Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cameroon begins new thinking on the climate crisis

Climate Change Campaigners at the National Dialogue
In their bid to cut back on the effects of climate change, campaigners have largely overlooked opportunities that these challenges can bring, biosafety and environmental law expert Mr Augustine Njamnshi has said.
The Executive Secretary of the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme-Cameroon (BDCP-C) says in facing up to these challenges, it is incumbent on stakeholders to dig deeper into them because a treasure trove of the benefits will be unearthed.
He spoke in Yaoundé on Friday May 17 during a national workshop on the challenges and socio-economic opportunities of climate change in and for Cameroon.
All sectors of the community; the private sector, civil society organizations and the government, are facing the climate challenge and Mr Njamnshi recommends going for the ‘silver lining’ beyond it.
“We have come to realize at a certain point that while we need economic development, we still need our healthy environment, we still need the people that live in this environment”, he said.
The Yaoundé workshop was an all-inclusive dialogue that brought together business leaders, civil society leaders, law makers and state agents to brood on possible opportunities that climate change offers.
The meeting sought to initiate a conversation in Cameroon on the issue and set the pace for a more all-encompassing partnership between the different stakeholders of the development process.
Dr Amougou, Focal Point of Climate Change Conventions in the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development said the benefits of such a dialogue are manifold.
 “It is not only the ministry that will benefit; everyone is affected by the effects of climate change. We are trying to see what Cameroon has done to mitigate the effects of climate change and how we can adapt to the changing climate”, the government official said.
Climate change continues to pose challenges to the development efforts of impoverished parts of the world. Floods, rising sea levels, unpredictable rains and desertification all have the potential to slow and even compromise economic prosperity. Yet the global efforts to contain and adapt to the negative impacts of climate change often ignores the role the business community can play.
The Yaoundé talks had managers of financial institutions, road construction companies amongst others in attendance who could bankroll the novel methods of dealing with climate change the seminar is devising.
Mr Njamnshi said “the private sector can provide both the investment and innovation needed for the transition from dirty to clean development. It can also benefit from funding mechanisms either already existent or being formulated”.
One of the participants at the national dialogue, Mr Jato Ngeh John of the Promotion of Sustainable Development in Donga Mantung (PROSDOMA) said he was satisfied with the dialogue.
“I am going back home edified. The presentations especially the one on the conditions for access to climate-related financing available in Cameroon was very inspiring”.
The one-day national dialogue was organized by the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme-Cameroon (BDCP-C) with support from the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the British High Commission in Cameroon.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

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