George Mhango
October 06, 2015

A meeting of experts convened by the African Union and Nepad aimed at establishing specialized technical committee (STC) has agreed to present agriculture, water, rural development and environment as major issues during the Cop21 in Paris, France.

The Conference of Parties (COP) 21 is expected to be held in December this year with continental experts likely to present what they perceive as challenges following thorough research and consultations.

Cop21 Logo
Cop21 Logo

News has it that COP21 will be a crucial conference, as it needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

To this effect, the STC, which comes into effect this week following revision and examination of terms of reference (ToRs) is expected to do just that on behalf of the continent with clear backing of Nepad and AU.

Head of Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Dr Augustin Wambo Yamdjeu said in an exclusive interview on Monday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa that the idea to have the STC makes the work of the department easier because water, agriculture, rural development and environment are directly linked.

The STC will have to have something in their folders ahead of the COP meeting. This also follows what the Malabo Declaration called for and that is multisectoral approach as backed by the AU decision in 2011 to have a fully-fledged integrated governance structure to champion such matters,” he said.

The Malabo Declaration, which calls on African leaders to walk the talk on championing agricultural matters, is a follow up to the Maputo Declaration which called on various governments to commit 10 percent of their budget towards agriculture.

Initially, Malawi is one of the shining examples of a country in which has over the years committed about 10 percent towards the annual budget for the farm input fertilizer subsidy programme (FISP), according to local and international economists.

Dr Yamdjeu said a lot of research findings show that climate change has had an impact on food security, water and environment, despite that CAADP is advocating for climate smart agriculture (CSA) and conservation agriculture.

We hope that after Paris something will be agreed upon for Africa and other countries. Africa needs to critically rethink on the matter, hence the need for the committee to come up with pertinent issues to be presented to COP21,” he said.

He said ministers responsible for agriculture, water, rural development and environment as part of the specialized technical committee will take the matter to the conference of parties (COP) 21 as an area that needs more attention.

Currently experts through the established bureau are behind closed doors to craft a working template for the STC.

The STC, which will comprise ministers from member states of the AU will have a mandate of examining, reviewing and considering adoption of policies and strategic frameworks designed to develop agriculture, water, rural development and environment on the continent, among others.

Notes from the 2011 meeting also show that STC’s shall be responsible to the executive council of African Union in championing water, agriculture, among others for the betterment of the African continent.

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