Country Reports

Challenges and Opportunities on Climate Change for Law, Policy and Development

This conference convened by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Rule of Law for Sub-Saharan Africa Programme in cooperation with the Development and Rule of Law Programme (DROP), University of Stellenbosch brought together experts and jurists including professors, parliamentarians, lawyers, journalists and students representing countries such as Germany, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Report on the Challenges and Opportunities of Climate Change for Laws, Policy and Development Conference

09-10 September 2014, Kalahari Sands Hotel, Windhoek, Namibia

The conference was held by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Rule of Law for Sub-Saharan Africa Programme in cooperation with the Development and Rule of Law Programme (DROP), University of Stellenbosch.

The high level conference brought together experts and jurists including professors, parliamentarians, lawyers, journalists and students representing countries such as Germany, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The conference provided a platform for experts to be involved in critical and constructive debate, share their views, experiences and to explore challenges and opportunities for law, policy and development related to the impacts and risks of climate change.

The following themes that are climate change related were selected to be part of the discussion: Climate Change, international law and global governance; Impacts of climate change on human systems, migration and disaster prevention; Climate change and regional integration; Climate Change law from global to local; and climate change, law and development.

Speakers and discussants suggested possible next steps. These were inter alia:

•build and strengthen constitutions, the rule of law and human rights

•include climate change more into the curriculums to promote awareness

•negotiate a binding global instrument that deals with climate change issues

•improve efficiency in legal systems

•reform environmental laws and increase support for legislation on environmental measures

•use traditional knowledge systems and practices can be used in the adaptation of climate change

•reduce society’s vulnerability by involving both private and public sectors including indigenous people as well

•call for the development of global guiding principles

•Africa to have a collective approach to environmental issues

•effective implementations of regional instruments

•adopt a human rights approach to climate change which should be in line with regional and international instruments

•provide sufficient financial and technical support to indigenous people’s own priorities and initiatives to adapt to climate change

•carbon structure and storage to be used to mitigate climate change effects

•the global community to work towards making environmental rule of law a reality

•increase environmental law penalties

•develop hydro electricity generation capacity at the regional level

•use social media to get across information on climate change.