NAIROBI: THE East African Community (EAC) Secretariat is organizing the African Mountains Regional Forum to enhance collaboration and framing a regional agenda for sustainable mountain development in the region.
Organised in collaboration with Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS), African Mountains Partnership, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Austrian Development Cooperation and Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, the forum slated for October in Tanzania will bring together senior officials from African government institutions, academia, civil society and the private sector.
The Albertine Rift or Africa’s Western Rift Valley is one of the most biodiverse regions of the continent, with more than half of Africa’s birds, 40 percent of Africa’s mammals and about 20 percent of its amphibians and plants.
“Human population density in the Albertine Rift is also high, with over 1 000 people per square kilometre in some areas and with some of the poorest communities on the continent,” said the EAC Secretariat in a statement.
According to the EAC, specific objectives of the forum include to provide an opportunity for different sustainable mountain development stakeholders to enhance understanding of common conservation and development issues in the region.
The forum will also identify strategic actions to address emerging issues such as climate change in the region, while the forum participants will share experiences in meeting the conservation and development challenges including water, energy, food security and climate change in Africa’s mountain regions.
EAC partner states, namely Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, have agreed to protect mountain ecosystems such as critical water catchments, conservation of heritage areas and other areas of common strategic interest at local, national, regional and international levels.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY