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Maathai: Why depend on donor funds?

By | October 14th 2009

By Alex Ndegwa

Africa should stop over dependence on donor funds and implement environment conservation measures that do not require much funding.

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai told a Climate Change summit in Nairobi governments should encourage planting of more trees, harvesting rain water, curbing soil erosion and protection of wetlands instead of just looking up to the West for aid.

Prof Maathai said nations had lost more land to desertification than to occupation following aggression by states, yet little attention was paid to afforestation.

She told African MPs attending the conference to forge the continent’s collective position ahead of the global climate talks in Copenhagen in December to ensure the forum was not another talking shop.

Maathai cited the Kenyan case on intended eviction of illegal settlers from Mau Forest, saying: "We have talked until we are hoarse, while the destruction continues".

"This country is trying to protect Mau, but others are still cutting down trees and have vowed not to leave unless they are compensated in spite of the consequences," she said.

Swedish ambassador Ann Dismorr said the European Union had pledged to cut the emission of greenhouse gasses by 30 per cent by next year and scale up financial support to developing countries.

She told the conference the new global agreement on climate change must come into force in 2013.

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