In preparation for the post-2015 environmental agenda, leaders and ministers from several African countries have arrived in Cairo for the week-long 15th African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).
The conference, which is taking place from Monday to Friday in Cairo, has been convened under the theme, “managing Africa’s natural capital for sustainable development and poverty eradication”.
Several meetings, workshops and side events will occur during the conference, aiming to review the state of Africa’s environment and the progress of the previous Paris summit COP20’s outcomes.
Egypt convened the very first AMCEN meeting in Cairo 30 years ago. In an official statement, the United Nations Environment Program regional office in Africa said: “A lot has changed in those 30 years. Back then, growth was slow, now Africa’s GDP has tripled.”
The population increase is expected to drive energy demand, food consumption, transport requirements, demand for jobs and social services, and increased investments in infrastructure, according to UNEP.
“We may soon need two or more planets to satisfy our needs unless we curb the trends of resource depletion,” the statement added.
In a bid to transform to more environmentally friendly ways, the AMCEN organisers announced the information will be made available through only digital platforms, including e-mail and flash drives.
Egypt’s Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy said during Monday’s opening: “This could help the region achieve sustainable development and contribute to the eradication of poverty.”
He also added the issue of climate change remains on the top of the agenda this year, and affirmed the need to be ready as preparations ensue for COP21 in Paris.
AMCEN is the main environmental decision-making body in Africa, holding two sessions every two or three years. In its fourteenth session, Egypt requested to host the conference.