30 Jan 2017 Story Disasters & conflicts

Assessing the state of Sudan’s environment

Khartoum – On January 30th 2017 the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Planning of Sudan and UN Environment kicked off the process for the new State of the Environment and Outlook Report, in Khartoum, Sudan.

Over one hundred and twenty people attended the event, including the Minister and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Planning, the Speaker of Parliament, the Head of the Department for International Development (DFID), the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, the UN Environment Country Programme Manager and several other representatives from the United Nations and development agencies. 

Sudanese officials and UK representatives on the occasion of the launch of the State of the Environment process in Khartoum

The State of the Environment and Outlook Report is needed now more than ever. UN Environment carried out the last comprehensive environmental assessment in 2007, in the form of a Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment that aimed at integrating the environment into national reconstruction and recovery after conflict. However, as the context in Sudan has changed considerably since then, it is crucial to create a new environmental baseline to inform sustainable development planning.

Sudan is facing a wide range of challenging environmental, social and natural resource issues that are amplified by climate change. Challenges include deforestation, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and habitat, pollution of air, land, and water, conflicts over diminishing natural resources, food insecurity and poor waste and sanitation services in urban areas. If not properly addressed, sustainable development in Sudan will be hindered.

During the process, UN Environment will accompany the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Planning in capacitating experts in order to institutionalize environmental reporting in Sudan. The initial phase will include the establishment of a small advisory committee to develop the framework and structure of the report.

 “UN Environment is glad to be associated with this process and will provide technical assistance to ensure the report benefits from international best practice and tools and uses commonly accepted indicators, including those developed under the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr. Hassan Partow, Acting Head of UN Environment in Sudan, in his opening speech at the launch event.

In addition to assessing the state of the environment, the report will also examine aspects of vulnerability of people and the environment to climate change. By studying different scenarios on the country’s current trends, it will provide a vision of the best suitable policy options. Aiming to reach a wide audience, the report will be published in both Arabic and English.

The State of the Environment and Outlook Report is part of a bigger initiative called ‘Adapt for Environment and Climate Resilience in Sudan’ (ADAPT). Funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, ADAPT seeks to raise the profile of the environment in Sudan by focusing on three critical challenges: water scarcity, forest and rangeland degradation, and adaptation to climate change. The project aims to effect positive change by supporting policy and institutional reform in natural resources management, and help Sudan formulate project proposals to mobilize resources.

 “The value of ADAPT is that it is not a standalone project but provides an opportunity to influence the bigger development picture. Ultimately, the aim is to build the resilience of communities and the national economy in a changing climate,” said Mr. Partow.

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