The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) on Monday launched the regional campaign against climate change in Kinshasha, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
DRC President Joseph Kabila, who took over the SADC presidency, officially kicked off the environment drive at the opening of the 29th summit of the 15-nation bloc. The meeting is the first of its kind ever hosted by the DRC, which is recovering from years of conflicts.
Kabila, who succeeded his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma, voiced the commitment to fighting climate change, which is already affecting the SADC countries.
Kabila pointed out that the people living within the SADC region are suffering the effects of climate change, including drought, floods, the reduction of water levels and the impact on agricultural production and food security.
He appealed to the member states and the African Union (AU) to adopt a common position with an aim of defending the specific interests of the African continent in the area of climate change and global warming.
"We have to mobilize ourselves and adopt common positions in these major areas so that we can preserve our natural resources in order to have sustained development," Kabila declared.
"The SADC and the AU must present themselves at the United Nations conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December while speaking in one voice, so that they can negotiate better for the interests of the sub-region in particular and African continent in general," he noted.
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2009)