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East Africa Mountains Regional Dialogue Meeting

The event brought together 31 participants including representatives from the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, the members of the Climate Change Technical Working Group (CCTWG) from the partner states and other key stakeholders from East Africa, and suggested establishing an East Africa Mountains Stakeholder Platform under the EAC.
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Participants at the East Africa Mountains Regional Dialogue Meeting
Participants at the East Africa Mountains Regional Dialogue Meeting hosted by the EAC, UNEP and ARCOS

East African partners work towards a regional mountain stakeholder platform

On Wednesday, 30th March 2022, the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) convened the East Africa Mountains Regional Dialogue in Dar es Salam, Tanzania. The dialogue brought together 31 participants including representatives from the EAC Secretariat, the members of the Climate Change Technical Working Group (CCTWG) from the partner states and other key stakeholders from the region. During this meeting, the participants agreed to work towards establishing the East African Mountains Stakeholder Platform.

The EAC, UNEP, and ARCOS have been collaborating on the East African mountain agenda over recent years. This has resulted, among other things, in increased visibility of Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), publication of the first African Mountain Atlas, the outlook publication on Sustainable Mountain Development in East Africa in a changing climate and organization of the Africa Regional Mountain Forum.

“ARCOS, the EAC and UNEP have been closely working together in promoting sustainable mountain development. It is a great opportunity that the representatives of the EAC Secretariat, the Climate Change Technical Working and representatives from various partner states are here to have a dialogue about sustainable mountain development for the region.” Godfrey Mwesigye, the Regional Policy Officer for ARCOS said in his remarks. He added that establishing a regional mountain platform will contribute to the integration of sustainable mountain development and particularly mountain climate change adaptation into national and regional planning and policy processes in East Africa.

“UNEP supports different projects in the EAC region, and the Adaptation at Altitude Programme has an overall objective to increase knowledge on climate change and appropriate adaptation solutions in mountains and feed it into science-policy platforms for informed decision-making in national, regional and global policy processes, in order to increase the resilience of mountain communities and ecosystems to climate change. UNEP and partners will continue working on supporting the upscaling of the best practices for mountain adaptation in the region.” Essey Daniel, Programme Management Officer at the Climate Change Adaptation Unit at UNEP said .

Jean Baptiste Havugimana, Director Productive Sectors at the EAC, stressed that it is important for the EAC and partner states to fully understand the Adaptation at Altitude Programme. He added that establishing the East Africa Mountains Stakeholder Platform is beneficial and will help the stakeholders to come together and contribute to sustainable mountain development in the region.

Sabine McCallum, Senior Strategic Advisor on Climate Change at UNEP Vienna Office, told the participants that UNEP in collaboration with ARCOS and the EAC collected mountain adaptation solutions from six countries in the EAC including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The solutions will be published in the “Mountains ADAPT” booklet launched by May 2022.

Outcomes of the Dialogue

  • Stakeholders from the EAC partner states agreed on the way forwards towards establishing the East African Mountains Stakeholder Platform under the auspices of the East African Community.
  • The well-defined terms of reference of the East African Mountains Stakeholder Platform will be approved by the Council of Ministers.
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo will join the East Africa Mountains Stakeholder Platform since it has joined the EAC.
  • Members from the partner states will participate in the launch of the Mountains ADAPT Solutions Booklet and will participate in the Interregional Moutnains CONNECT Workshop in Austria.

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