African Ministers Conference on the Environment - Very little space for civil society engagement
I attended the African Ministers Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), which was hosted by South Africa and held in Durban from 11 to 15 November. AMCEN was established in December 1985 following a conference of African Ministers of Environment which took place in Cairo, Egypt. Its mandate is to provide advocacy for environmental protection in Africa; to ensure that basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner; to ensure that social and economic development is realised at all levels; and to ensure that agricultural activities and practices meet the food security needs of the region.
This was the 17th session of AMCEN, and its theme was "Taking action for Environmental Sustainability and Prosperity in Africa". Its focus was on the need for African countries to take practical action, including implementation of policies, relevant regional and global frameworks, in order for the continent to attain environmental sustainability and prosperity and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
AMCEN was broken down into two segments: an expert segment from 11-13th November, and a ministerial segment from 14-15th November. UN Environment organised a regional consultative meeting for Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGS) on 9 and 10th November, to prepare their positions and input for AMCEN.