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African Union labels climate change a security threat

By Moses Walubiri, Agencies

Added 11th August 2019 11:56 AM

AU's Peace and Security Council made a case for member states to embrace adaptation measures with a view to building resilience in the communities facing climate change

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AU's Peace and Security Council made a case for member states to embrace adaptation measures with a view to building resilience in the communities facing climate change

African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council used its latest meeting in the Ethiopian capital; Addis Ababa to highlight the existential threat climate change poses to member states if not addressed urgently.

Climate change occurs when changes in Earth's climate system result in new weather patterns that last for at least a few decades.

The meeting held under the theme: “Natural and Other Disasters on the Continent: Beyond the Normative Frameworks”, the delegates from different African countries discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to the changing aspects of security threats.

Zimbabwe is chairing AU’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) in August and its representative, Ambassador Albert Ranganai Chimbidi was in charge of the session.

Maj. Gen. Francis Okello, Ag. Head of the AU Commission Peace Support Operations Division was also in attendance.

In a statement released after the summit, the AU’s PSC made a case for member states to embrace “adaptation measures with a view to building resilience in the communities facing climate change.”

“PSC stressed that natural disasters and climate change contribute to exacerbating the existing tensions among communities, threaten the availability and access to vital resources and, disproportionately, affected the most vulnerable,” the statement read in part.

PSC noted that natural disasters lead to forced displacement of people and destruction of costly infrastructure.

The Delegates noted that addressing the effects of environmental degradation and climate change, ought to be a major priority of AU member states and partners.

PSC also exhorted AU member states to adopt and domesticate international conventions tailored to addressing the dangers of climate change.

These, the communique noted, include the Paris Agreement, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030).

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016.

Although the Paris Agreement was negotiated by 196 countries, the most recent seminal pact on tackling climate change is in danger of implosion following a decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw America.

The issues of climate change and global warming have become a matter of global concern as irregular weather patterns and rising water levels continue threatening the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people around the globe.

In Uganda, unusually prolonged drought spells two years ago resulted into crop failure in parts of Isingiro, Teso and Karamoja forcing Office of the Prime Minister to intervene with food rations.

President Yoweri Museveni has since made a directive in his recent state of the nation address ordering Chief Administrative Officers to evict individuals encroaching upon wetlands.

In a recent consultative meeting, National Planning Authority (NPA) board chairperson, Dr Pamela Mbabazi revealed that Uganda’s forest cover has shrunk from 26% in 1986 to a measly 9%.

Under National Development Plan III which is starting later this year, NPA has made the issue of ‘greening’ the country through encouraging the planting of trees and fiercely protecting wetlands a core target.  Ends.

 

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