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African Climate Summit: Nyusi Defends Community Involvement in Nature Protection

African Climate Summit: Nyusi Defends Community Involvement in Nature Protection

The Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, today in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, shared Mozambique’s experience in managing and protecting nature, emphasising the need to include local communities in this process.

Nyusi was speaking during the ‘African Climate Summit 2023’, an event organised by the Kenyan government in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), which took place under the slogan “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World”.

In his speech, Nyusi explained that communities use natural resources for their daily survival, sometimes in an unsustainable way, citing as an example the destruction of mangroves to make precarious buildings or to obtain firewood.

Therefore, according to the statesman, there needs to be a dialogue between governments and local communities. “They live off these resources and we can’t conflict their survival with the protection of nature.”

“We often talk only at a high level about nature protection issues, but those who live these realities with nature are the communities,” he said.

“So they have to collaborate with us to protect their livelihoods,” added the Mozambican Head of State.

In addition to beaches, lakes and rivers, Mozambican territory is covered by parks, reserves (including marine reserves) and protected areas.

With this in mind, various actions have been taken by the government to bring together private partners and local communities to protect these areas and, as a result, these initiatives have led to a reduction in, for example, the poaching of rhinos, lions and illegal logging.

On another front, Nyusi recalled that Africa, particularly Mozambique, is cyclically devastated by the impacts of climate change.

“We’ve had many natural storms and droughts. Cyclone Freddy was extraordinary, because it took longer, more than 14 days, and we were affected twice by Cyclone Freddy,” he said, noting that extreme events negatively affect populations not only in Mozambique, but also in other countries.

In this context, Nyusi called for joint efforts to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change

He also noted that the consequences of natural disasters have no borders, which reinforces the idea of working together to minimise the damage they cause, both human and to infrastructure.

In the afternoon, the Mozambican President spoke on a panel dedicated to the theme: “Unlocking the Potential of the Regenerative Blue Economy in Africa and Beyond”.

In this panel, Nyusi explained the actions underway in the country to harness the existing potential, as well as the legal framework that is being adopted to materialise this challenge.

The African Climate Summit takes place in the context of agreeing a single position for the continent at the next United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), to be held this November in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The event brought together African leaders, representatives of United Nations organisations, international organisations, civil society and the private sector.

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