On October 04, 2021, Bujumbura, the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, in collaboration with the East African Community Secretariat and the Ministry in charge of environment, agriculture and livestock, organized a national consultative meeting on climate change in order to review progresses in the implementation of the previous UN Climate change Conference decisions and directives and identify national climate change priorities to guide negotiations for the forthcoming UN climate change conference for 2021 (COP26) to be held from 2nd to 13th November, 2021, in Glasgow in Scotland.
This meeting which saw the participation of stakeholders from the Ministry in charge of the environment, the Ministry in charge of Security and representatives from “ADIR and ‘ça nous concerne tous” civil society organizations in charge of promoting of environment, among others. Participants were called to provide observations and recommendations which will be taken into account during the next COP 26 conference.
In his opening speech, Juma Saidi, Director of productive sectors in the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture thanked the participants on behalf of H.E the Minister for attending the meeting and EAC Secretariat for facilitation. He indicated that the Government of Burundi strongly supports the implementation of all projects and programs, EAC instruments and international agreements on climate change.
He also informed the participants that Burundi has developed, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Conditions (CDNs) which reflect the realities and ambitions of Burundi to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change such “EWE BURUNDI URAMBAYE” project in particular and other initiatives. He therefore urged stakeholders to identify climate change priorities with the view of informing national and regional paper that will be shared with the African Group of negotiators. He also stressed the importance of supporting developing countries in terms of capacity building, finance and technological support for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Mr. Dismas Mwikila, Climate change Adaptation Specialist, welcomed participants to the Meeting on behalf of the Deputy Secretary General (Productive and social sector).He thanked the Government of Burundi for hosting the meeting and the warm hospitality extended to the EAC staff. He reiterated the importance of national and regional climate change consultative processes in the bid to strengthen the regional and continental negotiation positions for effective participation in the UNFCCC processes and the Implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Ms. Renilde NDAYISHIMIYE, Director of the Environment and Climate Change at the Ministry in charge of the Environment, presented the status of implementation of the previous COPs decisions in Burundi. Burundi ratified the UNFCCC in 1997, Kyoto Protocol in 2005 and the Paris Agreement in 2018. She informed the participants to the meeting that Burundi is called to implement the provisions of this Agreement, in its article 2 which is based on three key objectives. The aim is to contain the rise in the average temperature of the planet to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to continue to take action to limit the rise in temperature to 1.5 ° C; to build capacities to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change; to make financial flows compatible with an evolution profile towards development with low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and resilient to climate change.
She informed the participants that various initiatives have been implemented such as the promotion of renewable energy in rural environment through solar energy such as Nyakiriza project, hydropower projects and the reforestation program called “EWE BURUNDI URAMBAYE” to reflect the ambition engagement to reduce GHG emissions and outline measures on how it will mitigate climate change impacts as well as building resilience to climate change. In addition, a number of initiatives have been implemented such as water and soil adaptation project namely integrating climate change smart agriculture into national agricultural investment program, Burundi’s landscape restoration and resilience project, among others. She stressed the importance of addressing the impacts of climate change in a synergistic manner as the climate change is a cross cutting issue.
Let’s mention that the national position paper that highlights key negotiation issues under mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance, capacity building and technological development and transfer has been developed.
By Thaddee Ntahondi