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Pan-African Climate and Health Workshop Discusses Preparations for COP 17

6 April 2011: The second Pan-African Climate and Health workshop was held from 4-6 April 2011, as part of the African region's preparation for the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC to be held in Durban, South Africa, at the end of the year.

The workshop was organized by the Ethiopian Climate and Health Working Group, in collaboration with the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the World Health Organization's (WHO) Africa Regional Office, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UK Meteorological Office (UK Met), Exeter University, UK, and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, US.

The aim of the workshop was to: review progress achieved since the first workshop was held in Bamako, Mali, held over ten years ago; and help define Africa's climate and health priorities, to ensure that the region “speaks with one voice” on health during COP 17.

Discussions during the workshop focused on the climate change and climate adaptation programmes currently in place, as well as data and research priorities and initiatives that are based on the needs of Africans. Youba Sokona, Coordinator of ECA's African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), noted that, “This was an effort to engage a dialogue between those who do not talk to each other, including practitioners in the health sector, climatologists, meteorologists, and policy makers,” adding that through dialogue, information from these diverse actors should feed into health sector policies.

During the workshop, a Memoranda of Understanding to enhance research in this area was signed between Ethiopia's Anti-Malaria Association and the African Centre for Meteorological Application for Development. [UNECA Press Release]