The UNEP 6th Global Environment Outlook (Regional Assessment Report for Africa) identifies climate change as one of the most pressing problems in Africa posing serious health and economic challenges. The region is warming faster than the global average, with projections of a rise of 3–4˚C this century and climate-sensitive diseases such as cholera, meningitis, malaria, and Rift Valley fever likely to spread faster. The continent is the most severely affected by the impacts of climate change as most African economies rely heavily on climate sensitive economic sectors that are exposed to climate variability, droughts, and floods. The region bears the brunt of the impact of climate change, yet it contributes less than 5% of global carbon emissions. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change requires concerted efforts by all including the judicial system. The African Union’s Agenda 2063, the region’s blueprint, and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future, commits to address the global challenge of climate change by drawing upon skills of diverse disciplines. Indeed, courts as the custodians of justice, are increasingly to a duty of care so as to ensure the realization of the global goal of holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
OBJECTIVES OF THE SYMPOSIUM
The 3rd regional symposium, which is anchored on the role of the courts in combating climate change and its impacts in Africa is intended to provide much needed leadership in terms of policy direction from attending chief justices on the enhancement of environmental justice, particularly in disputes arising from climate change and its impacts. The Symposium will also provide a platform for discussion on the experiences, challenges, and potential solutions in the adjudication of climate change claims amongst judges, practitioners, and experts in this field. Finally, it will be an opportunity to reflect on gains made in integrating environmental law and in particular climate change in judicial training amongst leaders of judicial training institutions. The symposium will be looking to sustain the achievements made in previous symposia and agree on a thematic focus for the next biennium.
- Identify opportunities and measures for promoting climate change related adjudication in in Africa;
- Share experiences, challenges, innovations and prospects in climate change-related adjudication;
- Evaluate progress made in integrating environmental matters in judicial education;
- Provide a basis and progression to build on for the 4th regional symposium.
EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF THE SYMPOSIUM
- A programme on climate change related adjudication for judiciaries in Africa;
- An understanding of emerging trends and innovative approaches to climate change adjudication and commitment to continue upholding the rule of law in climate change matters;
- An evaluation of the progress made in integrating environmental matters in judicial education
The symposium targets chief justices, senior judges, judicial educators, heads of judicial education institutions, practitioners, and experts from the continent.
DATE AND VENUE
- 3 December 2020; Venue: Nairobi, Kenya.