At UN-backed conference, African officials discuss path to sustainable development
Friday, September 14, 2012
13 September 2012 – Representatives from more than 40 African countries have gathered at a United Nations-backed conference in Arusha, Tanzania, to discuss the region’s strategy to achieve sustainable development and come up with an integrated strategy for the region to encourage environmental initiatives.
For three days, environment ministers and other government officials at the 14th regular session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) are expected to tackle some of the challenges that threaten the future of the region such as land degradation, climate change, deforestation, low agriculture productivity and poverty.
This is the first time that African environment ministers have met since the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil in June, in which more than 100 heads of state and government, along with thousands of parliamentarians, mayors, UN officials, chief executive officers and civil society leaders sought to shape new policies to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.
“The follow up to Rio+20 needs to mark a moment of renewed commitment, greater urgency and a turning point in terms of implementation of what has already been agreed,” said the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, at the AMCEN session’s opening.