By 2020, Africa would be losing a staggering $7 billion to $15 billion every year due to the devastating effects of climate change. Now, President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon in central Africa is leading an initiative to end it.
For African countries, climate change is a constant, painful and brutal headache. Every day, many of them are confronted with the devastating impacts of climate change on agriculture, water, access to natural resources, coastal erosions, floods, desertification and extreme weather events.
These multiple consequences of climate change make adaptation a priority for Africa.
Next Monday, on the margins of 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Gabonese government will host the first Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI).
The discussions will take place on Monday 24 September 2018, from 10.30 a.m. – 11.30 a.m. at the UN Secretariat Conference Room 5.
It would be jointly hosted by the Gabonese Government, on behalf of the African Union’s Committee of Head of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
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Over 40 leaders including Mrs Patricia ESPINOSA, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Mr Eric SOLHEIM, UNEP Administrator, Josefa Leonel Correia SACKO, African Union Commissioner, Pierre GUISLAIN, Deputy President of the African development Bank (AfDB), countries and organizations, have confirmed their attendance.
The discussions would be an opportunity to consider the most effective measures to help close the Adaptation Gap in Africa, which experts estimate to be between USD 7 billion and 15 billion per year by 2020, and increasing thereafter.
“Africa, with its means, is deploying all its energy to fight the cancer of modern development that is climate change.This must therefore also lead our partners to mobilise their efforts relentlessly, in accordance with commitments that are continually repeated but still insufficiently implemented. I therefore invite all our partners to join the transformation train to boost Paris’ momentum and turn our words into deeds. For as I have said since Paris. The cost of inaction will be greater and heavier than that of action”, said Mr Bongo, President of The Gabonese Republic, Coordinator of Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change.
As the current chair of CAHOSCC and the AAI Champion, the President of Gabon, H.E. Ali BONGO ONDIMBA, has firmly taken the lead in the drive to accelerate action on climate change adaptation in Africa, working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to mobilize through this roundtable $ 5 Million to support the 3 years AAI work programme.
Why it matters: While African countries are investing significant domestic resources in their own response to climate change, through their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), there is still a significant gap that requires international support in terms of finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building.