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    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    UCLG Africa Leads Way Towards Climate Justice at Mediterranean Sustainable Development Cooperation Conference 2023 Conference

    This pivotal conference, focusing on climate issues in the Mediterranean region, brought together diverse stakeholders and leaders to address pressing climate issues in the Mediterranean region

    United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) made a resounding impact at MEDCOP2023, held in Tangiers on June 22-23, held under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. This pivotal conference, focusing on climate issues in the Mediterranean region, brought together diverse stakeholders and leaders to address pressing climate issues in the Mediterranean region. This important event provided a platform for discussion and collaboration, with the aim of finding innovative solutions and charting a sustainable path forward.

    This third edition of MEDCOP witnessed significant milestones for the local government of the Mediterranean region and beyond, with UCLG Africa playing a pivotal operational role in driving the territorialization of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) on the African continent.

    Prior to the conference, UCLG Africa convened a strategic meeting of its Climate Task Force on June 21st 2023. The meeting brought together  member organizations on the Task Force and other key partners. The meeting  refocused on the operational framework and synergy  among the various constituencies forming the platform of the UCLG Africa Climate Task Force.

    Throughout the MEDCOP Conference, UCLG Africa actively participated in various sessions, including the official opening ceremony, and addressing critical topics such as financing the transition towards sustainable food systems. In addition, UCLG Africa engaged in sideline meetings with several partners, including the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development of Morocco, the Secretary General of UCLG-World, and the President of the Tangiers - Tetouan - Al Hoceima Region.

    UCLG Africa fostered collaborations and facilitated the exchange of expertise, contributing to driving positive change in the face of climate change challenges.

    The organization firmly recognizes gender equality as a fundamental right and an essential catalyst for climate resilience. To that end, UCLG Africa dedicated a special session at MEDCOP devoted to the integration of a gender and climate approach in implementing the Paris Agreement. The event, moderated by Mr. Mohamed NBOU, Special Advisor, Climate, Biodiversity and Food Security, UCLG Africa, featured distinguished speakers including Ms. Nouzha BOUCHAREB, President Connecting Women International; Ms. Fatna LKHIYEL, Vice-President of REFELA North-Africa and President of the Commune of Arbaoua, Kingdom of Morocco; Ms. Firdaous OUSSIDHOUM, Special Advisor to the Secretary General of UCLG-World; and Ms. Yoya ALCOCEBA, Director General for Cooperation and Development, Government of Catalonia. Highlighting the pressing need to address climate change, the session emphasized the importance of the gender approach in achieving social equity and climate justice. Recognizing women as a significant untapped resource for the African continent's development, the event called for their increased involvement in climate action planning and decision-making processes.

    At MEDCOP 2023, numbers of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed, further strengthening cooperative efforts in addressing climate change. UCLG Africa participated in two of these MoUs. The first MoU, titled the "Framework Convention for Decarbonization of Industry within the Industrial Zones of the Tangiers -Tetouan - Al Hoceima Region, Kingdom of Morocco," involves key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, the Council of the Tangiers -Tetouan- Al Hoceima Region, the Mediterranean House of Climate Foundation, and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa which was designated as the delivery and implementing partner. The second MoU, known as the "Index of Participatory Democracy for a Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Transition," involves the Moroccan Alliance for Climate and Sustainable Development, the Mediterranean House of Climate, the IMAL Initiative for Climate and Development, and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa.

    These agreements reflect a strong commitment to collaboration and the integration of climate action at the territorial level, driving collective efforts towards a sustainable and resilient future.

    MEDCOP 2023 witnessed a significant milestone in the fight against climate change with "Tangiers Declaration". This declaration reaffirms the unwavering support of participating nations and stakeholders for the resolutions passed during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. These resolutions encompass critical objectives such as global adaptation, prioritizing climate action in Africa and the Mediterranean, promoting low-emission energy, establishing a dedicated fund for financing climate-related Losses and Damages, and developing cooperation mechanisms for carbon markets in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

    The participants committed to being key actors in concrete climate action and resilience-building in their territories by implementing Climate-Energy plans. They pledged to strengthen Mediterranean cooperation, invest in innovative solutions, particularly in urban areas, enhance the resilience of cities and territories, align local climate action with national policies and international agendas, and recognize MEDCOP as the official platform for developing common positions among Mediterranean territorial entities.

    The declaration called upon the states, partners, and the international community to accelerate decarbonization efforts, protect populations and food systems from climate impacts, make climate financing more accessible, and establish mechanisms to assist territories and communities affected by climate disasters.

    Overall, the draft declaration emphasized the commitment of Mediterranean territories and stakeholders to drive climate action at the local and regional levels, with a focus on collaboration, innovation, and resilience-building for a sustainable future. The document aimed to incorporate recommendations from the conference sessions to further strengthen its content.

    UCLG Africa's prominent presence and unwavering engagement at the MEDCOP 2023 Conference underscore its central role in promoting climate action at the local and regional levels, while championing gender equality and climate justice. By collaborating closely with stakeholders and sharing its expertise, UCLG Africa actively contributes to building a sustainable and resilient future for African local and regional governments and beyond.

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