Chinese, African scientists endorse joint pact to promote sustainability agenda
by Christine Lagat and Lu Duobao
NAIROBI, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Scientists drawn from prestigious Chinese and African research institutions on Wednesday approved a joint communique to advance green agenda through knowledge sharing in habitat protection, waste management and climate change mitigation.
The scientists said in a draft communique released after a three-day conference in Nairobi that joint research programs, capacity building and skills transfer will be the building blocks of their future collaboration.
"Scientists of Africa and China, with the involvement of many national and international partners have taken important steps on an important journey. It will make great contributions to prosperity for the people of Africa and the whole world," the scientists said.
More than 70 scientists and policymakers from ten African countries and China attended the three-day conference to brainstorm on new strategies to promote sustainability agenda in line with objectives of South-South cooperation.
The conference on climate, ecosystems and livelihoods for Africa was sponsored by United Nations Environment, World Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences and National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Delegates agreed that a robust Sino-African partnership in scientific research, technology transfer and innovations will unleash mutual benefits that include climate resilience, food security and improved human health.
"Participants agreed that future cooperation should be based on existing institutions, networks and ongoing programs in both China and Africa including centers of excellence," said the joint communique.
It added that that both Chinese and African research institutions should partner to promote awareness on climate, ecosystems and livelihoods while building the capacity of communities to advance the green agenda.
The joint communique underscored the role of the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative (B&R) in facilitating robust collaboration between Chinese and African scientists in diverse areas like climate research, health, agriculture, energy and habitat protection.
"The B&R initiatives, following those under the Forum on China-Africa cooperation, have brought China and Africa closer together, with joint research initiatives to explore sustainable development and adaptation to climate variability," noted the communique.
Both African and Chinese scientists are optimistic that their future cooperation will be fruitful given the goodwill from their respective governments.
"We have invested enormous resources to support capacity building and research in diverse areas like climate change, ecosystems conservation, solid waste and chemicals management across Africa," said Feng Feng, Director General of Bureau of International Cooperation at the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Salif Diop, a member of African Academy of Sciences, was upbeat that strategic collaboration in climate research, agriculture and food security, water, energy and health will unleash prosperity at both ends.
"We are looking at a pragmatic cooperation with our Chinese colleagues to strengthen research that could rejuvenate action on climate change, hunger, water scarcity and pollution," Diop told Xinhua.