The  common market for and south African countries (COMESA) and East African Community (EAC) Secretariats have come up with position papers to guide negotiations of Africa’s position during the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings set for Madrid Spain nex month

The proposed Position papers will be presented to the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) on Climate Change at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to be held in Durban.

The Secretariats believe that presenting the position papers will enhance the participation of Africa. Delegates from the blocs used the Kigali meeting to deliberate and finalize the position papers which will now be submitted to the Chair of the AGN.

“It is our sincere hope that these two position papers will support our work in positioning Africa’s agenda so as to ensure that the continent benefits from the forthcoming negotiations in all priority issues,” the officials said in a joint statement.

Both the EAC and COMESA have an observer status to the UNFCCC processes and plan to participate in the forthcoming COP25 sessions to showcase the milestones, achievements and lessons learnt from the implementation of their climate change programmes in the region.

“We have put forward a good case for the region and Africa as a whole,” COMESA Climate Change Advisor Dr Maclay Kanyangarara added.

Experts have advised African countries to engage in effective intergovernmental negotiations on climate change, decision making processes and implementation because they face similar challenges when dealing with the effects.

“These Position Papers will reduce vulnerability of the region,” EAC Director of Productive Sectors Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana said.

The regional consultative meeting brought together negotiators and policy makers including National Climate Change Focal Points for UNFCCC, COMESA countries, Ministries responsible for EAC affairs and representatives from EAC Partner States.

“We need adequate resources to mitigate and adapt to the adverse impact of climate change in our region,” Deputy Director General at the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) Mr. Faustin Munyazikwiye noted.

The combined list of Member/Partner States that participated in the consultation are: Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.