UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner with Minister Régis Immongualt of Gabon. Photo: Lamine Bal/UNDP

New York, 8 June 2018 – The Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Achim Steiner hailed Gabon’s leading role in spearheading Africa’s climate adaptation efforts as he met Thursday 7 June with H.E. Mr. Régis Immongault, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, Francophonie and Regional Integration of Gabon.

Mr. Steiner renewed UNDP’s appreciation for the 500,000 dollar contribution Gabon made earlier this year to the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI) – the first by an African country to the AAI.

Present at the meeting were UNDP Associate Administrator Mr. Tegegnework Gettu; the Permanent Representative of Gabon H.E Mr. Michel Xavier Biang; AAI Coordinator Ms. Kulthoum Motsumi; and United Nations Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Stephen Jackson.

The AAI was launched during the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) in December 2015 to galvanize the support to scale up adaptation measures to address climate change-induced damages and losses, which are estimated to affect 7% of African countries’ GDP.

Its goal is to improve the provision of climate information services to support better decision-making; strengthen policies and institutions; enhance on-the-ground action; and mobilizing climate investment. The AAI framework document was launched in November 2016 during the COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco, and its workplan for 2017-2018 was approved the following year in Libreville, Gabon, which hosts the AAI permanent secretary.

As current chair of the Committee of African Heads of States and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), Gabon is actively engaged in efforts to mobilize additional resources for the AAI’s full implementation.

On Wednesday 6 June, Mr. Régis Immongault briefed a group of permanent representatives about AAI’s activities.  The meeting is part of a broad advocacy campaign led by Gabon to secure further support and pledges to implement the AAI. Mr. Immongault visit to New York marked the final leg of a tour that took him earlier to Berlin, Brussels, Oslo, Paris and Stockholm. Impressing a sense of urgency, Mr. Immongault said: “It is better to support the financing of the fight against climate change than to observe its consequences on our planet.”

UNDP has pledged its support in preparation of a donor roundtable which will be held on the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly in September 2018. Co-hosted by Gabon and UNDP, the high-level event will be used as a platform to launch a report on the State of Adaptation in Africa.


For more information, please contact:
In Libreville: Moctar Menta, Communications Specialist, +241 07 93 91 30
In New York:
Lamine Bal, Communications Specialist, +1 212 906 5937

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