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Environment & Natural Resources

( L-R) The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration, Hon Jesca Eriyo,  Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania H.E. Katarina Rangnitt, Minister of Water and Environment from Uganda,  Hon Sam Mangusho Cheptoris and Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sector ,Hon Christophe Bazivamo

EAC, Sweden Exhibition on Climate Change concludes in Arusha

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania,9th February, 2018:​ 

Between 5th -9th February, 2018, an exhibition “Facing the Climate” has been show-casing at the lobby of the East African Community (EAC) Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The exhibition coincided with the 5th Sectorial Council on Environment and Natural Resources.

The exhibition is developed by the Swedish Institute, produced by the Embassy of Sweden in Dar es Salaam and Buni Media, curated by renowned cartoonists Victor Ndula (Kenya) and Magnus Bard (Sweden) in collaboration with the EAC Secretariat.

Today at the official closing  ceremony, H.E. Katarina Rangnitt, the Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, said to create a sustainable future we need ambitious and sustainable climate, energy and environment policies. You are  here today as policy makers that have the power to create change. Just like East African and Swedish cartoonists have worked together for the “Facing the Climate”-exhibition, added Amb Rangnitt.

I encourage all of us to do the same. Climate change is a global problem which we can only solve together. Sweden is ready to do her part, let’s join hands and lead the way’’

On his part, the Chair of the EAC Sectorial Council on Environment and Natural Resources and Minister of Water and Environment from Uganda,  Hon Sam Mangusho Cheptoris commended the good work done by the Swedish Embassy in Tanzania by raising climate change awareness through the art of cartoonists.

He disclosed to the participants that the EAC like other sub regions in Africa is facing numerous climate change challenges that affect region efforts to achieve integration agenda. 

Hon Cheptoris informed the meeting that the East African Community among others developed EAC Climate Change Policy and Strategy and the Climate Change Master Plan (2011-2031) to face climate change challenges that affect regional.

One of the Tanzanian cartoonists, Dr. Meddy Jumanne, shared his view on the issue and what inspired him to be a cartoonist. Edgar Tarimo who won the Children’s Climate Price 2017, presented his invention of turning plastic bottles in to building bricks which is quite impressive given that he is only 17 years old.

The idea of the cartoon exhibition was initiated to coincide with the 2009 United Nations Copenhagen Climate Change Conference when 25 Nordic cartoonists interpreted the subject. Since then Swedish cartoonists have been collaborating with their counterparts from around the world to offer amusing and alarming views on climate change issues from different local perspectives.

The exhibition has been shown in over 30 countries and attracted more than 450,000 visitors since it was initiated. The exhibition is constantly growing as new countries participate with each new year.

The exhibition has now reached East Africa and features both Swedish and East African cartoonists. Tanzanian cartoonists who participated at the exhibition were are Fedeliko, Popa Matumula, Sammi Mwamkinga, Dr Meddy and Christopher Nyiti.

Using the power of humour and satire, these cartoonists invite the public to reflect upon the challenges of climate change and encourage responsible actions. It is a topic that mankind cannot afford to ignore, either in Northern Europe or East Africa.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Ms Hanna Widén
Embassy of Sweden
Tel: 0699 887 997
hanna.widen[at]gov.se

OR

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

The Chairperson of the 5th Sectoral Council on Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Mugabi Stephen David, speaking at the opening session of the meeting. With him are, from left, Mr. Jean Kizito of the Rwanda High Commission; Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, and; Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana, Director Productive Sectors at the EAC Secretariat.

5th Secrotal Council on Environment and Natural Resources begins in Arusha

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 5th February, 2018:

The 5th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Environment started today at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The five-day meeting started with the Session of Senior Officials which will run from 5th – 7th February, 2018 followed by the Session of Permanent/Principal Secretaries/Undersecretaries which will take place on 8th February, 2018. The meeting will conclude with the Session of Ministerial or Cabinet Secretaries on Friday, 9th February, 2018.

Among the items on the agenda are the: Consideration of the Implementation Status of the previous Sectoral Councils and Councils Decisions and Directives on Environment and Natural Resources; Consideration of Policy, Legal and Institutional Framework Matters; Consideration of Terrestrial Ecosystems Matters, and; Consideration of Aquatic Ecosystems Matters.

