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AMCEN Special Session Endorses African Common Climate Position

19 September 2011: African Ministers for the Environment met for the Fourth Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and concluded with the adoption of the Bamako Declaration, which endorsed the African Common Position as the basis for negotiations at the upcoming 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to take place in Durban, South Africa, at the end of 2011.

The Special Session convened from 12-16 September 2011, in Bamako, Mali, to provide a platform for African countries to: consolidate and enhance Africa's common negotiating position in the climate process; and discuss the Climate Green Fund, the Green Economy and Africa's preparations for effective participation in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012, including the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD).

The Bamako Declaration, which was adopted at the meeting's conclusion, stresses that the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol still constitute the fundamental global framework on climate change and requires full and effective implementation. The Declaration further stresses the need for the climate negotiations to produce two outcomes, namely the full, sustained implementation of the Convention, and a second commitment period for Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol.

On the Green Climate Fund, participants lamented the Fund's complex framework and urged that it consider Africa's need for easier, "fast track" finance through national mechanisms as well as the African Development Bank (AfDB). The AfDB consulted delegates on its report on the African Green Fund. It was urged to complete the design of the Fund ahead of the Durban Climate Change Conference to be held in late 2011. It will also further consult with negotiators on the appropriate linkages of the Africa Green Fund to the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, including the Green Climate Fund.

Ministers also called for strenghtening the environment pillar of sustainable development and invited the international community to support the African Union's (AU) proposal to strengthen and transform the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) into an international specialized institution for the environment.

[UN/ISDR Press Release, 19 September 2011] [UN/ISDR Press Release, 15 September 2011] [Fourth Special Session of AMCEN Website] [AfDB Press Release]