Sustainable Development

YAOUNDE, Cameroon )PAMACC News) - Stakeholders have been enjoined to reinforce adaptation policies and actions as pathways against climate change.

The call was made by environment experts at two day workshop to empower youths, women, small-scaled farmers,fath-based groups on climate adaptation policies and actions in Cameroon.

The workshop took place at the Mvolye Church Centre in Yaounde September 12-13, 2023.

Organised by the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy & Access (ACSEA), the workshop seeked to developing participants’ skills to better interact with stakeholders and decision makers therough effective communication, negotiation and advocacy techniques.

According to the CEO of ACSEA, Dr. Augustine Njamnshi, “the workshop was also to strengthen knowledge on processes and policy mechanism related to climate change adaptation at national level.”

“Faith-based organizations, small-scale farmers, youth and women groups often have a strong moral imperative to act on climate change, but they may lack the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate for climate adaptation policies and actions,” Njamnshi added.

The training centered on topics like climate change impact on food systems in Cameroon, Cameroons climate change adaptation and resilence strategies, mapping local climate change impacts and adaptation staregies, climate information and adaptive uses in Cameroon amongst others.

Climate experts say transforming lives means having the right policies in place and the enabling environment for climate investments to yield the right results.

“We need to empower the community on the issues sot hey can question and push government and non-governmental organisations, NGOs,to put in place the right policies. Community actors should be able to know, the problems their communties are facing and to see whether solutions proposed by some NGOs are not flawed” noted Eugene Nforngwa, head of programs ACSEA.

According to the World Bank,Cameroon has an opportunity to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity for a more green and resilient future for all, taking a people centered approach to climate action. The country’s poverty rate could be reduced five-fold by 2050.

Experts say climate change is impacting social and economic gains in the country and and stakeholders must get to work with the right actions to address it.

“Climate change in a reality and we are all living witnesses of its disastrous effects. The floods, landslides, droughts are affecting agriculture, water resources, health and the environment in general. It will take our collective efforts  to get the right solutions to address this crisis” says Professor Amougou Joseph Armathée, director general of the National Observatory on Climate Change.

According to World Bank 2022 report,Climate change is a big threat to the country’s dependence on natural resources and agriculture for livelihoods and subsistence.

The report says under current climate conditions, about two million people live in drought-affected areas.

Tropical forests cover almost 40% of the country and provide an estimated 8 million rural people with traditional staples including food, medicines, fuel, and construction material.

“Changes in temperature, rain, and droughts are putting these populations at greater risks for increased poverty and famine.”

The socioeconomic impact of climate change shocks is hurting both the structural poor and the close to 40% of vulnerable households in Cameroon. Women, especially those living in conflict areas or indigenous groups, are more severely hit by climate change because they are accounting for 75% of workers in the informal agricultural sector and are primarily responsible for the welfare of their households and food security, the World Bank report indicates.

Experts say communities need to be trained on the climate change challenges sot hey can better step up actions to address the crisis.

“With the climate threats worsening, the National Observatory on climate change is collecting data and sharing alerts and early warning information that can help communities take the necessary measures to either prevent or adapt to the effects of climate change” says Professor Amougou. 

It should be recalled that the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report  underscores the urgency for rapid, deep and sustained action on climate adaptation to ensure the world’s poorest countries are not caught off guard by worsening climate impacts.

 The report assesses the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels and notes that “actions are most urgent in Africa, where accelerated effort is required to adapt to climate change to avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity and infrastructure.”

This seminal report offers new insights on possible pathways for policymakers, business leaders and others to ramp up their efforts to tackle the climate crisis at the scale and urgency required.


NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Africa must swiftly harness its rich mineral and natural resources to drive a clean energy revolution and accelerate sustainable development amidst the current climate crisis, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Antonio Pedro, has urged.

“Africa is a solutions powerhouse for saving the climate, Mr. Antonio Pedro, said at the opening of the 11th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA) in Nairobi, Kenya, ahead of the inaugural Africa Climate Summit to take place from 4-6 September themed: Driving Green Growth & Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World.

Mr. Pedro pointed out that Africa has abundant renewable energy resources, including 40% of the world’s solar irradiation potential, making it a great location for advancing green hydrogen.

Already, multiple low-carbon hydrogen projects are in development in Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, and South Africa. Africa is also rich in cobalt, manganese, platinum, lithium, and copper – critical minerals for producing batteries and other green transition products.

