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Cape Verde and Climate Change: Taking action during a global crisis*

United Nations, Praia, 9th January 2011 – The phenomenon of climate change undoubtedly constitutes one of the greatest challenges of our time – global warming and climate change, in the context of the current international financial crisis, were discussed by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Cape Verde, Petra Lantz, during the opening of the conference titled ‘Cape Verde in the context of climate change’. The conference was organised by the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Planning in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in preparation for the Rio+20 Conference.

As Petra Lantz discussed, climate change has become more than a purely environmental issue and is now a question of eradicating poverty and creating sustainable development. It is for this reason that the global challenges are increasingly great. In order to respond to these challenges it will be necessary to establish systems that facilitate the fulfilment and management of agreements that guarantee the sustainability of our planet. Following this, it is clear that the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), taking place in June 2012, will be an opportunity to renew political agreements for sustainable development, to evaluate the progress made as well as the shortfalls, and to prepare to confront new and emerging challenges. The effectiveness of this conference will depend first and foremost on preparation on national and regional levels, concluded Petra Lantz.

According to Sara Lopes, the Minister of Environment, Housing and Planning, the primary objective of the conference is to set in motion, in Cape Verde, an open, structured and regular dialogue which represents all social classes, the private and public sectors and civil society. In this sense the country will be able to set its own agenda, not only in terms of the policy measures being implemented, but also the position that it should take within a regional and global framework.

For Sara Lopes, Cape Verde should be more than just a listener at the Rio+20 Conference; it should actively contribute with proposals and concrete solutions that guarantee sustainable development. When it comes to the protection of the environment in Cape Verde, the impacts are global but the responses are individual, local and national. This is why it is considered of extreme importance to involve all of Cape Verdean society in this national conversation that hopes to contribute to the success of the Rio+20 Conference. The intention is to develop a national framework that involves the creation of forums for debate, as well as the presentation, discussion and agreement of proposals, all of which must involve a collaboration between Cape Verde’s foreign relations department and its planning system.

For Sara Lopes, Cape Verde should be more than just a listener at the Rio+20 Conference; it should actively contribute with proposals and concrete solutions that guarantee sustainable development. When it comes to the protection of the environment in Cape Verde, the impacts are global but the responses are individual, local and national. This is why it is considered of extreme importance to involve all of Cape Verdean society in this national conversation that hopes to contribute to the success of the Rio+20 Conference. The intention is to develop a national framework that involves the creation of forums for debate, as well as the presentation, discussion and agreement of proposals, all of which must involve a collaboration between Cape Verde’s foreign relations department and its planning system.

* Statement by the Minister of Environment, Housing and Planning, Sara Lopes, during the opening ceremony.

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