Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
A strategic partnership between Portugal and Africa to promote biodiversity for development was launched in Nairobi, Kenya on 7 February 2007 at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
A memorandum of cooperation was signed by Francisco Nunes Correia, Portugal’s Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Regional Development, Prof. Firmino Mucavele, the Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD and Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The strategic partnership will promote capacity building through training and exchange of experiences and best practices among the national focal points for the Convention on Biological Diversity, its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the focal points of the Action Plan of NEPAD’s Environment Initiative and other senior policymakers.
A series of training workshops will be organised jointly by the partners on issues of critical importance to the implementation phase of the Convention and its protocol in the context of the environment component of the NEPAD initiative.
The signatories will :
facilitate the exchange of experts, study tours and fellowships between Portugal and selected African countries ;
establish information networks and databases to facilitate the exchange of information on best practices and lessons learned ;
disseminate this information to all interested regions, with a view to promoting similar initiatives with other regions and parties to the Convention. In launching the partnership, the Minister said : “Portugal is very pleased to be associated with this initiative and to place its biodiversity experience at the service of the African countries at a critical juncture of the implementation of their biodiversity agenda”.
Professor Mucavele said : “Biodiversity is critical for Africa’s sustainable development and we applaud Portugal’s leadership.
“We invite other development partners to assist African countries to protect their unique biodiversity at the service of their legitimate development needs and aspirations”.
Sekou Toure, UNEP regional director for Africa, said : “This initiative will enhance the current implementation of the work programme of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment by enhancing the human and institutional capacity of the African countries at national and regional levels”.
Ahmed Djoghlaf said : “This partnership is a unique mechanism to assist African countries enhance the implementation of the objectives of the Convention and to adequately respond to the unprecedented challenges ofconserving their unique biodiversity capital for combating poverty and promoting social and economic development of African peoples as envisaged by the NEPAD initiative.”
The Convention on Biological Diversity is one of the most broadly subscribed international environmental treaties in the world. Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, it currently has 190 parties — 189 states and the European Community — who have committed themselves to its three main goals : the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and the equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention is located in Montreal, Canada. Source : NEPAD News, 16 février 2007