Also on the agenda are the: Consideration of Climate Change Issues; Consideration of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Matters; Consideration of Pollution Control Issues, and; Consideration of Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization Initiatives.

Speaking during the opening session of the meeting, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, said that the East African region was facing numerous environmental challenges that undermine efforts to improve the quality of life of citizens and attainment of sustainable developments objectives.

“Pollution, desertification, deterioration of aquatic and fresh water ecosystems, climate change and biodiversity loss have always been mentioned as the major ones,” said Hon. Bazivamo.

Hon. Bazivamo said that various initiatives in response to environmental challenges had implemented at the regional, national and local levels.

“At the regional level, the EAC Secretariat has been implementing environmental programmes in line with Chapters 15, 19 and 20 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC. In this regard, a number of projects and programmes have been implemented in the region with the view of conserving and protecting the region’s environment and natural resources against all forms of pollution and degradation arising from developmental activities,” added the DSG.

Hon. Bazivamo noted that the effective natural resources management had been given a high priority in the EAC Vision 2050.

“As well spelt out in the 5th EAC Development Plan, this action will include, among others, programmes that will bear tangible impact to the livelihood of the people of the EAC such as sustainably protecting water bodies, water catchment areas and wet lands, and provision of water in arid and semi-arid areas of the EAC region, raising awareness of the importance of the shared water resources, promote climate change resilient crops, animals and fisheries,” said Hon. Bazivamo.

Other programmes include promoting planting of trees with high economic value to protect water in lakes, rivers and wetlands and water catchment areas, and to strengthen the capacity of local communities and governments to reduce and manage disaster risks.

The Session of Senior Officials which brings together delegates from all the six EAC Partner States is being chaired by Mr. Mugabi Stephen David, the Commissioner of Environment Sectors Support Services, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

EAC Secretariat taking part in the 23rd Session of Conference of Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 12th November, 2017:

The East African Community Secretariat is taking part in the ongoing 23rd Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 13th Meeting of Parties to Kyoto Protocol (CMP13) and the 2nd Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, that is taking place from 6th - 17th November, 2017 in Bonn, Germany. 

The COP 23 is being organized by Fiji and hosted at the headquarters of the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany, with the aim of launching nations towards the next level of ambition needed to tackle global warming and put the world on a safer and more prosperous development path. The Conference, coming just two years after the landmark adoption of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, is expected to fuel momentum among cities, states, regions, territories, business and civil society in support of national climate action plans, the internationally-agreed temperature goal and the wider objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The EAC Secretariat has an observer status to UNFCCC processes and is participating in the several COP 23 sessions and is showcasing the milestones, achievements and lessons learned from the implementation of climate change programmes in the region.

As part of the preparations for the forthcoming conference and with financial support from the US Government, the EAC Secretariat organized and facilitated national and regional climate change consultative meetings. The national and regional consultations were undertaken from 12th to 31st October, 2017 with a view to identify national climate change priorities that would inform development of the regional position paper to guide negotiations.

The national consultations devised measures for realization of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and aligned Partner States’ priorities to the EAC roadmap for implementation of the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with GiZ (Uganda) organized and facilitated advocacy and capacity building workshops for the regional Climate Negotiators on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement as part of pre-COP 23 preparations.

EAC Secretariat participation is an opportunity for the EAC delegation to share experiences, success stories and best practices in implementing its Vision 2050, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

Beside the official side events and other events coordinated by the UNFCCC Secretariat, Parties and observer organizations are organizing their own events relating to the climate change negotiation process in different Pavilions and outside the conference premises.

The EAC Secretariat will take this opportunity to engage in bilateral discussions with new and existing Development Partners to assist in implementing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

Floods and Conflicts the major cause of Disasters in East Africa

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 14th October, 2017:

Floods, landslides, drought and conflicts are some of the major factors that trigger disasters that cause people to flee from their homes within the East African Community.

EAC Deputy Secretary General (DSG) in charge of Finance and Administration, Hon. Jesca Eriyo, said that East Africans also move into areas prone to natural hazards, particularly urban centres on floodplains, rivers exposed to floods and along coastlines exposed to cyclones and storms.

