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Capacity Building For The SADC Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources And Climate Justice (FANRCJ) Committee

May 19 @ 8:00 am - May 21 @ 5:00 pm

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The recent capacity-building initiative for the SADC Parliamentary Forum Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources was a pivotal moment for addressing the critical need for an energy transition in the Southern African region. The event focused on the urgent challenges posed by climate change and the necessity of updating policies and legislation to ensure a just and inclusive transition. Emphasizing social inclusion, poverty eradication, and equitable access to resources, the initiative also reaffirmed the region’s commitments to international agreements like the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2063.

Participants began with an in-depth look at the current energy landscape in Southern Africa, highlighting the region’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation. This dependency has significant implications for energy access and affordability, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where energy poverty remains a severe issue. The discussions underscored the need to diversify energy sources to enhance energy security and support sustainable development.

Renewable energy emerged as a beacon of hope, with discussions revealing the vast untapped potential for solar, wind, hydro, and biofuels in the SADC region. The economic and environmental benefits of investing in renewable energy were clear, promising sustainable growth and a reduced carbon footprint. Notable projects and partnerships were showcased, highlighting ongoing efforts in green hydrogen production and sustainable aviation, which could transform the region’s energy landscape.

The critical role of minerals like lithium, cobalt, and rare earth elements in renewable energy technologies was another key focus. The forum stressed the importance of responsible mining practices to protect human rights and ensure the long-term viability of mining operations. Transparent governance and the need for policies that promote investment in renewable energy were strongly advocated.

Investment and governance in the extractive sector were examined, emphasizing the need for transparency and the distinction between legitimate and questionable investments. The discussions highlighted challenges faced by local authorities in managing mining operations and the necessity for transparency in the disclosure of beneficial ownership and control.

Energy poverty and off-grid solutions were extensively discussed, with billions of people globally lacking access to electricity and safe cooking facilities. The initiative called for a clear definition of energy poverty to inform effective policies. Successful off-grid projects in Africa were shared as practical solutions to this pervasive issue.

The initiative concluded by emphasizing the need for robust policy capacity, monitoring, and evaluation systems at both national and regional levels. Concerns about unfair competition from foreign currencies and their impact on local economies were raised, highlighting the need for long-term planning and economic diversification.

Overall, the capacity-building initiative highlighted the essential steps needed for a just and sustainable energy transition in Southern Africa. By focusing on renewable energy potential, responsible mining practices, and transparent governance, the forum outlined a clear path towards achieving sustainable development goals, providing a solid foundation for future efforts to drive positive change in the region’s energy and natural resource sectors.

Details

Start:
May 19 @ 8:00 am
End:
May 21 @ 5:00 pm

Organizer

SARW

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