United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

African countries showcase green economy initiatives at UNEP event and launching of the 2010 SEED awards


South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have taken bold initiatives to achieve a green economy transformation. These initiatives were presented at a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) event during the 13th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Bamako, Mali.

The event, which focused on 'fostering a Green Economy Transformation in Africa', provided a platform for Ministers and delegates at AMCEN to share experiences on Green Economy initiatives being undertaken in several African countries as well as opportunities and challenges for Africa to achieve a green economic transformation, building on national sustainable development and poverty reduction initiatives that are underway on the continent.

Governments in Africa are starting to engage decisively in mobilizing investments to restore and better reward Africa's valuable socio-economic and environmental assets. Many governments are allocating, to various degrees, portions of their fiscal stimulus to green economic sectors such as renewable energies and energy efficiency improvements, sustainable agriculture, and better management of water and waste.

Following a Green Economy Summit held in May this year in Johannesburg, South Africa has embarked into the development of a Green Economy Plan. The country earlier launched a $ 7.5 billion fiscal stimulus for period 2009-2011 with a primary focus on investments that create more decent jobs, and related to this, investments in infrastructure. Nearly $ 1 billion is being spent in railways, energy efficient buildings, and water and waste management. South Africa has also articulated concepts and principles of a Green Economy into its budgeting process.

Today Kenya is seeking to implement a $ 99 million restoration of the entire Mau Forest Complex, the largest closed-canopy forest ecosystem in Kenya covering over 400, 000 hectares. The country has committed to go totally green by 2017 and to restore the forest cover to 10% by 2020. Currently, the government has launched a green energy campaign and mobilized $1 billion to construct a 280MW geothermal power plant.

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