The UN warns that 3.5 million Somalis could be facing famine
An ambitious plan or just talk?
Ivory Coast has launched the "Abidjan Initiative" to protect its forests. The program aims to restore 20% of the country's forests by the end of the decade and prevent further deforestation. Abidjan was able to secure $1.5 billion for the plan in the early days of the conference. Prime Minister Patrick Achi invited other countries to join the initiative.
"The Abidjan Initiative is a comprehensive and integrated response which aims first to create the conditions for a sustainable environment, and then to give the agricultural sector a powerful role in creating jobs and income," he said.
The ambitious plan hopes to incorporate advanced technology solutions like tree-planting drones. It also envisions investments in sustainable agriculture and social projects to promote gender equality.
Rachel Lydie, an Ivorian activist for sustainable and responsible production, was skeptical. "Today, in Ivory Coast, we talk more than we act. We do not carry out concrete actions," she told DW.
Several projects in Africa are trying to stop desertification
Civil society was also not happy about the election of former Ivorian Water and Forests Minister Alain Richard Donwahi to the COP15 presidency. The ministry, which he headed from 2017 until April 2022, is being audited after reports of timber trafficking.
The audit, confirmed by the government, came after the dismantling of a vast trafficking network in precious wood that, according to the magazine Jeune Afrique, involved members of Donwahi's administration. The former minister denied any link to wood smuggling networks.
The question of the president not being officially an issue at the conference, African delegates are concentrating into turning this meeting into an African COP. Niger's Athanase Bouda told DW that hosting the conference in Africa has led to more intensive and fruitful exchange with partners: "They want to continue to support our projects and have made further promises. I think hope is allowed."
Adapted from French by Cristina Krippahl