"Regarding the state of the environment in Angola, in reality I believe it is quite visible to all the most glaring problems, from the high levels of deforestation, to the pollution we see in our cities, particularly in Luanda and in particular plastic pollution", said the environmentalist.
Speaking to Lusa within the scope of the 28th United Nations Conference on Climate Change in 2023 (COP28), which will take place between 30 November and 12 December in Dubai, Erica Tavares pointed to the need for greater political involvement to stop the environmental degradation in Angola.
According to the Angolan ecologist, it is necessary to "increase political will and also increase environmental education with citizens, in schools and institutions".
"We increasingly need to look at the environment as a transversal issue, which needs the attention of different institutions and sectors in Angola and also greater engagement from society as a whole", she pointed out.
For Erica Tavares, facing climate change will be challenging for any country and Angola "has to start preparing and seeking measures" to mitigate it and make "communities more resilient to it".
"Right now, we have many vulnerable communities, in fact we already have climate migrants in Angola, what we need is to have an emergency plan for this type of natural disasters that we see occurring a lot, like in the south of Angola with the drought", she highlighted.
She also defended the need for Angola to embark on reforestation actions, "with studies and technical bases", aiming to stop the "amount of deforestation that is happening at the moment".
"We also have to look at people, how they are being impacted by climate change," she noted.
Regarding Angola's participation in COP28, Erica Tavares said she hopes that the Angolan delegation will contribute to these global strategies, goals and protocols and that it will equally apply the documents and decisions of the conference at a national and local level.
"My expectation is that we can carry out this application jointly, openly with civil society, government institutions and openly with the private sector, which is also very important in the field of climate change", concluded the ecologist.
EcoAngola, a non-governmental environmental organization, chaired by Erica Tavares, will take its technical director, Diana Lima, to COP28.