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Geneva, Switzerland, 20 July 2011- The African Development Bank (AfDB) and global conservation group WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) have come together to work closely on green economy and development issues in Africa. Both organisations signed a cooperative agreement to this effect in Geneva on 20 July.
The heads of the two organisations agreed to highlight the growing links between environmental protection and sustainable development and the need to work on such issues as climate adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity, and ecosystems.
AfDB President Donald Kaberuka emphasised the Bank’s strong commitment to sustainable development and climate change mitigation and articulated the potential of this partnership:
“This cooperative agreement is not built on financial interest but truly on the synergetic potential and comparative advantage of the two organisations and their capacity to echo Africa’s voice,” the AfDB president said.
The partnership will address some of Africa’s most urgent sustainability issues, with an initial collaboration that focuses on three areas: developing win-win partnerships with emerging economies and strengthening South-South cooperation; catalysing knowledge sharing and knowledge products for green growth and sustainable development; collaborating on energy and water resource management and climate change.
“We are confident that our partnership with AfDB will deliver tangible results for people across Africa and the ecosystems upon which their future depends,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.
The two leaders agreed to focus first and foremost on a few concrete, practical and innovative initiatives, targeted to their strategic directions. They plan, for example, to collaborate on a joint publication, taking stock of Africa’s biodiversity and footprint, to be released in time for Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012. They also plan to leverage support for a successful outcome at the upcoming climate change negotiations in Durban, South Africa this December.
With a recent tripling of its capitalisation, the AfDB is the most important multilateral institution financing development in Africa. As the continent faces rapid economic and population growth, and growing resource and climate pressures, the AfDB plays an essential role in ensuring sustainable and equitable development.
WWF is the world’s largest environmental non-governmental organisation and has been active in Africa since its foundation 50 years ago. WWF works together with governments, businesses and local communities to deliver conservation and sustainable development worldwide.