Hon. Eriyo said that many East Africans remained vulnerable to natural hazards due to factors associated with poverty including lack of knowledge, technology to adapt or to be adequately prepared for disasters.

“Environmental degradation, growing human populations, unsustainable exploitation of environmental resources and poor land use planning are the other predisposing factors. The region is equally predisposed to manmade disasters such as urban fires, water pollution, HIV and AIDS and outbreaks of disease epidemics,” said the DSG.

Hon. Eriyo said that most of the affected populations were generally poor and unable to pay for more secure pieces of land and build stronger houses.

The DSG disclosed that data on displacement in the EAC region indicates that internally displaced populations were on the rise with South Sudan leading with 281,000 people, Kenya 40,000, Tanzania 38,000 and Uganda 23,000, adding that there were no statistics for Burundi and Rwanda.

“Research shows that the impact of climate change on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and environmental degradation will increase displacement risk further. All these occurrences continue to remind us of the potentially harmful effects of global warming and the need to adopt an ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction Approach,” said Hon. Eriyo.

She cited the ongoing drought in the Greater Horn of Africa region, the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit North West Tanzania, the Mount Elgon landslide as some of the recent disasters whose impacts were still being felt in the region.

Hon. Eriyo was speaking when she presided over an occasion to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

She said EAC Partner States had switched emphasis from managing disasters to managing disaster risks as outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) – a global instrument adopted in Sendai, Japan in 2015.

The SFDRR is framework is a disaster response mechanism with a two-pronged strategy to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR): reducing disaster mortality and reducing the numbers of people affected by disasters.

“The EAC has made positive moves in integrating DRR into its policies and programmes. In addressing disasters, Partner States have established DRR comprehensive policy frameworks, enacted several legislations and formed DRR platforms that guide interventions in DRR,” she said.

She said the EAC had developed DRR institutions and instruments including the EAC DRR Strategy, adding that the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Act that was recently passed by the East African Legislative Assembly had provisions for displaced persons among other things.

“The EAC has established Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Unit that will be supervised director by the Secretary General. The Unit will play a key role in the implementation of the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction Act and the implementation of the Sendai Framework in the region,” said Ms. Eriyo.

- ENDS -

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

EAC Secretariat to Celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR)

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha. 13th October, 2017: 

The East African Community will join the rest of the world in celebrating the 2017 International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) on 13th October, 2017. The event will take place at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The overall objective of the IDDR celebration is to create awareness and promote a culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness in the EAC region, and promote best practices at regional level and across all sectors to reduce disaster with a particular focus on reducing the numbers of people at risk and disaster losses.

The UN General Assembly has designated 13th October as IDDR. Since it began 25 years ago, the day has grown into a major global awareness event celebrated in many ways to recognize progress and encourage efforts to build more disaster-resilient communities and nations.

The IDDR is an opportunity to acknowledge the substantial progress being made towards reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries. Such an outcome is the aim of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a global instrument adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan in March 2015.

The 2017 IDDR is the Second year of “The Sendai Seven” Campaign and the focus on the day will be Target (b) of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction whose focus is on reducing the numbers of people affected by disasters by reducing exposure and displacement. The theme of the day is “HOME SAFE HOME…A home saved is a family saved from displacement, poverty, injury and ill health.” This implies protection against injury, against ill health and loss of livelihood by minimizing disasters risks.

“Home Safe Home” slogan for IDDR in 2017 was adopted following a year in which 24.2 million of new displacements by disasters were recorded by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). A key focus of the campaign is on the issue of disaster-related displacement and what can be done to protect people in the home and workplace from disasters, and to make these locations more resilient to disasters. This is a key challenge in many hazard-exposed parts of the world but notably in low and middle-income countries

The EAC Celebration is expected to come up with an increased awareness of the Sendai Framework and a key target; a greater focus on risk-informed investment in housing stock and slum upgrading; protective measures and the importance of reducing injury and ill-health as consequences of disaster events; a greater focus on protecting livelihoods and places of work in hazard-prone areas; and an increased awareness on the role everyone/ every sector can play in reducing disaster risk.