The drive toward achieving net-zero emissions is expected to trigger a 40-fold increase in lithium demand and a 25-fold increase in cobalt demand. Furthermore, Africa is home to rich natural capital, such as the Congo Basin which contains some of the largest tropical rainforests in the world.

Mr. Pedro said that using nature-based sequestration alone, African countries could provide up to 30% of the world’s sequestration needs. A key challenge, however, was in “effectively and sustainably harnessing Africa’s abundant resources for the benefit of its people.”

“To mobilize the necessary funding, a paradigm shift is necessary,” said Mr. Pedro, emphasizing that Africa’s renewable and non-renewable resources were assets for mobilizing climate finance and investment.

“The ecological services provided by Africa to the world need to be monetised through carbon markets and other innovative instruments including debt-for-climate swaps,” he added.

Studies show that African countries could mobilize up to US$82 billion annually by participating in well-functioning carbon markets. Besides, more income could be generated from value chains around non-renewable resources such as critical minerals crucial for battery production.

“Our renewable and non-renewable resources must be harnessed to secure the continent’s human, energy, food, mineral, environmental and climate security, meeting basic needs and fostering sustainable structural transformation,” Mr. Pedro urged.

For her part, Soipan Tuya, Kenya Minister of Environment and Forestry noted that Africa’s sustainable development hinged on the successful adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts because the continent’s growth depends heavily on climate sensitive sectors and natural resources. 

She stressed, in her opening remarks that Africa was capable of overcoming climate change challenges and turning them into development opportunities through innovation, clean technologies and a paradigm shift that unlocks Africa’s huge natural resource and human potential. 

“Harnessing these rich enormous resources, however, requires mobilization of financial resources from both domestic and international sources to enable Africa tackle climate change and facilitate the option for clean and low carbon development pathways,” she said.

Africa is bearing the brunt of climate change more, despite contributing the least to it. Increased droughts, intensive tropical cyclones, high temperatures and extensive floods have affected lives and livelihoods across Africa, limiting the continent’s ability to achieve sustainable development.

Huge financing gap

Estimates indicate that, by 2030, Africa could spend 5% of its annual GDP on climate crises based on a warming scenario of 2 degrees, with the Sahel region paying as much as 15%.

The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change estimates that Africa will require between US$65 and US$86.5 billion annually for adaptation alone up to 2030. Currently, the continent receives a mere $11.4 billion in adaptation financing per year.  

Present at the opening were high-level representatives from key institutions including Josefa Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (ARBE) at the African Union Commission; Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank; and Mwenda Mithika, Executive Director, Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) made remarks.

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya on Monday officiated the opening of the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi's Upper Kabete Campus.

The Institute, whose construction commenced in 2016, was set up by the Government to advance the legacy of the 2004 Kenyan Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai. The institute was handed over to the University of Nairobi in May 2019.

Speaking at the launch, attended by the University of Nairobi's top leadership led by Chancellor Dr Vijoo Rattansi, acting Vice Chancellor Prof Julius Ogengo and Chair of Council Prof Amukowa Anangwe , CS Tuya said the institute would immortalize Prof Maathai's legacy and thanked various partners for supporting its construction.

"Thank you too for immortalizing the great Nobel Peace Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai by establishing this institute. I would like to, in a very special way, thank the African Union, the African Development Bank, the Clinton Global Initiative, DANIDA and all the partners who helped make this institute a reality," Hon Tuya said.

"I am informed that the institute aims to carry forward Prof Maathai’s legacy by promoting research, education, and community engagement in the field of environmental governance, cultures of peace, climate adaptation, sustainable development, and conservation," she added.

The Cabinet Secretary recalled Prof Maathai's exploits as a scholar and environmentalist noting that besides making history as the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her environmental work, she had set other records including being the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a PhD in biology.

"As Kenyans, we forever remain proud of Prof Maathai's achievements. In fact, I personally draw so much inspiration from her in my day-to-day work as Cabinet Secretary responsible for environment, climate change and forestry because as you know she also served in the Ministry as an Assistant Minister," CS Tuya said.

The Cabinet Secretary said her Ministry will collaborate closely with the Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI) on programmes that will help Kenya and the region to overcome challenges posed by climate change including conflicts over shrinking natural resources.

"I would like to challenge the faculty and students at this institute to especially research and conceptualize the practical nexus of environment, conflict, and peace.

