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Droughts, deforestation could worsen S. Sudan’s humanitarian crisis: report

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June 6, 2018 (JUBA) - Competition over access to pasture, water, fuel wood, and productive farmland between pastoralists and farmers as well as communities and clans could intensify conflicts and forced migration within and beyond South Sudan, a new report indicates.

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Delegates display the first state of environment and outlook report. Photo: Logo J. Maya

The revelation is contained in South Sudan first Environment and Outlook Report, which was officially launched on Tuesday.

The report was officially unveiled by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in partnership with South Sudan’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry other line ministries and stakeholders.

While launching the report, South Sudan’s First Vice President of South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai said the government is committed to creating more awareness so as to protect its environmental heritage.

"The government of South Sudan will take all necessary measures to ensure that the public are encouraged to be involved in the management, protection and conservation of the environment," he said.

The official hailed the UN Environment for supporting South Sudan to launch its first state of environmental policy and the outlook report.

Acknowledging that South Sudan was struggling with environmental challenges including plastic pollution, Gai said the government has plans to address recurrent environment issues through the adaptation of reduction, reuse, recycle and resource management.

“The government will take all necessary measures to ensure participation in the management and conservation of the environment, conducts impact assessment and audit, and put in place adequate monitoring and evaluation systems,” said Gai.

“We will also adopt the 4 Rs [reduction, reuse, recycle and resource management", he stressed.

Over 300 participants, including eight national ministers, members of the diplomatic missions, heads of UN agencies, non-governmental entities, academia, civil society organizations, media and school children attended the event held in the South Sudan capital, Juba.

South Sudan’s Minister of Environment, Josephine Napwon Cosmas urged all stakeholders including line ministries and the general public to take responsibility of the environment.

“This year’s theme invites all stakeholders to make changes to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on the environment. Caring for our environment is everyone’s responsibility", she said.

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, David Shearer, asked the government and partners to address the current conflict alongside the environment as some conflicts in South Sudan are as a result of competition over natural resources.

"We focus a lot on the peace agreement and building durable peace in South Sudan. However, we can’t achieve this in isolation of sustainable environment and enabling legal frameworks in place", he said.

Meanwhile, UNEP’s director, policy and programme, Gary Lewis, pledged to support existing coordination mechanisms and provide technical skills to partners to address environmental challenges.

South Sudan is currently embroiled in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of the population, displacing nearly two million of them.

Last year, officials from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) warned of dangers as the country’s wildlife and natural resources faced alarming expansion of illegal exploitation, trafficking and logging.

(ST)

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  • 7 June 16:14, by lino

    It is the reason we need technocrats in all South Sudanese ministries!!! We don’t need politicians in this country!

    repondre message

    • 7 June 20:25, by Joseph Canada

      In northern Uganda, cases like this are taken care off right away. the solution is simple. The Ugandan Government employees Soldiers to take care of all the Corals away and use milk for the army to curb the cattle rustling. If the Cattle owner would like to have milk, they have to pay taxes used to hire the army. This is the reason why we have calm cases between the Dodos,Karamojong and Jie.

      repondre message

      • 7 June 20:30, by Joseph Canada

        The same thing is done on the Uganda Kenya Boarder where Pokot and Karamojong live. The only problem we have in South Sudan is that the president is involved in this animal heading and uses the country’s resources to take care of his own. No one steal his cattle. If the same law of the president is used,no one will steal. Simple.

        repondre message

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