The Zambian government will this month host the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) on climate change in Livingstone on March 17, 2022.
Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu explained that the AGN is a group of government representatives of 54 African countries who spearhead the negotiations on climate change to ensure the continent speaks with one voice during the negotiations.
He disclosed that Zambia is the current Chair of the group which was assumed at the 26th United National Climate Change Conference of parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021 for a two- year period and will lead the continental group until 2023.
Mr Nzovu said to ensure that Zambia effectively carries out its chairmanship mandate, a team of local climate change experts has been put together to support the AGN chairperson ,Ephraim Shitima who is also director of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment.
He added that the government has also assembled a Local Organizing Committee that is comprised of relevant government Departments, representatives of civil society, and financial institutions, among others, to prepare for this meeting which will be held under strict COVID-19 protocols.
‘’The country has the responsibility to coordinate the Group and ensure that it is well prepared for all climate engagements, especially during the forthcoming 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022.
The Livingstone meeting is the first step towards these preparations and the main focus of the meeting will be to review the outcome of COP-26 and start identifying Africa’s priorities for the forthcoming Conference in Egypt. The meeting is largely a closed-door session, especially the first two days,’’ said Mr Nzovu.
He also announced that he will officially open the meeting on Wednesday, March 16th 2022 and the meeting will be open to the media and other invited guests.
‘’The government of the United Kingdom, as COP-26 President, and the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, as the incoming President of COP-27, and other speakers will deliver remarks at the official opening of the AGN meeting,’’ announced Mr Nzovu.
He disclosed that some of the organisations to be represented at the meeting include the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), among others.
‘’We wish to thank various partner organisations including UNEP, WWF Zambia, Stanbic Bank, ZANACO, ABSA Bank, the British High Commission and the Red Cross Society of Zambia, among others, for their logistical and material support,’’ said Mr Nzovu.