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The Cape Town Declaration


Parliament of South Africa, 5 September 1998

We the legislators from Southern Africa and Members of GLOBE Southern Africa, meeting at the Parliament of South Africa, make the following declaration;

We recognise that our countries continue to suffer from their colonial inheritance, one of the legacies of which has been the polarisation between the very rich and the very poor. Environmental degradation in Africa is very often the result of the very poor having to resort to survival strategies for their subsistence. Women and children usually suffer the brunt. Consequently, we will work towards an increased participation of women in tackling environmental issues. Furthermore, we call upon the developed countries to honour their commitments made at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 regarding overseas development assistance.

Environmental Awareness
We commit ourselves to raising the environmental awareness of our fellow citizens, and call upon our Governments to raise awareness across society and promote environmental education, as well as prioritise the integration of environmental considerations across all sectors of the economy and society. We accept the necessity and responsibility to work towards the protection of the environment and sustainable development for present and future generations.
Armed Conflicts and the Environment
We recognise that Africa has a long and disastrous history of conflicts and wars, and that some parts of the continent are still subject to armed conflict, and its consequent social, economic, political and environmental dysfunction. We are aware that these conflicts have had, and continue to have, long lasting consequences for the whole of society and the state of our environment. Peace is a prerequisite for effective management of the environment. We, urge, therefore, our Governments to recognise the disastrous impact of war on our environment and take remedial action. We call upon them to work with Governments in developed countries in order to harness technical and financial support to clear landmines, and enable the resettlement of areas previously plagued by such menaces. We commit ourselves to work towards reducing racial and regional tensions in our countries and across the continent. We commit ourselves further to promoting negotiated settlement wherever tensions occur.
We set ourselves the task to achieve results in the areas outlined above, as well as in our Action Agendas on Desertification and Climate Change.
We the Parliamentarians of Southern Africa welcome the creation of GLOBE Southern Africa and the establishment of the GLOBE Southern Africa Office in Cape Town, South Africa.
We thank the Parliament of South Africa for hosting the GLOBE Conference. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs in sponsoring this conference, as well as of the Danish Co-operation for Environment and Development (DANCED) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland for supporting the GLOBE Network in Southern Africa.