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June 29, 2017

African Initiative for Combating Desertification to Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa: The Forum for Environment Ministers of the Horn of Africa Region

Overview

Name of Meeting: African Initiative for Combating Desertification
to Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa:
The Forum for Environment Ministers of the Horn of Africa Region (Overview)
Date: June 29, 2017
Host: Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Kenya (supported by JICA)
Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

Moderators and panelists

Participants:
- Secreatary Administartion, Mr. William K.Kiprono on behalf of Prof. Judi W. Wakhungu, EBS, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya
- Mr. Richard J. Mwendandu, Director, Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource, Kenya
- H.E. Hassan Abdel Gadr Hilal, Minister of Environment, Forests and Physical Development of the Republic of Sudan
- Mr. Asrat Haile Tekle, Director, Crop Development, Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of H.E. Mr. Tesfai G.Selassie Sebhatu, Minister, Ministry of Land, Water& Environment, Eritrea
- Mr. Kabtamu Girma Assefa, Director, Forest Protection and Conservation Directorate, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on behalf of H.E. Mr. Gemedo Dale (Phd), Minister, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
- Mr. Joseph Africano Bartel, Under Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry on behalf of H.E. Mr. Deng Deng Hoc Yai, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Republic of South Sudan
- Mr. Abdirizak Mohamed Mohamud, Director General, Environment Office, Office of the Prime Minister on behalf of Hon. Abdullahi Hamud Mohamed, State Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, Somalia
- Mr. Dini Abdallah Omar, Secrétaire Général, Ministère de l'Habitat, de l'Urbanisme et de l'Environnement on behalf of S.E. Monsieur Moussa Mohamed AHMED, Ministre du Logement, de l’Urbanisme et de l’Environment, Djibouti
- Mr. Toshitsugu Uesawa, Ambassador, Embassy of Japan in Kenya
- Ms. Keiko Sano, Chief Representative, JICA Kenya Office

Participating countries:
The Horn of Africa nations: Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti

Primary objectives and outcomes

During a side event at TICAD VI, "African Initiative for Combating Desertification to Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa" was officially launched by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Kenya, the National Food Security Council of Senegal, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The initiative seeks to contribute to the sustainable development of the region through strengthening resilience to climate change by promoting measures for combating desertification. In this Forum for Environment Ministers, participants confirmed the progress and achievements made under this initiative so far, and also ensured future political commitments in each of the African countries, so that they will place efforts against desertification at the top of their agenda.

Content of the discussions

In this Ministerial forum, the participants deepened their understanding on the "African Initiative for Combating Desertification to Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa" in the Horn of Africa countries, where desertification and drought inflict serious damages. After confirming the progress made thus far, the forum adopted the Nairobi Declaration, which declares further political commitments to promote the initiative. The following is outcomes of the forum.

(1) Progress made under the initiative so far
The progress of the initiative in the Horn of Africa and Sahel regions, including their three main activities (networking, knowledge-sharing and access to finance), was shared among the participants. The participants highlighted the importance of political commitments in light of the urgency of fighting against desertification.

(2) Further Steps and contributions made by partner organizations and JICA to this initiative
During the discussion, the participants emphasized the importance of strong ownership and political leadership by the Horn of Africa countries, as well as actual implementation of the action plans.

The participants confirmed that JICA will further play its role specifically, including a task of strengthening partnerships with other development partners such as FAO and GEF, based on the TORs and action plans of participating countries under the initiative.

(3) Round-table discussion
The participating countries shared their countries' policy for combating desertification, the contribution of this initiative to their policy objectives, and countries' present situation and good practices. They also discussed how they will further promote this initiative.

(4) Adoption of the Ministerial Declaration
The participants adopted the Ministerial Declaration (Nairobi Declaration), which commits to continue to make efforts for combating desertification as an urgent policy issue to be addressed in each country.

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