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Minister Edna Molewa attends 6th Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Cairo, Egypt

18 April 2016


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa is attending the high-level segment of the 6th Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Cairo, Egypt from 18 - 19 April 2016.


The special session is being held under the theme: "Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement: from policy to implementation in Africa."

The meeting will provide an opportunity for ministers and experts to deliberate on how to move forward with regard to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the 193 members of the United Nations.

The global climate deal reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC) (COP21) in Paris last year, and its implications for Africa, features prominently on the AMCEN agenda.

AMCEN is taking place just days before the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations (UN) in New York.  A number of world leaders are expected to attend the signing ceremony. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has indicated he intends to use the occasion to galvanize world leaders to facilitate the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, and for them to finalize the operational details needed to give effect to the provisions of the Agreement.

The special session offers an opportunity for governments on the continent to deliberate on what the Paris Agreement means for the region and its people.

Other priority issues and initiatives on the agenda for the AMCEN include the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the implementation of the African Strategy on Combating the Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora.

"This issue is of particular importance to South Africa considering that we are hosting the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (COP17)," says Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa.

"The Africa common strategy facilitates and harnesses the collective action needed for us to combat the illicit trade in wildlife that is decimating species on our continent, by disrupting and dismantling the transnational, organized criminal syndicates involved," adds Minister Molewa.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL estimate that "wildlife crime, comprising fauna and flora and including logging, poaching and trafficking of a wide range of animals, amounts to between USD70bn and USD213bn a year."

At the end of the special session AMCEN 'will adopt a declaration, a set of decisions and key messages reflecting the discussions under the various issues on the agenda.'

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Albi Modise
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