Seychelles to join regional stance on climate change


27-April-2009

Their talks took the form of a round-table discussion at the International Conference Centre last week, when they also learned about Africa’s stance on the problem.

Seychelles will now communicate its national position to a regional meeting on climate change at the end of the month, when it will be incorporated into a unified African statement.

Fifteen other African countries benefiting from funding by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) are expected to make their positions known during the same meeting.

Delegates listening to a presentation at last week’s round-table discussions

The unified position will then be used in negotiations with developed countries over Africa’s role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The climate change adviser from the Comesa secretariat, Mclay Kanyangarara, said the meeting to learn about the standpoint of different countries on the issue is important in ensuring that the voice of all partners is reflected in the unified position.

He said the main point likely to be expressed in the final statement is an offer for the continent to be used as a key ground for tree planting.
“This will help to reduce global carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and reverse climate change trends,” he added.

He explained that developed countries responsible for most of the carbon emissions would disburse funds to African states “for this part of the world to absorb their emissions”.

Mr Kanyangarara stressed that it is easier for Africa to adapt to climate change as most of its land remains undeveloped and in its natural state.

Asked how tree planting will help Seychelles face the threats posed by the rise in sea level, he said reducing global carbon dioxide concentration will lower the heat in the earth’s atmosphere, which will help to stop the ice from melting at the poles.
 
He stressed that not only island states are threatened by climate change, but low-lying coastal areas on the main African continent where various socio-economic activities take place.

“As Seychelles has already shown it is resourceful in this area, it is to be given a lead role in the negotiations that lie ahead,” he said.

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