"Emerging evidence and statistics are stark, including the 6th IPCC Assessment Report which shows that environment and climate factors are becoming critical drivers of insecurity, manifesting in inter and intrastate conflicts, with Africa being specially affected," CS Tuya noted.

Hon Tuya also spoke at length about ongoing climate action programmes in her Ministry including the 15 billion national tree growing and ecosystem restoration programme, sustainable waste management, and the forthcoming inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.

 "The late Professor Wangari Maathai led Kenyans and the world to plant trees and to build strong nature-based livelihoods especially for women and youth at the community and grassroots level.

"My Ministry is building upon this legacy to carry on with this work, by leading  Kenyans in planting and growing 15 billion trees in the next 10 years as directed by H.E. President William Ruto.

"In this coming short rain period between September and December 2023, we are planning to lead the country in planting and growing 500 Million seedlings, and we would like to welcome each and every Kenyan to join us in this program," CS Tuya said.

At the first ever Africa Climate Summit scheduled for KICC from 4th to 6th next month, CS Tuya said the African Union meeting, to be staged alongside this year's United Nations annual Africa Climate Week, will be a platform for Africa to showcase her climate change adaptation, resilience and mitigation potential.

At the same time, the Cabinet Secretary regrettably noted that Kenya was still facing environmental governance and conservation challenges that the late Prof Wangari Maathai battled throughout her professional life including illegal logging of public forests.

"The obstacles of governance in the environment sector are still rife, as it was during her time. We have seen illegal logging spiral in the forestry sector, forest fires, pollution, and failure in the waste management sector amongst others," CS Tuya outlined.

She said her Ministry was taking proactive measures to overcome the challenges including the recent recruitment of 2,700 rangers to help deal with the problem of illegal forest activities, and deployment of ultra-modern forest fire management technologies.

Other speakers at the launch included Dr Rattansi and Prof Ogeng'o as well as Prof Maathai's daughter and environmentalist Ms Wanjira Mathai. Global Centre for Adaptation CEO Prof Patrick Verkooijen and Prof Anangwe also spoke.

Dr Rattansi said the late Prof Maathai will forever be remembered by Kenyans for the obstacles she overcame to become the country's climate action icon way before the subject became popular.

"The late Prof Wangari Maathai holds a special place in our hearts; first and foremost, as our member and secondly and perhaps more importantly, for the obstacles that she overcame, whether personally or politically, to secure her place in our nations’ history as an agent of change.

"Many years before talk on climate change became fashionable, the late Prof Wangari Maathai had cut herself out as  a significant contributor in caring for the environment and thereby, mitigating the adverse effects of climate change," Dr Rattansi said.

On his part, Prof Ageng'o thanked the Government and partners for supporting the establishment of the institute saying it would not only help institutionalize the legacy of the departed Nobel Laureate but also act as a centre of excellence in advanced environmental education.

"The University of Nairobi is grateful for the Government’s commitment to institutionalize the legacy of Prof Wangari Mathaai and foster the positive ethics, values and practices that defined her life.

 "By promoting the planting of trees in the fields and in the minds of young people through holistic education, we are preparing them to embrace the connectedness of environmental conservation and climate action for responsible leadership for tomorrow," Prof Ageng'o concluded.

Il y a environ 35 ans, le monde a été témoin d'événements cruciaux qui ont placé le changement climatique au premier plan de l'agenda mondial. Dès lors, l'intérêt et les investissements dans des initiatives visant à limiter la hausse des températures mondiales à moins de 1.5 °C et à réduire la détérioration de la couche d'ozone se sont progressivement renforcés. En conséquence, une série d'initiatives mondiales intensifiées ont vu le jour avec pour objectif d'atténuer les émissions de gaz à effet de serre et de renforcer la résilience et l'adaptabilité aux conséquences du changement climatique, sous la bannière de "l'action pour le climat".

Le discours sur l’action climatique en Afique se concentre principalement sur les consequences graves que le changement climatique a sur les communautés agricoles et les économies. Cette situation démontre l’urgente necessité d’augmenter les investissements pour l’adaptation et de réparer les pertes et les dommages causes aux systems alimentaires du continent. Malgré l’importance de cet accent, il est important de reconnaître et de promouvoir un discours parallèle qui souligne l’importance de la biodiversité et des ressources écologiques de l’Afrique en tant que cibles cruiciales pour les investissements visant à réduire, voire à inverser les effets du changement climatique.

