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UNECA Expert Group Meeting Urges Mainstreaming Climate Change into Development Policies

27 August 2012: A recently-held UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) expert group meeting on “Climate Change and the Rural Economy in Southern Africa,” met to address, inter alia, strengthening capacity for developing adaptation and mitigation strategies. The meeting concluded with a call to member States to continue mainstreaming climate change into their rural development policies.

Held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 22-24 August 2012, experts from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region gathered to identify key capacity building needs and other important issues to be addressed in order to ensure future economic development is climate change resilient. Participants discussed the need to continuously refine, develop and build long-term adaptation strategies for improving climate resilience in all sectors, with an emphasis on rural areas and impoverished communities.

Member States were also encouraged to diversify rural economies to avoid an over reliance on agriculture and other weather-sensitive sectors. The meeting concluded with a call to enhance current efforts to assist in accessing climate change-related funding facilities and urged continued assistance for capacity building for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The three day Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting, convened by the UNECA, was attended by 22 experts from member States' ministries, representatives of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern (COMESA), the private sector, academia and civil society engaged in agriculture, rural economy and climate change. [UNECA Press Release]