(October 11, 2023, Nairobi, Kenya) – India’s Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) today has released “State of Africa’s Environment Report 2023”.
CSE’s release that has come ahead of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, COP28, happened through the department of its fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth, and in association with Kenya’s Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA).
CSE Director General Sunita Narain who was present at the launching event highlighted that the report is a comprehensive document filing major issues of Africa’s environment from climate change to biodiversity, land & agriculture to air pollution to mobility, energy to health as well as water to waste.
The Director General who is also a member of the COP28 UAE Advisory Committee said: “It is an inclusive environment report that cracks the linkage between various extreme weather events or climate change and its environmental impacts on the lives of Africans rather than simply looking the issues of climate change broadly without its explanation.”
She recalled that her center has been published the yearly State of India’s Environment Report for years and the present inaugural State of Africa’s Environment Report 2023 report will continue to be an annual publication of her center and will play its own role in creating awareness and providing tangible information on the position of the continent’s environment.
The impact of climate change on African is very huge while the continent is almost not responsible for the causes and yet its environmental challenges and human sufferings are under-reported as compared to the western world, Sunita indicated, adding that documenting all these environmental constituents and their linkages in the annual report is necessary.
According to her, it is also imperative how Africa is coping with the various environmental challenges with workable models of conservation, for example, she added that Africa has proven its capability of pandemic controlling during the COVID19 incidents registering low number of deaths as compared to Europe and America.
Director General of the Kenyan National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Mamo Boru Mamo who was also present as a guest of honor at the launch event pointed out that CSE’s State of Africa’s Environment report is an addition to Kenya’s efforts of climate change actions.
Mr. Mamo further said that the reports would also help in informing policy decisions and creating awareness among stakeholders.
At the occasion, he urged all Kenyans and Africans to do their level best and take responsibility individually to ensure the protection of environment and bring about better living standards and change challenges into opportunities. For instance, he said as 65 % of Kenya’s solid waste is organic, it could be converted to biodegradable material and into natural fertilizers.
CEO of Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA) , a network of Kenyan environmental journalists, Aghan Daniel, on his part says that MESHA shares a long-standing and successful association with Centre for Science and Environment working together to build the capacity and understanding of journalists in Africa on issues of the environment and development.
He also expressed his conviction that the partnership has resulted in a number of pan-Africa briefings and training programs over the past several years will also continue in the years to come.
Primarily, the report features the alarming nature of climate change in Africa and its consequences on internal displacement, water resources, food security, and the economy and therefore it reflects the issue of biodiversity looses and explores the potential to alleviate poverty through sustainable wildlife trade.
It also discusses the growing problem of air pollution, the need to transition to zero-emission electric vehicles and the role of African countries in adopting such policies.
Food insecurity, the impact of global conflicts on food systems, and the spread of desertification are also dealt in depth while Africa’s rising energy demand, the gas exploration boom, and the critical importance of renewable energy for future growth are covered in it
The report states that waste generation in Africa is on the rise and it highlights the need for improved waste collection practices and the challenges of water scarcity, its connection to poverty and disease and brought about by the climate emergency.
It also narrates the complex relationship between climate change and health, addressing neglected tropical diseases, the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and antimicrobial resistance.
“The release function will also be followed by a two-day media briefing on some of the key aspects that the report covers.”
Centre for Science and Environment is a think-tank based in New Delhi, India, which works on some of the key issues and concerns of environment and development in the Global South. Down To Earth is also a fortnightly English magazine that the Centre has been helping publish since the 1990s.
A number of writers, subject experts and journalists from Africa regularly contribute articles and opinions in this magazine.
The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 is expected to be held from November 30 until December 12, 2023, at the Expo City, Dubai, UAE.