Kenya is hosting the 2023 Berlin Climate and Security Conference (BCSC) today (Wednesday) July 6 at Trademark hotel in Nairobi.
The conference, the first ever African edition jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, the German Federal Foreign Office and Adelphi, will bring together experts with the aim to promote outcomes and agreements that incorporate better climate financing that is conflict-sensitive.
It also aims to create easier access to reach the most affected, find better linkages across sectors and regions and scale up intra-regional learning.
Since its inaugural edition in 2019, the annual conference has become the global forum connecting governments, international organizations, experts, and practitioners working to better address the impacts of climate change on international peace and security through diplomacy, development and defence approaches.
The Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs Dr. Korir Singoei says that Kenya has made significant strides in combating climate change and is confident that the partnership with the Berlin Climate Security Conference would greatly augment locally-led initiatives to combat climate change and climate-related risks, as well as open new frontiers for collaboration.
“Climate change remains the biggest challenge of our time as it compromises the integrity of the ecosystems we depend on and pose an existential threat to humanity and biodiversity,” said the PS.
In a press statement sent to newsrooms, Dr. Singoei noted that climate change was also a major threat to peaceful co-existence among communities, within and across borders.
He said African countries can address the challenge of climate crisis through using their natural resources to enhance green manufacturing and industrial capacity, and removing carbon at scale.
In his remarks, the Head of Programme, Climate Diplomacy and Security, Janani Vivekananda, said 70 percent of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world are the most fragile of which 28 countries are in Africa.
In the lead up to the Africa Climate Summit and continuing the momentum of Africa’s common position and integration into international fora like COP28, the BCSC forum in Nairobi will focus on sharing best practice examples from Africa’s progress in multilateral engagement on climate security.
The four strategic goals for the conference are sharing of best practice examples from Africa to explore the different entry points to address the inter linkages between climate security risks, food systems and sustainable livelihoods, spotlighting tools, resources, and capacities to advance integration of climate and conflict sensitive analysis and policies into operations and programming on the ground.
Other goals are sharing of engagement on climate security, with updates from the AU on the nascent Common African Position on the nexus between climate change, peace and security and to strengthen synergies between multilateral initiatives like Climate for Peace and Climate Responses for Sustaining Peace to ensure climate, peace and security risks to Africa are a top priority on international agendas going into COP28.
By Bernadette Khaduli