NAIROBI — Chinese and African scientists converged in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Sept 5 to brainstorm on new strategies to promote green and inclusive development.
The two-day conference on climate, ecosystems and livelihoods for Africa was organized by United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in conjunction with the World Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Environment Judi Wakhungu, in her opening remarks on Sept 4, said a strategic dialogue between African and Chinese scientists is key to addressing ecological challenges facing the continent.
“Chinese and African scientists should share lessons on effective ways to tackle climate change and promote resilience of ecosystems that form a critical component of this continent’s economy,” said Wakhungu.
Dozens of Chinese and African scientists attended the high-level conference on climate and ecosystems under the aegis of South-South cooperation.
Wakhungu hailed the blossoming Sino-Africa cooperation in science, technology and environmental protection that has advanced low-carbon development in the world’s second largest continent.
“We are glad to see the Chinese government and scientists proactively promote the Belt and Road Initiative globally and push for diversified and sustainable development in Africa,” said Wakhungu.
She disclosed that the Kenyan government has partnered with China to implement projects that advance ecosystems restoration, food, energy and security.
Multilateral institutions have rallied behind Sino-Africa partnership in skills and technology transfer to help address climate change, habitat loss and other ecological challenges.
Deputy Executive Director of UN Environment Ibrahim Thiaw said a robust partnership between African and Chinese scientists is required to inject fresh vitality in the green agenda.
“Scientists from China and Africa should be at the forefront in coming up with innovative green solutions for realizing sustainable development goals,” Thiaw said.
China has prioritized partnership with African countries in the areas of climate, ecosystems and livelihoods in line with principles outlined in South-South cooperation along the Belt and Road.
Cao Jinghua, director-general of the bureau of international cooperation at the CAS, said Beijing has placed green agenda at the heart of its bilateral ties with Africa.
“The Chinese government attaches importance to green development. We will strengthen cooperation with African countries to help them realize green growth,” said Cao.
Cao noted that South-South cooperation has fostered sharing of knowledge and expertise to strengthen action on climate change in Africa.