Following the activity of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 17) held in Durban, South Africa from 28 November to 10 December 2011, the African Development Bank (AfDB) took a step back to reflect on its role in building capacity for African negotiators and providing technical, legal and communication support for Africa’s shared climate change agenda.
Over the course of COP 17, the Bank hosted 22 side events (including six high-level) and spoke on 30 panels in and around the Africa Pavilion to showcase the Bank’s climate change programs and champion Africa’s perspectives on climate finance, adaptation, forest destruction and degradation, agriculture and food security, low carbon development, climate change information and water resources, climate change vulnerability and disaster risk management.
Mainstreaming climate change into the development process through country-driven solutions is key to Africa’s green growth, a message reiterated by the African countries at COP 17. Twenty-five African countries hosted exhibition booths or spoke as panelists and five regional economic communities (REC) organized side events and exhibition booths. More than 75 partners and businesses participated in exhibition booths and AfDB-led side events and roundtables.
As attention turns to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+ 20) taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 20-22 June 2012, the AfDB and partners are once again preparing a united African presence. As a main focus of Rio+ 20 will be the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, Africa has an opportunity to demonstrate how it can be a major player in providing solutions that promote low-carbon, climate resilient green development.