As TerrAfrica and its partners celebrated the African Environment and Wangari Maathai Day in Niamey, Niger, on March 4, 2018 we are cognizant to the fact that Environmental management in Africa continues to be challenged by numerous constraints including population growth, economic and industrial development needs.
The levels of environmental pollution and degradation are on the rise as cities and infrastructural expansion to ease transportation. Natural resources; land, forest, water, and biodiversity bear the brunt of the degradation and pollution. These have seriously and disproportionately affected the advancement of women in particular.
The 2018 Africa Environment Day forum seeks to raise awareness on strengthening women access to land and other natural resources to enhance their empowerment, increase agricultural productivity and sustainable management of natural resources. Women leaders in the various field were invited to make presentations on critical issues affecting women. Recommendations at the end of the Forum are shared with the African Union Commission Gender Directorate and relevant agencies for policy considerations.
Africa Environment Day was designated in 2002 by the then Organization of the African Unity Council of Ministers in their meeting in Durban, South Africa, based on the recognition of the numerous environmental challenges confronting the African continent, which over the years have been further aggravated by loss of biological diversity, climate change, desertification and increased pollution and disposal of waste chemicals.
In January 2012, the African Union adopted a decision calling for the joint celebrations of the African environment and Wangari Maathai Day. The celebrations of the Wangari Maathai Day is in recognition of the work and life of the late Kenyan Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai who dedicated her life to promoting environmental conservation and sustainable development in Africa.
Source: Adapted from Winnie Kamau of Talk Africa