The celebration will include an EAC Statement on the occasion of the IDD, to be published, a seminar and other activities involving community participation and cooperation. EAC internal stakeholders namely Productive and Social Sectors, Infrastructure, Peace and Security, Security, Human resources and Administration, and Corporate communication will technically contribute to the success of the event.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

EAC region is vulnerable to disasters

The EAC sub-region like any other region in the world is suffering from Disasters that are caused by natural and manmade hazards. The East Africa region is prone to natural hazards such floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, strong winds, lightening and their secondary impacts of diseases and epidemics making the region the most vulnerable and least resilient to disasters. This is attributable to climate change impacts, Geographic situation (Western Rift, volcanoes, earthquake, hilly...), Poverty: including lack of knowledge, technology to adapt, or to be prepared to Disasters, environmental degradation, growing human populations, over and unsustainable exploitation of environmental resources and poor land use planning among other factors.

The region is equally predisposed to manmade disasters such as urban fires, environmental degradation, water pollution, HIV and Aids and outbreaks of disease epidemics. Pest infestation, Conflicts, fires, livestock diseases, Terrorism Environmental degradation (desertification, pollution, soil erosion, etc.), lightning, wind-storms, hailstorms, are also common hazards of the region. Drought and Floods are the most frequent disasters in the region. Drought and its associated famine has become a major setback to economic development due to its direct impacts on the lives and livelihoods and caused homeless, sometimes called Climate Refugees. Floods and conflicts are the most current causes of displacement. Those hazards have for a long time reversed economic gains whereby resources meant for development programmes have to be diverted to fight drought emergencies

EAC achievements in Disaster Risk Reduction

The EAC has made positive moves in integrating DRR into policies and programmes. In addressing Disasters Partner States have established DRR comprehensive Policy frameworks, enacted several legislations and formed DRR Platforms that guide interventions in DRR. The fourth EAC Development Strategy (2011-2016) also emphasizes on the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Africa Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. The EAC Climate Change Policy emphasize on DRR as a tool for climate change adaptation. A Climate Change Strategy and a Climate Change Master Plan are being implemented. The EAC region developed DRR institutions and instruments including the EAC DRR Strategy. The EAC DRRM Act that was recently passed b EALA has provisions of other institutions that include the DRRM Board, the DRRM Authority and the DRRM Fund.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk reduction

The Sendai Framework was adopted by the United Nations (UN) Member States at the 3rd UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan and endorsed by the UN General Assembly. The aim of the Sendai Framework is to achieve „The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries‟ by 2030 through progress monitored with indicators against seven global targets.

These targets aim to reduce: (a) mortality, (b) the number of affected people, (c) economic losses, and (d) critical infrastructure damage; and increase; (e) the number of national and local disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies, (f) level of international cooperation, and (g) availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments. To attain those targets, the Sendai Framework has defined 4 priorities: 1)Understanding Disaster Risk, 2) Strengthening Disaster Risk governance to manage disaster Risk, 3) investing in Disaster Risk reduction, and 4) enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to build back better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The Sendai Seven Campaign

The year 2016 saw the launch by the UN Secretary-General of “The Sendai Seven Campaign” to promote each of the seven targets over seven years. This year’s target is focused on prevention, protection and reducing the number of people affected by disasters, Target (b). It concerns the safety of all but particularly those at greater risk of death, injury, ill-health, loss of livelihood, displacement and lack of access to basic services from disaster events including women and children, people living with disabilities, and older persons. These groups have varying degrees of exposure to disaster events and also need to be included in disaster risk management planning.

The International Day’s rallying cry implies all this but focuses on the primal importance of the family home as a sanctuary and safe refuge in times of disaster with a particular focus on preventing displacement. The Campaign will also encompass the other key indicators for Target The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for governments, local governments, UN agencies and all stakeholders including the private sector, science and technology partners, community groups, civil society organisations, international organisations, to promote and advertise best practice at international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.

October 13th: International Day for Disaster Reduction

The United Nations General Assembly has designated 13 October as International Day for Disaster Reduction to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Since it began 25 years ago, the day has grown into a major global awareness event celebrated in many ways to recognize progress and encourage efforts to build more disaster-resilient communities and nations.

 

- ENDS -

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

 


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org