Conference on Climate Change in Africa [fr]
The French Embassy of South Africa and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) hosted a conference about climate change in Africa on 3 and 4 November 2014 at Wits University in Johannesburg.
Organised with the support of the joint representation of IRD/CNRS, the French Institute in South Africa and the French Development Agency, the conference brought together stakeholders from research, public administration, international organizations, donors and civil society actors, from South Africa, other regions of the African continent and France.
Ahead of the CoP20 (2014, Lima) and the CoP21 (2015, Paris), this conference proposed to foster synergies between research, policy and positives initiatives on Climate Change, in four key areas:
Green economy, Energy, Sustainable cities and Marine Resources and Coastal Ecosystems.
French Ambassador to South Africa Elisabeth Barbier and CEO of SAIIA Elizabeth Sidiropoulos opened the conference, attended by 100 delegates, on Monday November 3.
The first discussions revolved around the upcoming CoP conferences in Lima and Paris and what has been learnt from previous conferences (such as CoP17 in Durban). Several experts, including the chief director of international climate change negotiations and relations in the South African department of environmental affairs, Maesela Kekana, took part.
The first themed session about energy included speeches from researchers from Ethiopia, Nigeria, the World Wildlife Foundation of South Africa, Béatrice Despioch, founder of the Kagisau Tree Farm in Kenya (supported by IRD’s Bond’Innov incubator) and the director of research and development for Eskom in South Africa.
The second session was about sustainable cities with speakers like Hastings Chikoko of the C40 Cities climate leadership group, Professor Abbas El Zafarany of Cairo University in Egypt, Nkateko Shipalana of the City of Joburg’s metro planning department and the head of town planning and urban development in Douala in Cameroon.
The following session about marine resources and coastal ecosystems hosted speakers from Mozambique and local experts Dr Pedro Monteiro of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Alex Benkenstein of SAIIA. An exhibition organized by IRD, "Ocean and Climate", was available at the conference venue.
The fourth session on green economy included speaker from France Dimitri Kanounnikoff, special representative for climate change from the French Development Agency (AFD), and Dr Vincent Chaplot, researcher at IRD and associate professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The first day was concluded with a dinner at the Residence of Ambassador Barbier in Pretoria and was attended by the speakers and panelists.
The second day of the conference consisted of closed round table discussions by experts. It was opened by Damien Navizet, head of climate change and clean energy, European and international affairs in the French ministry of ecology, sustainable development and energy.
Discussions centered on the road to CoP21 (how to capture Africa’s agenda and expectations) and the 2015 agreement (the framework). Speakers from Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan led the conversation.