01 Jan 1970 News Climate change

African and Chinese scientists agree to cooperate on climate change

Nairobi, 4 September 2017 - Scientists from leading institutions in China and Africa have agreed to take a holistic view to address impacts of climate change.  This was the outcome of a two day conference on south-south scientific cooperation between China and Africa; held in Nairobi 4-5 September 2017. 

The conference was opened by Prof. Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural ResourcesI Kenya.  In her address, Prof. Wakhungu called for more attention to be paid to alleviating the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and livelihoods in arid and semi-arid areas. She welcomed the cooperation between China and Africa, noting the important role that UN Environment plays to nurture and support such mechanisms.

The scientists agreed to pursue the nexus approach when designing and implementing climate change interventions at the regional and country level. 

The nexus approach aims to address the inter-linkages and interdependences between phenomena.  The scientists will focus on the nexus between climate change, ecosystems management and human livelihoods.

Climate change, and its impacts, is top on the global agenda as both environmental and developmental agenda, as evidenced by the landmark Paris Agreement.  It requires a multifaceted approach that brings different disciplines together to develop innovative and integrative solutions with a menu of options to inform policy making.

The conference brought together scientists 70 scientists and policy experts from 10 African nations and China, representing 40 national and international organisations from China and Africa. It was convened under the auspices of the UN Environment International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), a joint effort by UN Environment and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Participants agreed that future cooperation should pursue three goals:

  • Promote awareness and knowledge of the Climate, Ecosystems and Livelihoods nexus;
  • Build capacity for the implementation of the CEL programme in pursuing the objectives of the SDGs and the Paris Accord; and
  • Develop policy recommendations – including innovative, integrative solutions – to support the work of policymakers and to strengthen to the science-policy interface.

To achieve those goals, a standing mechanism will be developed under which UN Environment would provide a platform to support future China-Africa cooperation on the nexus approach.  Cooperation will build on the existing institutions, networks, centres of excellence and ongoing programmes in both Africa and China.