The Secretary-General, Mr Sindiso Ngwenya, has applauded the COMESA-EAC-SADC climate change cooperation for being practical.
“I applaud you and support your continued working together, let us take this opportunity to demonstrate in a practical manner that we can make things happen”.
He added that the problem with Africa is the tendency to think that innovation has to always come from out yet we have people who are innovative. He gave an example of mobile phone banking systems, which innovation was led by people in the COMESA region and is now becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
Mr Ngwenya called upon the tripartite climate change team to be innovative. He advised the team to start from the simple things that people are already doing and improve on them. He emphasized the need for all tripartite partners to have ownership.
The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite team was in Lusaka for a two day meeting with cooperating partners. The meeting with partners is part of a contractual obligation that the tripartite and partners should hold at least two joint meetings a year to appraise each other on progress in the implementation of the climate change programme. The two day meeting took place at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia. During this time, the team paid a courtesy call on Secretary-General Ngwenya at COMESA Secretariat on Tuesday 26 June 2012.
The three Regional Economic Communities in namely COMESA, EAC and SADC are jointly implementing a programme supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation. This programme includes work on policy, particularly in relation to developing climate change financing channels, support to the development of national Conservation Agriculture Task Forces, support to the wider roll-out of Climate-Smart agriculture targeting more than a million households, strengthening vulnerability assessment and analyzing and strengthening research capacity and the evidence base in support of Climate-Smart agriculture.
The programme also provides support to African negotiators at different international Fora particularly the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference of parties (COPs). The initiative has over the years campaigned and succeeded in including agriculture in the UNFCC agenda. This programme has initially been designed with a budget close to US $100 million from a number of donors, the major ones being the Royal Norwegian Embassy, DFID (UK Aid) and the EU.