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Forum urges African countries to integrate protection of natural resources

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Regional Forum on Sustainable Development has called on African nations to redefine and develop their economic models by integrating  protection of natural resources.

Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development
A session at the 9th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Niger

This was part of the forum’s resolutions after their meeting on sustainable development held in Niamey, Niger Republic, on Friday, March 3, 2023.

The meeting deliberated on issues that included water, land, promotion of renewable energy and a just transition.

The participating nations called for the implementation of green and resilient infrastructure that would support sustainable industrialisation, and the development of urbanisation to achieve an inclusive growth among members.

The forum  also encouraged African countries to harness science, innovation and state-of-the-art technologies, such as artificial intelligence for their accelerated growth and development. 

The group also deliberated on the potentials of young people toward driving the necessary transformation in the next 10 years to achieve the objectives of sustainable development.

The resolutions also reflected the Niamey declaration on accelerating inclusive and green recovery, integrated and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.

It called for increased national investment in digital meteorological and climate observation systems to help provide early warning systems against  impending eventualities.

The forum requested the United Nations, African Union Commission (AUC), African Development Bank (AfDB), African Export-Import Bank and other partners to expand their support to scale-up and deliver the projected initiatives.

According to them, the initiatives include Voluntary National and Local Reviews, Debt-for-nature swaps, the regional digital carbon registry,  harmonisation of greenhouse gas accounting and reporting protocols.

Others are capacity-building in relation to green, blue and sustainable bonds, the great blue wall initiative and the liquidity and sustainability facility to overcome financing challenges.

“We should strive to bolster positive action in support of the climate and nature and to accelerate significantly the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063,” it said.

The two-day forum was declared open by the President of Niger, Mr Mohamed Bazoum, on Thursday.

The forum’s meeting was organised by UNECA with the government of Niger Republic in  collaboration with AUC, African Developmeht Bank (AFDB) and entities of the UN.

The event was attended by African ministers, and officials responsible for the environment and sustainable development, finance, planning, economic and social development, water, energy, industry, infrastructure, urban planning and land management, among others.

By Temitope Ponle

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