East Africa Partners establish the East Africa Mountains Stakeholder Platform

Friday, 30th March 2022

On Wednesday, 30th March 2022, the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) convened the East Africa Mountains Regional Dialogue in Dar es Salam, Tanzania. The dialogue brought together 31 participants including representatives from the EAC Secretariat, the members of the Climate Change Technical Working Group (CCTWG) from the partner states and other key stakeholders from the region. During this meeting, the participants agreed to establish the East Africa Mountain Stakeholder Forum.

The EAC, UNEP, and ARCOS have been collaborating on the East African mountain agenda over recent years. This has resulted, among other things, in increased visibility of Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), publication of the first African Mountain Atlas, the outlook publication on Sustainable Mountain Development in East Africa in a changing climate and organization of Africa Regional Mountain Forum.

“ARCOS, the EAC and UNEP have been closely working together in promoting sustainable mountain development. It is a great opportunity that the representatives of the EAC Secretariat, the Climate Change Technical Working and representatives from various partner states are here to dialogue about sustainable mountain development for the region.” Godfrey Mwesigye, the Regional Policy Officer for ARCOS said in his remarks. Godfrey also added that establishing the Regional East Africa Mountain Stakeholder Platform will contribute to the integration of sustainable mountain development and particularly mountain climate change adaptation into national and regional planning and policy processes in East Africa.

“UNEP supports different projects in the EAC, and the Adaptation at Altitude Programme has an overall objective to increase knowledge on climate change and appropriate adaptation solutions in mountains and feed it into science-policy platforms for informed decision-making in national, regional and global policy processes, in order to increase the resilience of mountain communities and ecosystems to climate change. The project will support the upscaling of the best practices for mountain adaptation in the region.” Essey Daniel, the Programme Officer Climate Change Adaptation Unit at UNEP said in his remarks.

Jean Baptiste Havugimana, Director Productive Sectors at EAC, stressed that it is important for the EAC and partner states to fully understand the Adaptation at Altitude Programme. He added that establishing the East Africa Mountains stakeholder platform is needed and this will help the stakeholders to come together and contribute to interventions for the mountains.

Sabine McCallum, Senior Strategic Advisor on Climate Change at UNEP Vienna Office, told the participants that UNEP in collaboration with ARCOS and the EAC collected the mountain adaptation solutions from the six countries in the EAC including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. These best practices will be published in the mountain solutions booklet that will be launched by May 2022.

Outcomes of the Dialogue:

  • Stakeholders from the EAC partner states stressed the need to establish the East African Mountains Stakeholder platform.
  • The East Africa Mountains Stakeholder platform will have specific terms of reference which will be approved by the Council of Ministers.
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo will join the East Africa Mountains Stakeholder platform since it has joined the EAC.
  • Members from the partner states will participate in the launch of the Mountains Solutions Booklet and will be represented in the Interregional Workshop (Mountains Connect) in Austria.