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Africa Weekly
Sustainable Development Guidance Document
Edition 1:9 - Monday, 24 August 2009
Editors Note: Welcome to the ninth issue of IISD's Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document. The Guidance Document replaces our Linkages Africa newsletter, and we aim to provide this service on a weekly basis. If you should come across a news article or have a submission for the next issue, please send it directly to richards@iisd.org. The Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document is an exclusive publication of IISD for the AFRICASD-L list and should not be reposted or republished to other lists/websites without the permission of IISD (you can write to Kimo Goree for permission.) If you have been forwarded this issue and would like to subscribe to AFRICASD-L, please visit: http://www.iisd.ca/email/africasd-L.htm
Events in Review: 7-20 August 2009
10 August: World Bank/DRC: The World Bank Group's Investment Climate Advisory Services has agreed to support the establishment of a planned special economic zone aimed at encouraging investment and employment opportunities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The World Bank Group will provide technical assistance on legal, institutional and regulatory issues, as well as on the planning of the zone, to support a secure and transparent environment for private sector investors. [More information]
12 August: AU: Peace and Security: Following the decision adopted during the thirteenth Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Summit, which took place from 24 June to 3rd July 2009 in Sirte, Libya, the AU Heads of State and Government have accepted the invitation of the AU Chairperson, Muammar El-Gaddafi, to hold a special Summit for the consideration and resolution of Conflicts in Africa. The AU Special Summit will take place from 30-31 August 2009, in Tripoli, on the margins of the celebrations marking the 40th Anniversary of the Libyan Revolution. [More information]
13 August: UNEP: Cape Town Green Week: For one week in late October, Cape Town will become one of the greenest business cities on Earth as the City Government joins hands with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and a range of partner organizations for an action-packed Green Week. One of the main events of the week will be the first-ever Global Roundtable in Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 22-23 October 2009. The Roundtable is organized by UNEP's Financial Initiative, the largest and oldest partnership between the UN system and the world of banking, insurance and investment. [Press release]
18 August: World Bank/ WSP: Giving poor people a say in the water and sanitation services they receive, and allowing alternative documentation to prove residence are some of the simple solutions that can bring sustainable water and sanitation services to the hundreds of millions currently living without, according to a new report released by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). According to UNICEF and WHO, 900 million peopl do not drink safe water and 2.5 billion people live without access to improved sanitation, leading to millions of deaths every year, mostly of children under five. The report, Guidance Notes on Services for the Urban Poor: A practical guide for improving water and sanitation services, identifies barriers to service delivery for poor people living in urban areas in Africa, East and South Asia, and Latin America and recommends practical solutions to overcome them. [More information] [Guidance notes on services for the urban poor: A practical guide for improving water and sanitation services]
19 August: UNEP/Kenya: Kenya Pledges to Plant 7.6 Billion Trees: Kenyan communities will plant 7.6 billion trees over the next 20 years to address massive losses in forest cover. Kenya's Minister for the Environment, John Michuki, has demanded bold steps amidst economic, social and political unrest caused by forest destruction. According to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, less than 2% of Kenya is currently forested, far less than the minimum 10% required cover for healthy ecosystems. The Mau Forest, Kenya's biggest, has lost a quarter of its 400 000 hectares. The effects of this are being felt by surrounding farms that rely on a better micro-climate created by the forest, by the energy sector and by Kenya's famous national parks. The Kenya Atlas, produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the Kenyan Government, showcases Kenya's disappearing forests, shrinking lakes and changing landscapes by juxtaposing modern satellite images to those taken in 1970. It makes shocking changes visible to the eye. Michuki says it provides a welcome alternative to long reports and will influence the way that Kenyans understand their changing environment. [Press release]
19 August: World Bank: IFC Boosts Lending Commitment to Africa To US$1.8 Billion: The International Finance Corporation (IFC,) a member of the World Bank Group, has committed US$1.8 billion worth of new investments across 30 countries in Africa in the fiscal year ending in June 2009. This is the IFC's largest volume in any single year since its founding in 1956, as it rapidly increased activities to alleviate the impact of the global financial crisis on Africa’s poorest regions. IFC’s investments represented a 32 percent increase over the US$1.4 billion in commitments recorded a year earlier. “IFC is increasing its activities where it is needed the most, building a base for sustainable economic growth and increasing opportunities for people to improve their lives,” said Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “IFC stepped up financing and advisory services amid the turmoil in global financial markets to encourage African trade and investment flows and alleviate the impact of the global economic slowdown on the Africa’s most vulnerable.” [Press release]
20 August: World Bank: World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick ended a three-nation African tour last week by affirming that despite setbacks to Africa’s steady progress as a result of the financial crisis, this could be a century of African opportunity and growth. “We need multiple poles of growth and that will make for a more balanced international economy; and there’s no reason Africa can’t be one of those poles,” Zoellick told journalists in Entebbe, Uganda at the end of his trip. The six-day trip that took Zoellick to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda was an opportunity to see first-hand the impact of the financial crisis on Africa, assess progress on post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction, and explore ways to stimulate investment and donor support to help the continent weather the crisis in anticipation of the Group of Twenty (G20) meeting in Pittsburgh, next month. [More information]

REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS
August: UNCCD: New official reports and documents for the ninth session of the COP have been uploaded onto the UNCCD Website in the last three weeks. They include the: Executive Secretary’s report on the implementation of the ten-year strategy; Programme and Budget for the biennium 2010-2011; the review of available information regarding the financing of the implementation of the Convention multilateral agencies, including the Global Environment Facility; Secretariat’s note on promotion and strengthening of relationships with other relevant institutions; and the background document for the panel discussions during the high-level segment. [View and download the reports]
August: UNCCD/CFC/FAO: African Drylands Commodity Atlas: The UNCCD secretariat, the Common Fund For Commodities (CFC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have launched the first African Drylands Commodity Atlas. The Atlas highlights the importance of commodities for primary agricultural production in African countries. It enhances the understanding of national policy makers in dryland Least Developed Countries (LDCs), development partners and other stakeholders on the possibilities and potential opportunities to achieve poverty reduction through environmentally sustainable and economically profitable commodity production drylands. [Download the atlas]

