Nairobi Declaration Fails to Address Pressing Matters – Civil Society Decry

The Friends of the Earth Africa, along with other environmental organizations, have raised concerns regarding the recently adopted Nairobi Declaration by African heads of state.

The controversies say that the Nairobi Declaration and the Africa Climate Week Summit failed to address the pressing matters affecting the continent.

They believe that the challenges faced by Africans will persist because the summit was influenced by profit-driven organizations. It primarily emphasized the Carbon Market concept rather than formulating effective measures to tackle the actual problems.

Climate and Energy Justice Campaign lead at Friends of the Earth South Africa, Yegeshni Moodley decried that the Africa Climate Week failed to hear the voices of the Africans most affected by climate change.

‘The climate week was missing the local voices most impacted by climate change. The stories of hope, suffering, perseverance, and disaster were glaringly absent. We must decry and lament the situation Africa has been placed into, her lands and riches are once again being sold away to the distress and poverty of her people,” Moodley lamented.

Coordinator of the Climate Justice and Energy Program, Friends of the Earth Africa Maimoni Mareire shared the same predicament. He said the only way the existing policies in Africa can be effective is if they are backed by concrete actions and that’s not specified in Nairobi Declaration.

“What Africa should focus on now is to stop contributors to climate change and not to look for shortcuts to keep extracting using the smokescreen of the carbon market. We cannot keep using the same old extractives’ model and expect a different result,” Maimoni said.

In the same spirit, Director Justica Ambeital from Mozambique Anabela Lemos denounces the move by the heads of states saying that the declaration has been influenced by corporate interests.

“Africa is highly vulnerable to the ravages of climate crisis but the voices of Africans are being ignored Instead of people-based renewable energy systems and strengthening peoples’ rights, we are seeing more fossil fuels and carbon markets,” Anabela Lamos said.

The CJE International Programme Coordinator Tyler Booth expresses concern for Africa’s minerals and fair and just transition away from fossil fuel to sustainable renewable energy.

“Any exploitation of Africa’s critical mineral resources needs to recognize the rights of Africa’s indigenous people and local communities and ensure that their energy access needs are a priority in the transition,” Tyler said.

Tyler also commented that Africa needs real climate finance and that Africa’s natural habitats and ecosystem must not be commoditized.

The FoE Africa Food Sovereignty Coordinator Mariann Bassey Oruwjve calls out African leaders to meet their human rights obligations by listening to the requests of the affected communities.

“Governments and intergovernmental organizations must immediately stop any policies which lead to any violations of the human right to food. We demand public policies in favor of farmers’ seed system,” Mariann said.

She also rebukes the Nairobi Declaration saying it promotes monopolies instead of favoring agroecology, access to land, and good care of the soil farmers.

The Forest and Biodiversity Coordinator, FoE Africa Rita Iyke Uwaka, shares the same cry as Mariann saying that Africa should focus on agroecological systems while supporting intra-African agricultural businesses.

“We must stop the harmful expansion of monoculture plantation systems and related deforestation, watershed and soil degradation. We must stop any harmful carbon market laws that will violate peoples’ rights and lay livelihood losses and ecosystem destruction,” Rita said.

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