• Overview
  • Seventh Special Session
  • Past sessions
  • Contacts

The Sixteenth Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) will be held from June 12-16, 2017 in Libreville, Gabon, under the theme: "Investing in Innovative Environmental Solutions to accelerate implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 in Africa".

About the the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN)

The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) was established in December 1985, following a conference of African ministers of environment held in Cairo, Egypt. Its mandate is to provide advocacy for environmental protection in Africa; to ensure that basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner; to ensure that social and economic development is realized at all levels; and to ensure that agricultural activities and practices meet the food security needs of the region.

Regular sessions of AMCEN have been convened every second year since its inception. In addition, several special sessions have been convened in between regular sessions to consider specific issues of concern.

The measures adopted by AMCEN in seeking solutions to environmental concerns in Africa have consistently been participatory and consultative since its inception. The existence of AMCEN has had an impact on the manner in which environmental issues are being handled in the region. AMCEN has also contributed to strengthening Africa’s participation and active involvement both in global negotiations and in international agreements on the environment.

AMCEN's role includes, among others:

  • Providing continent-wide leadership by promoting awareness and consensus on global and regional environmental issues;
  • Developing common positions to guide African representatives in negotiations for legally binding international environmental agreements;
  • Promoting African participation in international dialogue on global issues of importance to Africa;
  • Reviewing and monitoring environmental programmes at the regional, sub-regional and national levels;
  • Providing regional strategic and policy guidance to promote sound environmental management for sustainable development 
  • Promoting the ratification by African countries of multilateral environmental agreements relevant to the region;
  • Building African capacity in the field of environmental management.

Since the first session of AMCEN, a number of programmes, initiatives and activities have been developed to facilitate the effective implementation of its mandate towards environmental protection in Africa. It has implemented many concrete measures with regard to regional policy development, awareness-raising, advocacy, coordination, networking, knowledge management and dissemination, and training. Through its strong convening power, it has brought together African Governments, institutions and their development partners to deliberate and craft common positions on important issues for regional, international and global consideration.

Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Africa Regional Director for UN Environment delivers a message for the upcoming African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).

Institutional arrangements

In 1997, AMCEN by adopting its first-ever constitution, formalized its existence as the permanent African Ministerial authority on the environment and sustainable development. The Conference is the highest policy-making organ of AMCEN. It has a Bureau consisting of a President and four vice-Presidents (one representing each sub-region). The President of AMCEN presides over the sessions of AMCEN, meetings of the Bureau and conducts the affairs of AMCEN between its ordinary sessions. The Bureau is responsible for the implementation of decisions of the Conference as well as the relations between AMCEN and member states and observers between sessions. UN Environment through its Africa Office, has served as the Secretariat of AMCEN since its inception. The Secretariat works with the President of AMCEN and its Bureau in conducting the affairs of the Conference.

AMCEN at its 4th session, decided to set up a Trust Fund to ensure a sustainable financial base aimed at rendering the Conference more effective. The Trust Fund was established in 1991, on the basis of voluntary contributions. The main objective of the fund is to provide financial support, wholly or partially, for the functioning of the organs of AMCEN and the implementation of its activities. The Trust Fund is managed by UN Environment as the AMCEN Secretariat.

The seventh special session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), under the overarching theme "Turning Environmental Policies into Action through Innovative Solutions” will take place at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya from 17 to 20 September 2018. The special session will be held back to back with the first meeting of the Africa Environment Partnership Platform.

Expert group segment will meet from 17 to 18 September 2018 and a ministerial segment will take place from 19 to 20 September 2018. The special session will be preceded by a major groups and stakeholders’ forum (civil society) meeting on 15-16 September 2018. A number of side events will be held during the session.

The special session will consider key issues to be discussed at the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) and Africa’s common approach for engagement in the Assembly, scheduled to take place in March 2019. It will focus on how environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative solutions and interventions and by promoting sustainable consumption and production.

The special session will provide an opportunity for the continent to prepare for the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD-COP14) scheduled for 17 to 29 November in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, as well as the 24th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC-COP24) to be held in Katowice, Poland later in the year.

AMCEN at its 14th session held in 2012 adopted a decision to establish an African Environment Partnership Platform (AEPP) to coordinate, mobilize resources, foster knowledge and align support for the implementation of the Environment Action Plan of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The Platform was officially launched during the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco in 2016. The goal of the partnership platform spearheaded by the NEPAD Agency is to promote sustainable environmental management in Africa through enhanced partnership, coordination and harmonization of activities as well as pooling of resources at various levels. The focus during this meeting will be to review environmental management in Africa under the theme “50 years of Environmental Governance and Sustainability in Africa”.

The session will adopt a declaration, decisions and key messages reflecting the discussions under the various agenda items.

List the various sessions with dates and provide a link to the outcome document (Roy to provide list of past sessions and links to outcome documents)

Provide the necessary contact info