AMCEN: Africa’s Environment Ministers Call for Strong African Position

The 19th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) themed Seizing Opportunities and enhancing collaboration to address environmental Challenges in Africa emphasized the urgency for shaping Africa’s narrative in seeking solutions to challenges. Africa’s Ministers of Environment Must therefore Push for a Strong African Position on the Global Plastic Treaty.

AMCEN provides a platform for strengthening Africa’s collective engagement in the global environmental agenda, including in the International Negotiating Committee (INC) and the current call to develop a legally binding global plastics treaty that envisions a sustainable future.

Greenpeace Africa Organization has called on Africa’s 54 Ministers of Environment to urge Member States not to compromise in the negotiations for a treaty that would cap plastic production at the source and keep oil and gas used in the extraction of plastics in the ground.

A deeper view into plastics entails notions like; that plastics are harmful from raw materials extraction, and production to disposal, since plastic pollution also negatively impacts our human rights. As it has been found out, plastic pollution not only accelerates social injustice but also causes environmental degradation of ecosystems which are essential to African livelihoods, and reinforces the harms and inequalities brought about by the climate crisis.

According to Hellen Kahaso Dena, Greenpeace Africa’s Communication and Story Manager, the call is for AMCEN to urge African member states into forming a united front in the negotiations and ensuring a treaty that is centered on justice and firmly rooted in human rights.

A treaty that will reduce inequality and prioritize human health ( Governments must deliver this treaty to meaningfully tackle the plastic pollution crisis that communities across Africa are fighting against

 “We urge the African Group of Negotiators to call for a strong treaty that prioritizes a just transition to sustainable livelihoods for workers and other affected communities across the plastics value chain. The treaty must support reuse and refill business models, taking into account the interests of waste pickers and Indigenous Peoples while utilizing traditional knowledge,” added Dena.

Kenya has always been on the frontline in advocating for sustainable waste management chains that enable recycling, reusing, and reducing. Embracing this further through the adoption of the segregation of the wastes amongst organic, plastics, etc.

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