AU statement at the Breakfast-Meeting of South Africa

16 November 2018

 

Honourable Chairperson
Heads of Delegations
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the African Union Commission. First and foremost, allow me to commend the SA republic for holding this highly important meeting on Plant Conservation for human wellbeing nature.

Madam Chair, 
As we are all aware Africa has Strategic Plan referred to as Africa Union Agenda 2063 which is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. It’s builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development. 

In addition, Aspiration 1 of the Agenda 2063 • A Prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development recognizes that Africa socio-economic development can only be attained in the context of sustainable development that encompasses conservation of its biodiversity. 

It is evident that there is need to mainstream biodiversity conservation to ensure sustainable development in implementing some of Africa’s flagship Projects. Plant Biodiversity in Africa is about our culture and way of life. Biodiversity is of fundamental importance to our food and nutrition security. Most of our trade and economies are powered up by biodiversity. Africa stands as a giant in the world when it comes to biodiversity. However, we are slowly and yet steadily losing this valuable resource including its related traditional knowledge.

As a continent, we know what is required for us to make traction in biodiversity conservation or sustainable management. To what extent do we value the role of biodiversity in our economies or how many countries have undertaken natural resources accounting? It is high time that we integrate biodiversity into our development plans and programmes. There is need to enforce the laws that we enact related to biodiversity. This is one of the continent’s weaknesses, too many good frameworks and decisions that are not implemented or implementable. We need some collective learning and sharing of best practices among our AU Member States including enhancing trade within Africa.

Despite debts and other socio-economic challenges, Africa needs to halt the transformation of her forests into deserts through massive logging most of which are illegal. Improved land and development planning is also an essential prerequisite for restoring our ecosystems and ensuring that biodiversity hotspots are conserved. Africa need to develop her biodiversity economy and ensure broad based participation aimed at empowering women and children.

As the African Union Commission, we remain committed to support our Member States through the development of continental policies and other frameworks aimed at enabling our continent to sustainably manage its biodiversity, in order to realize its development blueprint, the AU Agenda 2063. Let’s stand strong and united to ensure the Plant biodiversity Conservation for human wellbeing nature.

I thank you for your kind attention.