ANNOUNCEMENTS
APFAfrica Partnership Forum: Special Forum on Climate Change: Representatives of The African Union Commission, the NEPAD Secretariat, the Economic Commission for Africa and the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation gathered today in Addis Ababa to finalize the preparations for the African Partnership Forum (APF) special session on climate change which is scheduled on 3 September 2009 in Addis Ababa. The APF is a AU/NEPAD Secretariat/OECD led initiative, aiming at strengthening partnership efforts towards Africa’s development. Its upcoming special session will focus on Africa’s concerns and expectations in the negotiations on a new post-Kyoto agreement on climate change. [More information]
UNEP SASAKAWA PRIZEUNEP: SASAKAWA PRIZE: The search is on for individuals or institutions engaged in creative, groundbreaking initiatives that demonstrate real and tangible differences to the communities they serve. In a year that will see global leaders meet in Copenhagen for the most important climate conference since 1997, the 2010 UNEP Sasakawa Prize is focused on the theme: Green Solutions to Combat Climate Change. UNEP is looking to recognize and reward projects that promote adaptation and mitigation through clean energy and clean technologies, including waste reduction, management and recycling; rural energy, including renewables and sustainable biomass; and ecosystem management to help build adaptive capacity and resilience to the inevitable impacts of climate change. The winner will receive US$ 200 000 prize at an Award Ceremony and Reception to be held in February 2010, in Bali, Indonesia. [More information] [Nominate an individual/institution]
CBD SecretariatCBD Secretariat Invites Comments on GBO-3: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is inviting comments by governments, non-governmental organizations, institutions, members of universities and scientific bodies, and individuals on the first draft of the third edition of Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3). Comments are invited until 1 October 2009. Among its main arguments, the Outlook calls for addressing with equal priority and in close coordination the linked challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, in order to avoid the most severe impacts of each. The draft GBO-3 recognizes that it comes at a time when “the world’s focus is fixed as never before on the great challenge of climate change” and suggests it is the appropriate time to evaluate and communicate the critical role of biodiversity in limiting both the scale and impacts of the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The authors also underline the opportunities to meet simultaneously these two linked challenges. GBO-3 argues for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change in tandem, bearing in mind the following four principal messages: climate change will drive biodiversity loss, and moderating climate change will, in the long term, safeguard ecosystem services; protecting biodiversity will also help to moderate climate change; protecting biodiversity will help us adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change; and climate change and biodiversity must be considered together to avoid perverse outcomes. GBO-3 aims to provide an assessment of the progress made in meeting the 2010 Biodiversity Target and will be an important tool in informing the policy process and international biodiversity commitments during the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010. [Draft GBO-3]
UNCCDUNCCD Secretariat Invites Comments on Draft Water Policy Advocacy Framework: The Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has invited comments on a draft Water Policy Advocacy Framework, which seeks to provide a framework for the Secretariat to advocate for the development of water resource management policies at country level. The Framework was developed on the understanding that, although parties to the UNCCD have water policies in place, special attention needs to be paid to the impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) on the availability, accessibility and management of water resources in light of: potential future global water crisis associated with climate change; current and emerging challenges, including poverty eradication and food insecurity, as they relate to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and the UNCCD Strategy’s strategic objective to improve the livelihoods of the populations of the drylands. Parties and stakeholders are invited to review the draft Framework and submit their views and comments to the Secretariat before 14 September 2009. [Draft water policy advocacy framework] [Draft framework webpage]
CBD Secretariat Calls for Comments on Draft Scientific Synthesis on the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is inviting participation in the peer review of the draft report “Scientific Synthesis on the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity.” The report was prepared by the CBD Secretariat in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), with funding from the Government of Spain, by compiling and synthesizing available scientific information on ocean acidification and its impacts on marine biodiversity and habitats. Upon the completion of the peer-review and further revision, this report will be made available for consideration at the upcoming 14th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the CBD, scheduled to take place in May 2010. Comments and suggestions on the draft report are to be made to the CBD Secretariat by 15 September 2009. [The draft report] [The notification]

UPCOMING MEETINGS
23-28 August: Second Congress on World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya. [More information]
24 August: First Meeting of the Conference of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and African Lead Experts on Climate Change, Addis Ababa. [More Information]
24 August- 4 September:
Sustainable Global Technologies Programme, Nairobi, Kenya. [More Information]
26-27 August: US/Africa Workshop on Developing Sustainable Transportation Systems, Arusha, Tanzania. [More information]
26-27 August: Thirteenth Southern Africa Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-13), in Harare, Zimbabwe. [More information]
31 August- 4 September: Third World Climate Conference, Geneva, Switzerland. [More Information]
The Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was compiled and edited by Tallash Kantai and Richard Sherman. The Guidance Document is part of IISD Reporting Service’s African Regional Coverage (ARC) Project in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Africa (UNEP ROA) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Programme Manager of the African Regional Coverage Project is Richard Sherman <rsherman@iisd.org>. Funding for the Africa Weekly Sustainable Development Guidance Document has been provided by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Development Research Centre, Canada, through the African Regional Coverage Project for IISD Reporting Service’s coverage of African regional meetings. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Guidance Document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Electronic versions of the Guidance Document are sent to the electronic distribution list (in HTML format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/africa/>. For information on the ARC, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, US.
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