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1 | P a g e
STATEMENT
By
The Honourable Minister of Tourism and
Environmental Affairs
On the Occasion of the Official Open...
2 | P a g e
 Bantfwabenkhosi
 Members of Parliament
 The UNU Rector Represented here by the Team from United
Nations Un...
3 | P a g e
of the world. On behalf of RCE Eswatini let me also sincerely express
my profound gratitude to the United Nati...
4 | P a g e
Our future as the African Continent, therefore, is in ensuring that we
all work towards breaking down the silo...
5 | P a g e
Conference on Human Environment (1972), the Tbilisi Conference
on Environmental Education (1977), the United N...
6 | P a g e
promote and facilitate access to innovative approaches to Education
for the Environment and Sustainable Socio-...
7 | P a g e
Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my singular honor to declare the 9th
African Regional Centre of Expertise Conf...
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Official Opening by the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs

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Official Opening by the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs
Hon. Mr Moses Vilakati
9th African Regional RCE Meeting
5-7 August, 2019, Luyengo, Eswatini

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Official Opening by the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs

  1. 1. 1 | P a g e STATEMENT By The Honourable Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs On the Occasion of the Official Opening of the 9th African Regional Centre of Expertise Conference Date: 5th – 7th August 2019 @ UNIVERSITY OF ESWATINI, LUYENGO CAMPUS, ESWATINI
  2. 2. 2 | P a g e  Bantfwabenkhosi  Members of Parliament  The UNU Rector Represented here by the Team from United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)  The Regional Advisor to the RCE Community in Africa- Prof Goolam Mohamedbhai  Vice Chancellor UNESWA Prof. Justice Thwala  RCE Africa President in Absentia  Distinguished Delegates from Across Africa  The CEOs of Parastatals of the Ministry  Heads of Departments  Media Partners It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the 9th African Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) Meeting here in the Kingdom of Eswatini. I also wish to acknowledge the presence of friends and colleagues who have joined us from as far as Japan and other parts
  3. 3. 3 | P a g e of the world. On behalf of RCE Eswatini let me also sincerely express my profound gratitude to the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) for funding all our international delegates coming from across the African Continent to make it possible for us to have this this important meeting here today. Distinguished delegates, let me from the onset congratulate the organizers of this conference for choosing the theme “Accelerating Progress towards the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa” for this 9th Africa RCE Conference. This is so because there has never been a more important time in the history of the African continent and its more than 1.2 Billion inhabitants than this to discuss the subject of accelerated economic growth. Distinguished delegates, livelihoods, poverty reduction efforts and economic growth in Africa are highly dependent on the quality and availability of our natural resources, which are unfortunately extremely vulnerable to degradation. All our development efforts, therefore, need to equally embrace economic, social and environmental sustainability in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as ‘Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want’.
  4. 4. 4 | P a g e Our future as the African Continent, therefore, is in ensuring that we all work towards breaking down the silos among sectors, stakeholders, hierarchies and disciplines by fostering more coordinated and integrated approaches to development. Therefore, there can never be any better vehicle for driving such coordinated efforts and core learning on the African continent and beyond than the concept of RCEs we here to reaffirm. Programme Director, Scientist warn that Africa is one of the regions in the world which is most likely to be heavily affected by the impacts of climate change. It is predicted that the region will become hotter and dryer, that agricultural outputs and productivity will decline, and that the spread of malaria will increase (Africa Geographic, 2007). In this regard, the United Nations Environment Programme has classified the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region as particularly being highly vulnerable, with low coping capacity (UNEP, 2006). Against this background the question I wish to pose to you here today is; what role can the RCE community on the African continent play to respond to this and other developmental challenges we are facing? The Kingdom of Eswatini has a long standing history in the Environment and Education nexus, which is at the centre of the global RCE movement. Since the advent of the first Stockholm
  5. 5. 5 | P a g e Conference on Human Environment (1972), the Tbilisi Conference on Environmental Education (1977), the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio (1992), to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), Emaswati have been interrogating the fundamental question of how society can create a new patterns of positive behaviour for individuals, groups and society as a whole towards the environment. It is for that reason that the country developed its Environmental Education Strategy in 2000, to underscore the centrality of learning in the country’s development process. It was on this foundation that RCE Eswatini was built in 2007 following the proclamation of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD 2005- 2014). The RCE formation was driven by the need to face some of the chronic environment and sustainable development challenges related to land and water resource management; agriculture; waste management; climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity loss to mention just a few. The motto for this network is “singumphandza welwati ngetemvelo nentfutfuko lengenamkhawulo eSwatini”, which simple translates a centre of knowledge about the environment and sustainable development in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Its vision is to
  6. 6. 6 | P a g e promote and facilitate access to innovative approaches to Education for the Environment and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development. Distinguished delegates, the hosting of this 9th Africa RCE conference by the Kingdom of Eswatini, is not only an affirmation by His Majesty’s Government to its commitment to the African Development agenda, but a renewed commitment by Emaswati to a sustainable development trajectory. In this regard, the country has developed a Strategic Road Map aimed sustainably growing the economy of Eswatini for the benefit of all who live in it. In order for the country to achieve such growth it is important that we do so while respecting the country’ environment laws. Ladies and gentlemen, it would be amiss of me to conclude my remarks here this morning without extending my special gratitude to those with my Ministry through the Eswatini Environment Authority to make the hosting of this conference a success:  Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (ESWADE);  Water Aid; and  University of Eswatini.
  7. 7. 7 | P a g e Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my singular honor to declare the 9th African Regional Centre of Expertise Conference officially opened. I wish you all successful deliberations and enjoy the beauty of our country and enjoy our warmest hospitality. God Bless you!

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