President Ramkalawan addresses virtual AU Green Recovery Action Plan launch |16 July 2021
President Wavel Ramkalawan yesterday evening took partin the virtual launch of the African Union Green Recovery Action Plan (2021-2027), which aims to contribute towards the realisation of the AU member States recovery plansas well as regional programmes such as the African Green Stimulus Programme.
The African Union (AU) Green Recovery Action Plan (AU GRAP) was developed by the commission at pace in 2020 with support from South Africa and the United Kingdomand it aims to catalyse action around five priority areas, namely climate finance; renewable energy; energy efficiency and National Just Transition programmes; nature-based solutions; and focus on biodiversity, resilient agriculture and green and resilient cities.
The launch of the plan was organised by the African Union Commission through the department of agriculture, rural development, blue economy, and sustainable environment (ARBE), and was attended by heads of State, ministersand representatives from regional economic communities and partners.
To kick off the event, there was a high-level launch whereby the chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat made his addressfollowed by a launch statement by guest of honour, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President of the African Union Felix Tshisekedi.
President Ramkalawan, who is the chairperson of the African Islands Climate Commission (AISCC), also had the opportunity to make an address during which he highlighted the goals of the commission which are “sustainable development, conservation of biodiversityand enhancing local livelihoods and economies.”
“Our commission strongly supports the AU GRAP 2021-2027. The launch of this action plan today could not have been more timely, as we prepare to participate in COP-26 later this year. Seychelles has time and again strongly advocated for climate adaptation and resilience to natural hazardsto reduce the risks that threaten our survival, and socioeconomic viability as African Sids, and furthermore, to mitigate the challenges to our sustainable development efforts,” said President Ramkalawan.
“African island states are strongly committed to the Paris Agreementand for our part, Seychelles aims to lead by example. We have dedicated a whole chapter of our nationally-determined contribution, to ocean climate action. This includes protecting and evaluating our blue-carbon as nature-based solutions to climate change. Unable to source the financing we needed at a cost we could afford, we had to be creative and adopted innovative sustainable conservation and climate-finance models,” President Ramkalawan stated, referring to the world’s first Blue Bond realised by Seychelles.
With regards to the AU GRAP, President Ramkalawan stated that it complements the commission’s commitment and efforts to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors, to build resilience at community level, and play a part in supporting the transition to a net zero carbon emissions economy.
The president also expressed his satisfaction with the work of other member statesand said he is looking forward to working with themtowards addressing the climate change crisis.
Before concluding President Ramkalawan encouraged other member states to at the COP-26 negotiate a package of technical and financial assistance for Africa, so it can better addressthe challenges of climate changeand implementnationally-determined contributions in earneston account that access to finance is a major stumbling block.