Nairobi, Kenya, October 19, 2023 – As the global climate crisis continues to intensify, a crucial strategy meeting is set to take place from October 25th to 27th in Nairobi, Kenya. The Pre-COP 28 AGNES Strategy Meeting, organized by the African Group of Negotiators Experts Support (AGNES) in collaboration with various partners, aims to prepare African negotiators for the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28). This meeting will address the pressing challenges associated with climate change, such as its impact on agriculture, health, water resources, biodiversity, and more.
Agriculture Under Threat
The negative influence of climate change on African economies and sustainable development is a primary concern. Agriculture, which contributes more than one-fifth of sub-Saharan Africa’s economic output, is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Weather patterns have become less predictable, causing increased volatility in crop and livestock yields. Livestock health is at risk from changes in forage availability, water access, and extreme heat. Furthermore, extreme weather events, including droughts and floods, are on the rise, affecting the livelihoods of millions.
Biodiversity and Climate Change
Climate change also poses a significant threat to Africa’s biodiversity and ecosystem services. Climate-induced changes can alter ecological systems and the services they provide, affecting the well-being of the people who depend on these services. The Pre-COP 28 meeting will focus on nature-based solutions (NbS), emphasizing the importance of reducing deforestation, restoring ecosystems, and enhancing the management of working lands.
Health Impact and Water Scarcity
The health impact of climate change is also a growing concern, with climate shocks leading to malnutrition, hunger, and the spread of diseases such as malaria. Climate-related health emergencies have risen in Africa over the past two decades, underscoring the importance of clean drinking water and sanitation.
Gender and Climate Change
Gender disparities in climate change effects will be addressed as well, with the meeting evaluating the progress of the Gender Action Plan and its integration into climate action initiatives.
International Cooperation and Awareness
The importance of international cooperation and climate change education, training, and public awareness will be discussed in line with Article 6 of the Convention and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. The 10-year Glasgow Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) work program will be emphasized as a means to increase public engagement and awareness about climate change.
Tackling Climate Security and Conflict
The meeting will address the impact of climate variability and change on livelihoods and economies, with a particular focus on how it can contribute to conflicts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines human security in the context of climate change, stressing the need to protect the core of human lives.
The Way Forward
The Pre-COP 28 AGNES Strategy Meeting will consist of multiple segments covering various aspects of climate change’s impact on Africa. Key objectives include consolidating a common African position and approach for COP28, understanding emerging areas of interest, and increasing African experts’ participation in IPCC processes.
As African leaders and experts gather in Nairobi for this strategic meeting, their collective efforts are aimed at shaping a sustainable future for the continent in the face of a rapidly changing climate. The outcomes of this meeting will be crucial in informing discussions and actions at the upcoming COP28, as Africa seeks to address the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change.