-- South Sudan on Wednesday launched 28 projects
under the National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs), making
Juba eligible to acquire funding of up to 50 million U.S.
dollars for implementation of programs seeking to address
Joseph Bartel, Undersecretary in the
Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said the government has
indentified five projects toward developing environmentally
friendly agriculture, early warning system, wetland protection,
renewable energy and mainstreaming environmental policies and
Bartel urged the government to enact
legislations that can protect the environment by ensuring
increased funding to environmental conservation efforts and
enforce stringent punishment and also ensure that increased
funding to the 28 projects listed in the NAPAs.
“Once we get the environmental law, we
are going to go after anybody including the oil industry
that is currently not being monitored,” he said.
NAPA is an initiative of the UN
framework convention on climate change (UNFCC) that provides a
process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify
priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate
needs to adapt to climate change. So far 51 countries have
responded to it.
Environment Minister Josephine Naphon
said NAPAs would help guide the country to stop over-reliance on
thermal energy and shift to renewable energy by 2020.
Asrad Khan, UN Environment Program (UNEP)
South Sudan Program Manager, said South Sudan remains one of the
countries in the world with the highest deforestation rates,
which has made it prone to disasters such as drought and
flooding that have severely devastated crop and livestock
production in the eastern and northern parts.
He said implementation of NAPAs would
strengthen efforts to combat negative effects of climate change
on livelihoods and boost food security.
“Climate change has no boundaries. So
you it is very important for a country like south Sudan
which is prone to disasters to adapt the NAPA to ensure that
we use the natural resources wisely and start to take action
now,” Khan said.
South Sudan is prone to recurrent
floods every year in the rainy season—May to October—which
threatens the lives and livelihoods of the local population and
their communities, according to the United Nations Education,
Scientific and Cultural Origination (UNESCO).
The agency said destruction of homes,
schools, crops and agricultural lands lead to a loss in
potential income, food insecurity, disrupted educational
opportunities and delayed delivery of basic services in South