The 14th African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) held a side event on UNEP-China-Africa Cooperation on the Environment. The event, which was part of the overall meeting of AMCEN taking place on 10-14 September 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania, was organized to inform the participants about the objectives, achievements, major outcomes as well as opportunities provided by the UNEP-China-Africa Cooperation Program on the Environment in the context of an inclusive Green Economy and Sustainable Development in Africa.

Starting from 2008, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China has worked together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) basing on an MOU to build the capacity of African countries in the fields of ecosystem management, disaster reduction, climate change adaptation and renewable energy. This is known as the UNEP-China-Africa Cooperation Program on the Environment. The Program also aims to promote, through UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa (ROA), interventions within the UNEP South-South Cooperation Exchange Mechanism.

Four demand-driven projects, which cover areas such as shared water resources monitoring, waste water treatment and re-use, early warning systems for droughts and adaptation and rainwater harvesting, were implemented in Africa in Phase I of the UNEP-China-Africa Cooperation Program. In November 2011, the Program entered Phase II with 6 projects being implemented around the theme “One River, One Lake, One Desert”, targeting the Nile River, Lake Tanganyika and the Sahara Desert, and involving 16 African countries. Objectives of the projects are achieved through joint research, training workshops, visiting scholar programs, pilot projects and educational programs, among others. The projects, funded by MOST, are jointly implemented by technical institutes in China and the participating countries in Africa with the coordination and technical support from ROA/UNEP.