AMCEN 14 Adopts Arusha Declaration on Africa’s Post-Rio Strategy

14 September 2012: African Environment Ministers and government ministers, at the conclusion of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), adopted the Arusha Declaration on Africa's Post Rio+20 Strategy for Sustainable Development - a compendium of decisions and programmes aiming to advance the sustainable development agenda in Africa.

AMCEN's 14th ordinary session convened in Arusha, Tanzania, from 12-14 September 2012, under the theme “Africa's Post Rio Strategy for Sustainable Development," to enable delegates to discuss key issues regarding the environment and sustainable development following the conclusion of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) and the 19th African Union (AU) summit.

The Arusha Declaration outlines a number of commitments, actions and programmes that will be undertaken to tackle the number of challenges facing Africa. Decisions include endorsing the African common position for the upcoming 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha, Qatar.

Delegates also agreed, inter alia, to: initiate an African green economy partnership to facilitate coordinated support for Member States and implement the global partnership for action on green economy; review the African 10-Year Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP on SCP); strengthen and consolidate commitments to promote sustainable development; use the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) African Environment Outlook (AEO) to review the state of the African environment for decision-making at national and regional levels; consider the Great Green Wall for Sahara and the Sahel Initiative as a flagship programme to represent Africa's contribution to achieving "a land degradation neutral world in the context of sustainable development”; and request additional measures beyond the Rio+20 outcome, including upgrading regional offices, establishing five sub-regional offices in Africa, and establishing a universal membership body known as the Environment Assembly with a ministerial segment called the Ministerial Conference on Environment. They also urge the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to take a number of steps to strengthen and upgrade UNEP.

Flagship programmes to be initiated under the Arusha Declaration include: Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Programme for Africa; African Programme on Sustainable Energy Development; Integrated Waste Management Programme for Africa; Africa Integrated Environmental Assessment for Sustainable Development Planning; a sustainable land management and desertification program in Africa; African Program on Biodiversity and Ecosystems; and African Partnership for Capacity Building, technology transfer and skills development. [AMCEN-14 Website] [UNEP Press Release, 12 September] [UNEP Press Release, 14 September] [UN Press Release, 14 September] [UN Press Release, 13 September]