African Ministers Adopt Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change

29 May 2009: African Ministers attending the third special session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) on Climate Change, which convened from 25-29 May 2009, in Nairobi, Kenya, adopted the Nairobi Declaration.

The Declaration highlights major challenges and opportunities in the negotiations for a more equitable climate regime, and provides African countries with a platform to make a strong case for support at the climate change conference in Copenhagen, in December 2009.

The Declaration states that increased support to Africa should be based on the continent's priorities, which include adaptation, capacity building, financing and technology development and transfer. It further stresses the need for African countries to implement climate change programmes in a way that helps achieve sustainable development, particularly in terms of alleviating poverty and attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with an emphasis on the most vulnerable such as women and children.

Ministers also agreed that the key political messages from Africa to inform the global climate change debate and negotiation process should be based on the established principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, and respective capabilities. The Declaration also highlights the need for a coherent financial architecture for climate change, with equitable governance and simplified access procedures. African Ministers suggested that the Group of Eight implement the recommendation to create a regional climate centre in Africa for the improvement of climate risk management and the implementation of the regional strategy for disaster-risk reduction.

Addressing the AMCEN special session, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer underscored the urgent need for adaptation, especially in Africa. He also stressed the economic opportunities of mitigation actions in the continent, noting their potential contribution in creating real competitive economic advantages for Africa going into the future. [UNEP Press Release] [UNFCCC Executive Secretary's Speech]