The Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development (ACSD) was conceived during Italy’s G7 Presidency in 2017, at the Environment Ministers meeting in Bologna. The Bologna meeting focused on the priority themes of the global environmental challenge, such as the state of implementation of the goals set by the Paris Agreement to fight climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN 2030 Agenda.
As a guiding theme of the Italian Presidency, one of the key sessions of the meeting took the form of an interactive dialogue between G7 ministers, a number of African ministers and heads of agencies, devoted to an analysis of the global challenges in the implementation of the Agenda 2030, of the impact that growing and emerging environmental challenges had on developing countries and, in particular, on the sustainable development prospects of the Africa region; and of the responsibilities of the G7 countries in ensuring a better coordinated, effective and meaningful response to the demands articulated by partner countries in Africa.
In implementing the G7 decision, the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) took the decision to set up the “Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development” (ACSD).
On 28 January 2019 the ACSD was launched in Rome on the basis of a tripartite agreement between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This ceremony marked the formal beginning of our ACSD journey.
Quotes from the inauguration
“Sustainable development in Africa is a pillar of Italy's foreign policy and shared challenges ranging from security, migration and climate change represent a common destiny. Africa is a continent with an extraordinary potential, above all human, that must be seized and nurtured.”
- Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy
“The Centre for sustainable development is a fundamental step in the fight against climate change. The environmental paradigm cannot be changed if we do not start from Africa and with Africa. Safeguarding out planet in terms of climate, environment and social cohesion can only be assured if we start from the African continent”
- Sergio Costa, Minister of Environment, Italy
“We are entering a century when Africa's own development will increasingly determine the development of the world economy. Africa remains a continent of many opportunities. This Centre can help to speed up progress and quickly resource national development priorities in these countries to address these challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”
- Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
“A major focus on boosting the agricultural sectors and promoting rural development in Africa is needed to ensure a better future for the continent's youth who, if given the chance, can be the drivers of development. It will not be possible to modernize African agriculture if we do not stimulate rural youth with options other than migration. We need young people in rural areas, we need rural development, and we can't have that without facing the challenges of climate change”
- José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General