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Sudan Ratifies Paris Agreement on Climate Change

The Sudanese government has ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The is an important milestone for Sudan and a clear commitment from the government to contribute to global efforts to tackle climate change.

 

Commenting on the move, Head of UN Environment in Sudan Atila Uras said, “As a country highly vulnerable to a changing climate, the ratification of the Paris Agreement demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Sudan to a more sustainable development path, one that protects Sudan’s rich natural resources and enables local communities to adapt to the worst impacts of climate change.”

“This is the culmination of years of hard work. Since 2011 UN Environment has supported the Government of Sudan in playing an active role in the climate change negotiations” said Dr. Mey Eltayeb Ahmed, UN Environment Lead Technical Adviser on Climate Change in Sudan.

This ratification is particularly poignant as Sudan is expected to be hit hard by climate change impacts. The country’s natural environment is already rapidly changing and degrading.

Water is scarce, land available for pasture is decreasing, and people are coming in to conflict over resources. Temperatures are expected to rise by several degrees over the next few decades, with substantial negative impacts on crop yields and food security.

“UN Environment is working hard to reduce the impacts of climate change and increase the resilience of Sudanese people. Through its UK-funded ‘Adapt for environment and climate resilience’ (ADAPT!) project, UN Environment is supporting the Government and people of Sudan to better prepare for the effects of climate change” said Atila Uras, Head of UN Environment in Sudan.

This recent ratification brings the total number of countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement to 158, which correspond to almost 70% of global emissions. For Sudan it also means better access to funding to help shape and implement new policies to work towards climate-friendly sustainable development.

On the other hand , few weeks ago, the UN Environment, Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Environment, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and other key federal institutions in Sudan came together for the first advisory committee meeting of the ADAPT! project.

Funded by UKaid, the ADAPT! project is the first of its kind to be implemented in Sudan. It seeks to improve environmental governance and build the resilience of the Sudanese people to climate change – especially in parts of the country most vulnerable to the effects of environmental degradation.

The work plan for ADAPT!, which outlines the priority activities for 2017, was unanimously adopted by the committee.

Chaired by the Minister of Environment, Dr. Hassan Abdelgadir Hilal, the advisory committee plays a key role in realizing the aims of this innovative project. It is the formal mechanism for project coordination between government partners, DFID, UN Environment and civil society on implementation.

Through regular meetings, it will provide ongoing strategic guidance and institutional support to help make the project a success.

The ADAPT! project is important as Sudan’s people and economy strongly depend on the country’s natural resources. People’s livelihoods, however, are being undermined by environmental degradation and development challenges. The changing climate in Sudan and the region is making the situation worse.

Limited water and pastures increases tension between farmer and pastoralist communities desperate to maintain their livelihoods. Trees are cut down for firewood and survival but are not replaced. Limited trees and dry weather scatters fertile soil with the wind. Eventually, what was once farmland becomes wasteland. This hurts people relying on agriculture for their food, livelihoods, and further prompts a cycle of poverty and vulnerability.

ADAPT! aims to drive change and a better future for the people of Sudan. Working through partnerships, the project seeks to ensure science-based decision and policy-making, and strengthen institutions, capacities and coordination to improve natural resources management and climate change adaptation.

The successful endorsement of the ADAPT! 2017 work plan by the project’s advisory committee signals another step in achieving these objectives.

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