REDI-Africa Day 2
Negotiations for the Treaty on Lakes of International Significance continued on day two of REDI-Africa. After coffee, participants broke into groups to finish negotiating the structural and agenda-related aspects of the Treaty. Later, they came back together as a group to ratify the Treaty and debrief on the negotiations.
Professor Jeff Pugh guided the participants through the debrief, pointing out kinds of negotiation that the participants used and moments of the simulation that played out exactly how many real international negotiations play out. During the discussion, the participants expressed how much they enjoyed the simulation and agreed that REDI-Africa should continue in the future.
Following the negotiations, REDI-Africa turned to some leading experts on climate change and international negotiations. Former Director of Forum for Environment and PhD Candidate Negusu Aklilu opened the talks with a breakdown of how climate change is impacting Ethiopia and other low-income countries. Next, Dr. Daniel Fikreyesus, CEO of Echnoserve, took participants through the outcomes of COP 21. Dr. Mulugeta Mengist, Associate Adviser at the office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia followed up on the COP 21 talk with a presentation on global climate negotiations in light of low-income countries’ priorities.
Dean David Cash of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, who has extensive experience working on environmental issues at U.S. state-level government, presented on challenges of getting to environmental agreement at different levels of government. Finally, Mahlet Eyassu of Climate Analytics tackled the complicated issue of climate finance, particularly African access thereto.
Though the speakers covered different topics, one theme unified their talks: the African experience in environmental governance. As a continent with majority low and middle-income states reliant on agriculture, Africa has very different needs from climate financing, economic growth, and global governance than wealthier continents. REDI-Africa addresses Africa’s specific needs by drawing heavily on Africa expertise to help improve the skills of the continent’s climate negotiators.
Programming continues tomorrow with talks on chemical waste and biodiversity.