GENERAL REPRESENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF FLANDERS

IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

EMBASSY OF BELGIUM
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UNEP Ecosystem Based Adaptation Symposium
Flanders Representative - South Africa 157

UNEP Ecosystem Based Adaptation Symposium

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UN Environment Programme’s Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) Symposium takes place from 23 to 25 June. It focuses on the management and utilisation of natural ecosystems in order to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability to the effects and challenges of climate change, particularly in vulnerable communities. The Government of Flanders provides funding to EbA projects within local communities in South Africa, but also believes that it is vital to mainstream EbA at local, regional and national strategic and policy levels.

This symposium is part of a project, undertaken in partnership with UNEP, to strengthen EbA through promoting evidence-based policy and decision making at national level, identifying new streams of finance for EbA, enhancing cooperation between EbA stakeholders and scaling/replicating EbA practices in vulnerable and high-risk communities.

The symposium was opened by high-level speakers, including the Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Hon. Makhotso Sotyu. In her opening remarks, the Deputy Minister stated that municipalities are pivotal to the fight against climate change and to enhance resilience of biodiversity and livelihoods. She said that “the municipal level is where we must be seen, where we must be active, where everything is happening, because it is where climate change is mostly felt by our communities.”

The Diplomatic Representative of Flanders Dr Geraldine Reymenants expressed Flanders’ aspiration that the community-based projects that we support, will provide clear pathways to demonstrate how communities can preserve their precious ecosystems and use their natural buffer capacity to minimise the negative effects of climate change on their livelihoods, and that they will serve as models to be replicated at larger scale, not only in South Africa, but throughout the world.

Ms Cecilia Njenga, Head of UN Environment South Africa, thanked the Government of Flanders for its continued support to the climate change adaptation agenda in South Africa, adding that “Flanders believes in the importance of collaboration and coordination amongst all its development partners. UNEP has worked together with many of Flanders’ other partners, and that has enriched our work in South Africa.”

The symposium can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fkUjCJ8rTA

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