Continental Climate Change, Migration Meeting Underway

Continental Climate Change, Migration Meeting Underway
Continental Climate Change, Migration Meeting Underway

Africa-Press – Ethiopia. A three-day climate change and migration meeting that highlights the impacts and proactive measures of climate induced migration in Africa is underway here in Addis Ababa.

The “Khartoum Process Thematic Meeting on Climate Change and Migration” opened today.

The meeting is aimed at addressing impacts and adaptation strategies for climate migration and designed to help fill knowledge gaps and to better understand the latest dynamics for a comprehensive coordinated action against climate induced migration.

Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Affairs State Minister Tesfaye Yilma said concerted efforts are needed to mitigate or tackle the growing climate induced migration.

Fostering common understanding as well as designing adaptive strategies and jointly implementing the strategies are of paramount contribution to address the challenge, he added.

In this regard, Ethiopia is taking concrete steps to mitigate the impact of climate change on sustainable development, the state minister noted, adding that the country’s designed climate resilient green economy strategy aims at addressing the challenges relating to climate change while pursuing sustainable economic growth.

In practical term, Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative launched in 2019 set an ambitious target to plant more than 20 billion tree seedlings in Ethiopia by 2022. This year the country surpassed that target by planting over 25 billion seedlings with the survival rate of 80 percent, he pointed out.

Planting seedlings in Ethiopia is becoming a popular culture, he stated, calling for robust participation of partners in the Khartoum Process to support the initiative.

South Sudanese “Khartoum Process” Focal Person James Kur, appreciated Ethiopia for hosting the meeting and stressed the need for policy that should move in the direction of facilitating migration and ensuring it in a safe and orderly manner with rights of people on the move protected.

Kur added that insufficient knowledge and experience to develop solid response to climate related human mobility are the main challenges that governments and regional organizations are faced in countries most affected by climate change.

According to him, one of the main challenges is the lack of empirical evidence that can explain to what degree where, why and over what period of time human mobility will take place and what future scenarios might look like.

Health Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development Division Head at African Union Commission, Mbokazi Sabelo said by the year 2050 about 200 million people globally may be forced to leave their homes due to climate related reasons.

Yet, climate forced mobility has so far limited attention, he added. This challenge has greatly impacted the socio-economic development of Africa and affected the food security of the continent.

The head stressed that the issue of climate related migration needs to get international attention and reaffirmed the commitment of the African Union to mitigate climate induced migration in collaboration with pertinent stakeholders.

Africa-EU Migration and Moblity Dialogue Senior Coordinator at International Center for Migration Policy Development, Zanette Monica reiterated the need to act jointly and pro-actively to address environmental and climate change issues in the most affected regions, including through adaptation to climate change such as sustainable renewable energies.

Peoples are finding themselves unable to mitigate climate change for reasons such as insufficient financial means, lack of support network, social exclusion, limited political rights, and conflicts or geographic isolation.

They are becoming increasingly vulnerable as climate change related damages continue to undermine their livelihood, she underscored.

The conclusions and recommendations of the three-day meeting are expected to feed into the deliberations during the COP27, the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference to be held in November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

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