The leaders of the African Development Bank (AfDB), and others have charged civil society organisations (CSOs) to enhance environmental protection and sustainable development.
Leaders, who included Egypt’s Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Wael Badawi, gave the charge at the ongoing 2022 Civil Society Forum being held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
The leaders further charged CSOs to challenge developed nations to their commitment to developing nations ahead of the climate conference.
In Glasgow in November, 2021 for COP26, developed nations had pledged to meet a target of $100 billion per year of climate finance to developing countries.
The 27th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, takes place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022 with the theme: “Engaging Civil Society for Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition in Africa’’. The summit is being held physically and virtually.
Badawi said the forum was in line with Egypt’s vision to engage CSOs in the field of environmental protection, climate change, and sustainable development.
“The four thematic issues that are on the agenda are of great importance.
“Especially because of the contributions and the potential contribution of civil society in these areas with innovative ideas and experience that can be widely shared with proper coordination.
“The roundtables during this forum will be an opportunity to engage many stakeholders in climate issues to contribute in facing the world challenge that climate change has become.
“And that requires that our efforts complement in order to protect our future and that of future generations,” Badawi said.
The ambassador also highlighted the importance of food systems in Africa as one of the most important issues related to climate change.
“The recommendations of this forum will certainly be an additional asset in the preparation for the COP27 and the summit of world leaders that will take place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.”
He said he would like the outcome of COP27 to address the social and economic sides to implement sustainable development goals in their wider dimensions.
“There should be appropriate financial support for economic and just energy transition, as well as other steps leading to a breakthrough in climate action and resilience.”
Also speaking, Dr Beth Dunford, the Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, AfDB, said the theme of the forum aligned with the bank’s agenda on climate change and energy transition.
Dunford said the bank believes the CSOs are vital to it’s work and the communities that it serves.
She also said the forum would share views on the role of civil society and climate adaptation for resilient growth across the continent.
Dunford said the bank was working with governments of its regional member countries, public and private sector leaders, which is crucial to engagement with the civil society.
She said the CSOs know the community and represent their concerns and their ambitions.
“You CSOs provide unique insight, and amplify voices on priorities for civil society members.
“Groups like the African Development Bank, civil society committee, help hold us accountable for the implementation of the bank civil society engagement strategy.”
Dunford said the bank was committed to the civil society engagement period.
“Engagement is one of the most effective ways for inclusive economic growth and to ensure a rapid transition to green growth across the continent.
“We are in it together, to build climate resilience and bring about a just energy transition that enhances transparency and accountability to increase public awareness and inclusion, for the development and implementation of bank funded projects that positively impact communities.”
Also speaking, Dr Kevin Kariuki, Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, AfDB, said the bank’s engagement with civil society has never been more important.
“We are committed to a people centered development agenda of which increased engagement with civil society is key as we seek to build adaptive capacity for resilient growth post COVID-19.
“COP27, therefore, presents a great opportunity to centre Africa’s needs and aspirations on its people, hence, the urgency to foster enhanced stakeholder dialogue to amplify Africa’s positions.”
Kariuki further said the bank was committed to engaging in permanent and constructive dialogue with all Africa climate change stakeholders.
He said the engagement included the civil society to deliver tangible results and ensure a successful COP27, “for Egypt, for Africa and for the global society’’.
By Temitope Ponle