Address by Minister Creecy during part one of the 18th ordinary session of the African Ministerial Conference On The Environment (AMCEN) virtual meeting on 16 September 2021
Remarks by her excellency, Ms Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of the Republic of South Africa for the launch of the African Green Stimulus Programme on-line platform during part one of the 18th ordinary session of the African Ministerial Conference On The Environment (AMCEN) virtual meeting on 16 september 2021
H.E. Mr Abdul Karim Sall, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Senegal and President of AMCEN;
Dr Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo; UNEP Regional Director for Africa;
Representative of the African Development Bank;
Representative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa;
Representative of the African Union Development Agency;
Ms Roberta Annan UNEP Goodwill Ambassador;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is indeed an honour to be participating in the launch the On-line Platform for the African Green Stimulus Programme.
Addressing increasing global environmental challenges such as climate change, air and water pollution, biodiversity loss, ocean degradation, and inefficient resource use has become even more important as countries seek to rebuild their economies and enhance resilience against future shocks. The Covid-19 Pandemic has increased public consciousness of the fragility of natural systems and their importance for human well-being. None more so than in Africa.
On 28 May 2020, the AMCEN Bureau met and considered what Africa’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic should be from an environmental perspective. Within this context, the Bureau adopted of a Concept Note of the African Green Stimulus Programme, which outlined the key priority areas amongst other issues for this response. This gave rise to the development of a comprehensive document for this Programme, with the main objective of making a significant contribution towards Africa’s green recovery from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This innovative Programme, which the African Ministers of the Environment endorsed following the 8th Special Session of AMCEN in December 2020, has the potential to support a recovery that is green, sustainable and inclusive. Such a recovery has the potential to create opportunities for entrepreneurship, income generation, jobs and growth, particularly for women and the youth, and at the same time, to accelerate action on attaining short, medium and long-term environmental goals, both nationally, regionally and globally.
In this regard, this African-led Programme aims to contribute to the goal of enhancing action for environmental sustainability and prosperity in Africa as called for in the Durban Declaration of the 17th Ordinary Session of AMCEN and to support the attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063 aspirations, Paris Agreement imperatives, and relevant Sustainable Development Goals.
It is indeed a pleasure and a matter of pride that the Online Platform for this Programme is being launched today. It consists of a website, an administration portal and a data management system and has been developed in order to share information on the portfolio of projects and initiatives within the Programme. The Platform is therefore designed to ensure that information about the African Green Stimulus Programme can be accessed publicly and updated on a regular basis.
Whilst COVID-19 has exacerbated the economic stress for the African continent, it is realised that the means of implementation, including capacity development, technology transfer and financial resources remain critical for the realisation of green recovery.
Forging partnerships, promoting synergies and the scaling up of the mobilisation of resources are vital in realising green recovery for Africa, which is one of the main objectives of the African Green Stimulus Programme and its On-line Platform.
We therefore call upon Member States, African institutions and development partners and all other stakeholders to be part of this journey to green recovery of Africa, and to support the African Green Stimulus Programme.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank the African Green Stimulus Programme Working Group chaired by the AMCEN Secretariat, for the sterling work done in developing the African Green Stimulus Programme. I also wish to extend our appreciation to partners such as the African Development Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme, the Worldwide Fund for Nature for the financial support provided to develop this On-line Platform.
I also wish to acknowledge and appreciate the African Union Development Agency for hosting this Platform, which we have full confidence is the most appropriate African Inter-governmental organisation to ensure that this innovative initiative will serve the Continent well in supporting the green recovery and sustainable development of Africa.
I thank you.