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From August 28 to 31, the 8th Climate Change and Development in Africa Conference (CCDA) was held in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

The conference’s theme was “Intensifying Climate Action for a Resilient Africa – a Race We Can and Must Win.” Representatives from member states of the African Union (AU), and members of the UN attended the conference.

The event, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), aims to prepare for the UN Climate Action Summit which will be held this month in New York.

Countries must come to the summit prepared with “concrete, realistic plans” to fight climate change, which was one of the main aims of CCDA.

Opoku Mensah, UNECA’s chief of staff, pointed out in the CCDA’s welcoming address that even though Africa contributes the least to global emissions, the continent is already suffering from the “most adverse impacts” of climate change, and plans must be put in place.

The continent contributes under 6% of emissions, with per capita emissions of only 0.8 tons per year, well below the global mean of 5 tons, and far lower than that from other regions such as Europe and Asia Opoku Mensah, UNECA’s chief of staff

“And yet climate change poses an existential threat to the continent,” she added.

Morocco’s important role against climate change

Representing Morocco was Mohammed Arrouchi, Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the AU and UNECA, who headed the delegation. He used the opportunity to highlight Morocco’s counter climate change efforts over the past few years.

During the conference, Arrouchi mentioned the initiatives taken by King Mohammed VI following the COP 22 meeting in Marrakech in November 2016, including the “Adaptation of African Agriculture” (AAA) initiative.

The initiative proposed measures such as improved soil management, water and irrigation management, and better weather forecasting and insurance programs for farmers affected by drought.

He also referenced the fifth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD), which was held in Marrakech in April.

During ARFSD, Morocco reaffirmed its commitment to putting in place the basis for sustainable development in Africa, as outlined in the 2011 constitution.