from the pilot countries. The launch workshop was co-organized by UNEP-IEMP and the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR, CAS).
As emphasized by Mr. Wei Su, Director General of NDRC during his opening remarks at the launch workshop, “climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity in the 21st century and we need joint efforts from the international community in mainstreaming climate change actions in the overall framework of sustainable development.” His comments were further reiterated by Mr. Ziqian Liang, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Cooperation, China Ministry of Finance who noted China’s willingness to share their lessons and experiences with other developing countries and the international community within the framework of South- South Cooperation. The effects of climate change do not respect national boundaries and as such, there is need for effective action that go beyond national borders to include both regional and international action, said Ms. Lok- Desallien during her keynote. Ms. Bonizella Biagini from GEF Secretariat commended the project for its innovative and integrated approach to dealing with adaptation and climate change issues.
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