African Environmental Ministers Monday met at the COP22 at Bab Ighli village in Marrakech to flesh-out measures aimed at tackling environmental and security threats facing the continent with a view to ensuring sustainability.
The aim of the meeting was to reach an agreement among African countries regarding practical measures to tackle the emerging environmental challenges that threaten the continent’s sustainability, stability and security. It created a concrete platform for African Environmental Ministers to pinpoint these challenges in a bid to come up with a declaration to curb them. The meeting called for total unity by working as one people and speaking in one voice, which they believed would be the most vibrant mean of overcoming these challenges.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Momodou Tangara Gambia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Omar Sey Minister of Health and Social Welfare, and Ousman Sowe the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources.
Addressing the gathering, PS Sowe stated that environment ministries may not be mandated for traditional security issues, but pointed out that environmental challenges today cannot be treated separately from security challenges.
He explained that there is a correlation between migration and land degradation, noting that there are cases that migrants are moving from degraded areas.
He cited Chad as an example of drying region, pointing out the human security that it could cause in that area and some other African countries.
According to him, for procedural reason (s), the continent needs to go back to the documents for reviews which, he said must not dampen down the challenges.
PS Sowe relate it to an early warning, noting that the African continent should take it on board. “This is what MESA is all about; the Monitoring for Environmental Security in Africa,” he said, adding that the project is talking about both environment and security.
He further stressed that the environment and climate change issues are challenges to development and that they will continue to pose challenges to development.
“And, if we are to take up the challenges and SDGs, we need the environment and security issues because the correlation is there even though the scientific evidence may come later.”
by Bekai Njie in