By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya
The Venue where the 22nd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be hosted at the site of Bab Ighli in Marrakesh, Morocco will be available by the mid of this month. This information is made privy to African Journalists by authorities in the North African State during a Press Trip in the country. Press Trip spanning from the 2nd on to the 11th of September was organized by the COP22 Steering Committee for the African Media.
The 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held in Marrakech from 7-18 of November this year with a primary focus on Africa. ‘This year’s conference aims to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement by strengthening mobilization of all actors’.
Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, COP22 President and Morocco Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation said construction work is intensively going on at the site and “we have already informed the United Nations that all works will be done by the 15th of October and make the site available to the UNFCCC on this date to kick start the event”.
The 22nd Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the second of its kind to be hosted in an Africa soil after Morocco again hosted the 7th Climate Change Conference way back in 2001. As the date for the event next month draws closer, many countries that are party to the UNFCCC are gearing up efforts to grace this conference. COP22 is being organized exactly a year after the COP21 in Paris which saw the signing and endorsement of the historic Paris Agreement.
On September 3rd, China and the United States of America who are the major contributors or polluters to Climate Change ratified the Paris Agreement at a colorful ceremony in Hangzhou, China while the Government of Sierra Leone as part of the continent that contribute less to Climate Change, during the recent United Nations General Assembly in the United States of America signed the Paris Agreement. India on the day for the celebration of the birth of Mahatma Ghandi also signed to the Paris Agreement; all gearing towards effort in making the Agreement comes into effect come November.
As it is being held in Africa, many African countries are expected to make this event becomes successful cease the opportunity to double up negotiations in other to get funding from the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund in consonance with the Triple A initiative. Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar said “there will be qualitative and quantitative participants of up o 20,000 that are expected to grace this event in Marrakech” and all these will prioritize the issue of food security in the African continent.
Situated in the middle of a touristic area in Marrakech, the venue which is expected to host the 20,000 participants across the world in the Bab Ighli area is located in an ideal place and stationed very close to hotels and guest houses. Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar said the reason for choosing the location very close to hotel accommodations is “to enable the participants to just walk a distance of between 10 and 15 minutes to attend the conference”.
On the time of our visit here at the Bab Ighli site in Marrakech, civil works were going on aside and construction workers were busy fixing the furniture and fittings. While the ornamental workers were waiting for construction works to finish in other to kick start their flower plantation, other workers with excavators were preparing the landscapes and modelling the interlink roads within the conference center.
Speaking to Environmental Journalists at the site during the Press Trip in September, Mr. Abdeslam Bekrate, Head of Logistics and Security said “the construction work is now 70% complete, with 30% complete in equipment and 15% complete for different information technology equipment installation”.
During this 22nd United Nations Climate Change Conference, many issues are expected to be negotiated and agreed upon in other to see the world does not go beyond the 2 degree Celsius margin. Although Morocco had long exited the Organization of African Unity now renewed as the African Union, many African leaders and heads of delegations are expected to grace this occasion during the high level session in November here at the would be Bab Ighli Climate Change Conference Center.