Africa: Seychelles, Other African Islands Support AU's New Green Recovery Plan

The Africa Islands Climate Commission which is chaired by Seychelles strongly supports the newly launched African Union Green Recovery Action Plan, said President Wavel Ramkalawan.

The Green Recovery Action Plan which was launched on Thursday is intended to contribute towards the realisation of AU member states' recovery plans as well as regional programmes.

Ramkalawan told an online gathering that "the AU Green Recovery Action Plan complements the African islands' commitment and efforts to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors, build resilience in our communities and play our part in supporting the transition to a net-zero carbon emissions economy."

"African Island states are strongly committed to the Paris Agreement and for our part, Seychelles aims to lead by example. We have dedicated a whole chapter of our Nationally Determined Contributions to ocean climate action. This includes protecting and evaluating our blue carbon as nature-based solutions to climate change," Ramkalawan added, according to a news release from State House.

"Seychelles has time and again strongly advocated for climate adaptation and resilience to natural hazards to reduce the risks that threaten our survival and socio-economic viability as African SIDS, and mitigate the challenges to our sustainable development efforts," he added.

Ramkalawan said that as Chair of the African Islands States Climate Commission, he looks forward to working with all member states and international partners to fulfill the objectives of the Green Recovery Action Plan.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, was awarded Chairmanship of the newly formed Commission for Islands during an Africa Action Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016.

"As we respond to the demands for immediate action to tackle the pandemic, we cannot forget that the climate change crisis will be with us for much longer and demand as urgent, coherent and collective a response," added the President.

He said that with around four months until the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), the message is clear that "we must step up our global response to the climate crisis and building back greener from the pandemic should be part of this. Seychelles urges members to negotiate a package at COP26 that consists of technical and financial assistance to support Africa in addressing the challenges of climate change, decarbonising our economies, and implementing our Nationally Determined Contributions in earnest."

"As daunting as the twin crises of COVID-19 and climate change are, they are not insurmountable. The lessons we have drawn and are drawing from them can pave the way to a more resilient future more in harmony with nature - a shared future based on multilateralism and international cooperation. It is the only way forward," he said.

Ramkalawan concluded by saying that Seychelles and the African Islands Climate Commission would like to see COP26 contribute towards a strong, sustainable, healthy and promising future for Africa, with the African Union Green Recovery Plan playing a pivotal role along the way.

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