UNECA Holds First Climate Change and Development Conference in Africa

19 October 2011: The First Climate Change and Development in Africa Conference convened under the theme "Development First: Addressing climate change in Africa." The event sought to address the need for greatly improved climate data and information for Africa, in addition to strengthening the use of this information for policy and decision making.

Organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa's (UNECA) African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), the conference highlighted the need for adaptation as the primary strategy to address the effects of climate change.

It aimed to provide a platform for: deliberating improved data and climate change governance; mainstreaming climate change into development; harnessing research and innovation for climate change; and promoting regional and international cooperation and partnerships in climate.

Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary, UNECA, noted that adaptation offers an opportunity to manage risk and enhance choices, thereby contributing to sustainable development and addressing the social, economic and security threats posed by climate change.

Discussions at the conference also addressed economics and finance of climate change and low carbon development in Africa. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission (AUC), in his address, noted that a "green economy" can be achieved, but requires genuine commitment by the international community. The Conference took place from 17-19 October 2011,  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. [UNECA Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Statement by Erastus Mwencha]