Minister Edna Molewa to participate in the United Nations Environment Assembly

24 May 2016


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa leaves for Kenya tomorrow, 25 May 2016, to participate in a High Level Segment of the Second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), taking place in Nairobi, Kenya on 26 – 27 May 2016. The UNEA-2 will be held under the overarching theme of “Delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The UNEA is a decision-making body of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and enjoys the universal membership of all 193 United Nations Member States. UNEA provides a platform for leadership on global environmental policy.

In line with the Assembly’s theme, it is anticipated that all relevant actors to identify concrete tools available to take an integrated and universal approach to the implementation of the SDGs, including those related to critical areas such as air quality, healthy ecosystems, chemicals, wastes and others that may emerge in the preparatory process as well as do develop strategic, multi-stakeholder partnership to address on-going and emerging environmental issues.

It is expected that this year’s Assembly will reflect on the latest global, regional and national development related to the environment. It will also provide the first global platform for reviewing progress on sustainable development goals (SDGs), particularly their environmental dimensions and will culminate in the adoption of a number of Resolutions.

South Africa’s position to the UNEA-2 include amongst others the request that “UNEP and UNEA to take the lead in providing capacity to countries for implementing policies and measures relevant to the environmental dimension for sustainable development, as well as in providing support for and facilitating access to sustainable technology.”

In addition, “South Africa recognizes the role of natural capital and its special significance for South Africa as it is aligned with transitioning to a low-carbon, pro-employment green economy. Since Africa is endowed with rich biodiversity and ecological assets, these should be harnessed through key sectors supportive of natural capital such as agriculture, energy, transport and natural resource management. Through these sectors, there could be unparalleled socio-economic spinoffs through economic growth, employment creation and minimal environmental degradation. Hence, this could greatly benefit the continent in terms of reducing the negative effects of climate change, restoration of degraded landscapes and minimizes water scarcity which is proving to be a major challenge for Africa.

Minister Molewa will lead South Africa’s delegation on discussion about illegal trade in wildlife; mobilising investment for sustainable development and delivering on environmental dimensions of agenda 2030.

The Assembly began with a Science-Policy Forum, which will brought together science and policy stakeholders to address challenges and new opportunities, with the aim of enhancing a collective understanding, strengthen the science policy dialogue and recommend concrete measures for collective action in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Albi Modise
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