SASSCAL held its second Ministerial meeting on 26 September 2019 in Windhoek, Namibia. The meeting marked a historic milestone in the history of the Joint Initiative as the Member states representatives signed the SASSCAL Treaty and Joint Declaration. Signing of the two documents has set in motion the transformation of SASSCAL into an international organization, thus opening doors to allow SASSCAL a global footprint and access to several international funding instruments.
The signing is yet another step in strengthening the International Partnership for Climate action by Member States. Building, strengthening and maintaining partnerships through the regional initiative and German provides yet another platform for science diplomacy towards tackling global challenges. By signing the two documents Member states have accorded SASSCAL their political and financial commitment towards the attainment of its Mandate. SASSCAL is well positioned to strengthen the regional capacity through its pillars of Research, Capacity Development and Provision of services and products. It is also the ideal platform to share resources, expertise, technology and information on climate change and adaptive land management.
Member state representatives acknowledged that the formation of SASSCAL was in-line with Paris Declaration and is relevant towards the realisation of regional targets like Agenda 2063. They further declared their political and financial commitments towards SASSCAL. They also highlighted the successes of SASSCAL 1.0 in their countries and expressed their enthusiasm towards SASSCAL 2.0 in continuing to seek regional solutions towards global challenges. BMBF was thanked for its support for the regional initiative and Prof Rene Haak who represented the German Minister pledged continued support for SASSCAL and its Mandate adding that “the new SASSCAL structure would enhance its capacity to address climate change”.
In her remarks the SASSCAL Executive Director Dr Jane M Olwoch highlighted that the meeting was held at a time when World leaders were gathered in New York at the UN Climate Action Summit. Such gatherings affirm the need for Regional initiatives like SASSCAL and the need for immediate action towards climate change. She further reminded participants that “Countries have borders but Climate Change doesn’t . Building, strengthening and maintaining partnerships like this one between SADC member States and German is the best way to share resources, expertise, technology and information in order to tackle such a complex issue like climate change that goes beyond all National Borders”. Dr Olwoch concluded by acknowledging and accepting the responsibility for SASSCAL to continue providing timely and relevant science -based information to assist policy makers in decision making.
SASSCAL Member state Ministers / Representatives held a closed meeting after the signing ceremony where the SASSCAL Council of Ministers was successfully inaugurated.