AWF and UNEP Convene Charles R Wall Young African Policy Fellows for Practical Negotiation Sessions
Tel:+254 711 063 000
Ngong Road, Karen, P.O. Box 310
00502 Nairobi, Kenya
The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-Africa Office) hosted the selected Charles R Wall Young African Policy Fellows who have been undertaking intensive and immersive virtual workshops over the past few months since being selected. This is the first time they are all convening physically to reflect on the past two training sessions and to have an opportunity to engage as negotiators in simulation exercises put together by experts in conservation and environment policy.
At the opening session on September 19, 2022, the fellows shared their key takeaways from the two previous workshops that were focused on building their knowledge on various key entry points to the policy processes. The first one focused on the rules, procedures, and institutions that direct processes of global environmental protection as well as understanding how the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is domesticated at the country level.
Workshop Two delved deeper into the enabling mechanisms for a successful negotiation which included the fellows to familiarize themselves with their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and understand the due process that is followed to reach a final consensus.
Fideline Mboringong, a policy fellow from Cameroon said, “This training came on time because it has given me the right skills on how to effectively contribute to international governance [focusing on] the Convention on Biodiversity but all other multilateral agreements.” She noted that the workshop has equipped her with key negotiation techniques and skills that will be pivotal in her advancing her to the next level of influencing environmental policy.
Five fellows were selected to be a part of the delegation to the Resumed eighteenth session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and shared their achievements and practical experience in the different roles they played in Dakar, Senegal while networking with expert groups and Ministers of Environment from the continent.
“With my previous experience at AMCEN, I’m in a good position to actually understand the system better,” said Adrian Leitoro, a policy fellow from Kenya. He added that the in-person negotiation workshop helps put into the practice the insights gained from previous sessions.
The fellows present at the workshop are from all regions across Africa.
“In order for us to maximize the ability of youth to generate leaders and negotiators in international environmental politics and biodiversity, we need to engage in proper capacity building strategies. As senior citizens of this planet, we have a moral obligation to ensure that we do all that it takes to reach negotiation spaces which will ensure that our children and great-grandchildren inherit a safer planet than we did from our great grantparents,” Frank Turyatunga, UNEP Africa Regional Director, during the opening of the Charles R Wall Young African Policy Fellows Program.
The African Group of Negotiators to the CBD have welcomed the support of the fellows in research and shadowing exercises in the upcoming global conferences and that is what this training exercises will eventually lead up to in the coming months.
“As an African-led and Africa-based international organization, we strongly believe that Africans must lead in shifting the conservation narrative and redefine what the conservation vision is for Africa. Ensuring that people are at the center of development propels us one step closer to achieving our ambitious goals aligning with the African Union Agenda 2063,” Fred Kumah, AWF Vice President, Global Leadership added in his opening remarks.
About African Wildlife Foundation
The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s natural resources.
About United Nations Environment Programme
UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.