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Africa closer to green economy-UN

by Business News Report

The African continent is nearer to achieving a green economy status compared to other continents because it is closer to nature, the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) said on Tuesday. The UNEP Chief of Economics and Trade Branch, Steven Stone, told a media briefing in Nairobi that the continent lacks huge investments in fossil based industries.

“So, even as Africa grows, it should not lose the link,’’ Stone said on the sidelines of the first ever UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi. He added that many citizens of the developed economies don’t know where there food comes from. Research has indicated that the food could contain toxins that are harmful to the body,’’he said.

The UNEP official said that the high income countries are facing a huge burden of lifestyles diseases as a result of unhealthy diets produced using industrial methods.

According to him, all the leading causes of death in Africa are associated with lack of adequate nutrition, water and sanitation.

Stone noted that countries such as South Africa and Uganda have put in place policies to promote adoption of green economies. “There is also a high degree of use of organic food in Africa which has less impact on the environment,’’he said. The official said that Africa also has the capacity to lead the world in developing innovative technologies for the green economy.

According to him, Kenya already leads the world in use of mobile money technology.

“All that is needed is more knowledge to underpin innovation to accelerate adoption of the green technology,’’he said. The five-day UNEA brought together hundreds of environment ministers, decision makers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders who are expected to tackle growing global challenges. This is the first ever meeting in tackling the major issues on such as illegal trade in wildlife, air quality and pollution, financing the Green Economy.

“The Sustainable Development Goals and the Post- 2015 Development Agenda, including sustainable consumption and production, will also be tackled,’’ he added. 

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