En effet, il devient  évident que la lutte contre le changement climatique en Afrique ne pourra pas produire de résultats satisfaisants sans la mise en œuvre de stratégies de conservation et de gestion globales, intégrées et adaptatives. Ces stratégies doivent trouver un équilibre entre la préservation de la biodiversité et des services écosystémiques, la promotion du développement économique de la région et la protection de la santé humaine.

Pour atteindre ces objectifs, il faudrait donner la priorité aux investissements dans l'agriculture intelligente face au climat, ce qui inclut l'adoption de pratiques agricoles durables et de techniques appropriées de gestion des sols. A cet égard, il es important d’investir dans des systems intelligents de données qui fournissent des informations fiables et opportunes pour soutenir une prise de déciion éclairée sur la disponibilité et la demande de produits de base avant et pendant les crises.  Sans informations fiables sur les dimensions spatiales et temporelles de la disponibilié et de la demande de produits de base, y compris les estimations de production, les stocks, les flux commerciaux et les informations sur les marches; Il es difficile de comprendre les implications de ces crises et le réponses politiques à y apporter.

En outre, des importants investissements sont nécessaires pour l’acqisition de technologies de sotien comme les énergies renouvelables et l’irrigation afin d’amméliorer la productivité agricole tout en minimisant les impacts négatifs sur l’environnement.

L'intégration de sources d'énergie renouvelables peut contribuer à réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre tout en fournissant une énergie fiable pour les activités agricoles. Enfin, l'amélioration de l'accès aux systèmes d'irrigation peut renforcer la gestion de l'eau et garantir des pratiques agricoles durable.

Un autre aspect essentiel est la promotion d'actions visant à réduire radicalement les pertes alimentaires tout au long des chaînes de valeur. En investissant dans des technologies efficaces de stockage, de transport et de transformation, le continent peut réduire de manière significative les pertes post-récolte, qui représentent près de 40 % de la production alimentaire totale, réduisant ainsi la pression sur les systèmes agricoles et, en fin de compte, sur l'environnement.

Les solutions mentionnées sont louables et sont activement mises en œuvre de diverses manières par différentes institutions. Toutefois, l'impact qui laisse présager de grands avantages est limité en termes de rythme et d'échelle en raison de la fragmentation et du désalignement de la mise en œuvre par les gouvernements, les partenaires de développement et les acteurs du secteur privé. Pourtant, la complexité des défis structurels auxquels l'Afrique est régulièrement exposée exige un ensemble intégré de solutions impliquant des investissements et des réformes parallèles dans les infrastructures, la logistique, l’irrigation, les systèmes financiers et les systèmes éducatifs.Elle exige également de nouvelles alliances et formes de collaboration entre ces acteurs qui créent des synergies et une masse critique.

À AGRA, nous avons pris conscience de cette lacune très tôt et au fil des années, nous nous sommes concentrés sur le renforcement de la capacité des gouvernements à établir des priorités et à mettre en œuvre des réformes politiques axées sur la sécurité alimentaire et l'intégrité du climat. En plus de cela, nous encourageons et mobilisons activement des partenariats public-privé efficaces entre les gouvernements, le secteur privé et les organisations de la société civile.

La réunion de diverses parties prenantes s'est avérée cruciale pour aligner les investissements et les synergies en matière de transfert de technologies et de partage des connaissances. L'initiative "Regional Food Balance Sheet" (RFBS) en est un exemple. Il s'agit d'un engagement collaboratif et multilatéral qui inclut la participation d'une série de partenaires analytiques et technologiques afin de fournir des données et des prévisions sur la production agricole, le commerce transfrontalier, la fourniture d'intrants et l'agrégation de données. La RFBS s'appuie sur la technologie numérique et satellitaire pour assurer un suivi et des prévisions plus actualisés de la production des cultures vivrières, des attaques de ravageurs et de maladies, et d'autres changements climatiques susceptibles d'avoir un impact sur la disponibilité des produits alimentaires.

Cet outil s’appuie sur l’apprentissage automatique et l’analyse avancée pour fournir en temps voulu des informations concernant l’offre, la demande et les prix des denrées de base en Afrique sub-saharienne, afin d'éclairer la prise de décision fondée sur des données probantes par les secteurs public et privé et d'autres parties prenantes de l'écosystème.  De nombreux investissements collaboratifs supplémentaires sont nécessaires pour faciliter une action climatique ayant un impact et promouvoir un succès à long terme.

La rédactrice est la chargée des partenariats à AGRA.


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