East African Community Leaders Pledge To Combat Climate Change To Promote Development, Food Security
Leaders of the five-nation East African Community (EAC) on Friday at the 12th Summit on Food Security and Climate Change issued a declaration pledging to combat climate change to reduce its impact on development, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports.
The summit called for the immediate implementation of the EAC Food Security Action Plan and encouraged the development of a regional climate change policy that would include strategies aimed at “determining how surplus food in one country can be shared in countries that are worst hit,” according to the news service. “Meanwhile, each partner state has committed to increase its budget allocation to the agriculture sector to a minimum of 10 percent of national budgets by 2015, as per the Maputo Declaration of the African Union, directing them to give priority to programmes and projects for enhancing food security and poverty reduction,” PANA/Afrique en ligne notes. The declaration commits members to use the EAC Common Market Protocol to ensure regional food security and calls for the development of “critical infrastructure, especially in the rural areas, to facilitate production, handling, storage, bulking and transportation of strategic food products across the region at minimal marketing cost,” the news service reports.
Also ahead of the the summit at a one-day retreat, the presidents of Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania called for a regional approach to climate change. The presidents noted that the EAC region “is capable of producing adequate food for consumption, as well as for export, given the natural resources potential that could be exploited for increasing agriculture production,” the news service writes (12/4).