A coalition of Malawian civil society organization working on climate change and food security have petitioned the Egyptian and French governments to lobby them on the forthcoming Paris climate change summit, which will put in place a new international agreement to tackle climate change, to make sure that any agreement that will be reached at delivers for Africa.
The coalition which includes Oxfam, Catholic Development Commission, Civil Society Network on Climate Change, Right to food platform, Civil Society Agriculture Network and Coalition of Women Farmers (COWFA) led by climate change ambassador Paramount Chief Kyungu presented the petition to the Egyptian ambassador and the French Embassy through the European Union Delegation to Malawi.
Paramount Kyungu said it is imperative that leaders across the continent work together at the highest levels to negotiate an agreement that delivers for communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis across Africa.
“We know that the prospects of securing a fair and ambitious agreement in Paris are slipping away. While the agreement may not be perfect, and the climate challenge requires actions at multiple levels, it is imperative that key elements are secured in Paris in order to catalyze a shift away from climate change chaos in Africa,” said Kyungu.
Egypt is the chair of Committee of African Heads of States and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) while France assumed the Presidency of COP and it is for this reason that the CSOs are lobbying these two countries to lobby on behalf of Africa.
Said Kyungu: “The African continent is one of the region’s most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, and yet least responsible for contributing to greenhouse emissions.
“With the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across the continent at stake, it is imperative that the French Presidency of the COP facilitate an agreement that delivers for vulnerable communities across Africa, not just the biggest emitters.”
The impacts of global warming and climate change are already being felt with Malawi in 2015 suffering the worst floods in living memory which affected 1.15million people; displaced 230,000 households and killed 106 people with another 172 people reported missing and with a 27.7 percent reduction in food production.
The CSO’s, requested the Egyptian government through the Egyptian ambassador to Malawi that it should convene a CAH0SCC meeting to brief Heads of State on the progress of negotiations and create space for CSOs to engage and support CAHOSCC decisions.
“We know that it is not an easy task, but we respectfully request that Egypt take a leadership role to protect the rights of communities across Africa and secure a prosperous and peaceful continent. We stand ready to work with you to ensure that African voices throughout the year,”said chief Kyungu.
Receiving the petition on behalf of the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Malawi Political Officer for EU delegation James Dolan said his office will make sure that the petition reaches the French ambassador who resides in Zimbabwe.
On her part chairperson for Coalition of Women Farmers Ellen Matupi said the Paris meeting should dwell much on women in Africa who does 70 percent of farm work and therefore is the backbone of food security for the continent.
“Adaptation measures should take center stage especially on smallholder’s women farmers who are more vulnerable to climate change consequences. We should be helped in doing away with archaic means of farming which we use a hoe to mechanization which would lessen the time that is spent on farming activities,” said Matupi.
Due to climate change the geographical coverage of flood and drought has increased so much so that before 2001 only nine districts in Malawi were classified as flood prone but in 2001 16 districts have been affected.
The CSOs have also requested that developed countries must deliver on the $100billion/year by 2020 commitment made in 2009 and must do more than just rebrand existing aid flows.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :