Africans eat more organic foods than people in richer economies
The United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, said on Tuesday that the continent stood a better chance of achieving a green economy status than other continents that are more advanced in development.
The UNEP Chief of Economics and Trade Branch, Steven Stone, said on the side-lines of the first UN Environment Assembly, UNEA in Nairobi, Kenya that the continent lacked huge investments in fossil-based industries.
Mr. Stone said though Africa is growing, it should not lose the link with the developed economies, many of whose citizens do not even know where their foods come from.
The UNEP official said that the high income countries were facing a huge burden of lifestyles and diseases as a result of unhealthy diets produced using industrial methods.
“Research has shown that the foods could contain toxins that are harmful to the body,” he said.
“All the leading causes of death in Africa were associated with lack of adequate nutrition, water and sanitation.”
Apart from a high degree of use of organic foods in Africa, which has less impact on the environment, Mr. Stone said countries like South Africa and Uganda have put in place policies to promote adoption of green economies.
He noted that Africa has the capacity to lead the world in developing innovative technologies for the development of green economy.
According to him, Kenya was already leading the world in use of mobile money technology, pointing out that all that was needed was more knowledge to underpin innovation to accelerate adoption of the green technology.
Hundreds of participants, including Environment ministers from different countries, decision makers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders are attending the five-day Assembly expected to help tackle growing global challenges.
The UNEA is the first ever meeting convened to find solutions to the major environmental issues, such as illegal trade in wildlife, air quality and pollution, and financing the green economy.
The meeting also provided the forum the opportunity to tackle issues relating to Sustainable Development Goals, Post- 2015 Development Agenda, and sustainable consumption and production.
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