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Plight of World's Freshwater Resources Spotlighted And Responses to Climate Change Impacts in Africa Presented

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — MEDIA BRIEFING INVITATION

When: 28 November 2014, 12:30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 14, United Nations Office at Nairobi

Session 1

Who: H.E. Mr. Ephraim Kamun Uganda, Minister of Water

Lawrence Simitu, Director of Water Services, Kenya

Charles Biney, Executive Secretary, Volta Basin Authority, Burkina Faso

Lenka Thamae, Executive Secretary, Orange/Senqu River Commission, South Africa

Elizabeth Mrema, Director, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, UNEP

Over 30 Ministers and experts will identify solutions to a range of freshwater threats at the First International Environment Forum for Basin Organisations which is being held in response to the escalating depletion and pollution of surface and groundwater resources.

Fresh water is a fundamental environmental resource and essential for the sustainability of humanity, and the world’s ecosystems. However, only 2.5 per cent of all the water on Earth is fresh water, and only 1 per cent is easily available for human use.

Existing governance structures provide, in most cases, legal and institutional frameworks for meeting human water demands, but they inadequately address the control of pollution and for the protection of ecosystems key in the provision of water.

The first International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations will identify how legal, policy and institutional arrangements of basin organizations can be strengthened to effectively implement internationally agreed goals, in particular environmental goals and objectives of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).

The forum will bring together key stakeholders in the management of freshwater basins from all around the world, such as ministers of water and the environment, heads of basins organizations, UN Agencies and other relevant international organizations, financial institutions, MEA Secretariats, civil society and academia.

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Session 2

Briefing on Responses to Climate Change Impacts in Africa

Who: Abbas Gullet, Secretary-General, Kenya Red Cross Society

Hon. Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo, Member of Parliament, Kenya and Chair of the Parliamentary Network on Renewable Energy and Climate Change

Guleid Artan, Director, Climate Prediction and Applications Centre, The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Richard Munang, Africa Climate Change Coordinator, UNEP

Responses to the increasing threat of major climate change events in Africa – and in particular, to the recently predicted El Nino occurrence in The Horn of Africa – will be presented by a panel of decision makers, scientists, relevant technical experts from across Africa. Appropriate responses to major climate events will improve response to a range of threats and help avoid where possible water and food insecurity, disease, livestock losses, infrastructural damages and a whole range of other potential impacts.

Note: Transport to and from the UN in Gigiri will be provided. A bus will depart from Chester House at 11:30 am

Please RSVP by Thursday morning 27 November 2014 to unepnewsdesk@unep.org

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