On 28 November Pascal Lamy, president of the Paris Peace Forum and Foundation Board member, participated for the second time in the Now Generation Network's (NGN) In conversation with… series, along with six NGN members.
The panel discussed Africa's green and blue wealth in light of the recent United Nations Climate Conference (COP27), which took place recently in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Opening the session, Pascal Lamy highlighted how the hydrosphere is essential for Africa's climate, environment, and biodiversity. The hydrosphere – meaning all the water systems, the ocean, rivers, lakes and water tables – is a significant factor in fighting climate warming because it absorbs 40% of heat, he said. If properly handled, it can act as a carbon sink.
Following Lamy's intervention, NGN members brought up the challenges of exploring Africa's green and blue wealth, such as lack of technical capacity and funding.
We have a clean, sustainable way to get financing, such as blue bonds. Still, the requirements for it and the general awareness from governments, the private sector, and the general public are not comforting.
~Georgie Ndurangu, NGN member
Participants also highlighted that new projects should always consider local communities' needs. In addition, governments and civil society should address the fight against corruption and violence and the need for a legal framework in which green and blue economy initiatives are included.
Financing has to come so communities can opt for alternative methods of survival. But still, this financing, if it comes, doesn't reach our communities. So we have a challenge of project implementation and challenges of corruption.
~Gaokgakala Sobatha, NGN member
We need to address the role of African Union institutions and their control of the blue economy. We still do not have a treaty that clearly articulates the obligations of countries in international waters.
~Topua Lesinko, NGN member
The conversation rounded up with considerations on the impact COP27 may have on Africa's blue and green economies.
COP27 re-included oceans in the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan, admittedly only in two paragraphs. Still, it shows that there is an interest in perhaps supporting countries in integrating oceans in their NDCs, and also discussing more the value that oceans have in the whole climate equation.
~Barkha Mossea, NGN member
Pascal Lamy was joined by:
- Adeelah Kodabux, Mauritius
- Barkha Mossaë, Mauritius
- Fabrice Muchiga, DR Congo
- Gaokgakala Sobatha, Botswana
- Georgie Ndirangu, Kenya
- Topua Lesinko, Kenya
Watch the conversation: