• 27 September 2023

Climate Services for Risk Reduction in Africa (CS4RRA)

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Credit: Joerg Boethling / Alamy Stock Photo

African countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change and are amidst those around the world facing many shared challenges which require sustainable solutions. West Africa has some of the highest urbanization rates in the world, particularly in coastal areas.

Destructive impacts of climate change like heat waves, droughts, floods and increasingly severe storms are the primary culprits behind decreased farming output and rising hunger in the continent. Rural people are facing serious long-term degradation of natural resources.  Desertification, deforestation, high levels of crop and livestock diseases and pests, and unreliable and erratic rainfall make both agriculture and livestock risky enterprises. Most of these frequent and severe natural disasters are weather-related.

The ongoing climate change is influencing environmental processes and human well-being in a multitude of ways depending on the landscape, societal, economic, and political structure, institutional framework, environmental enabling policies, actors’ knowledge, and ability to respond or adapt to changing and challenging historically grown conditions.

To strengthen climate resilience in West Africa, better climate knowledge and services, including better early warning procedures, are required at regional and local levels both for Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change.

Following the examples of the recent European Climate Change Adaptation Conference and Climate Neutral Forum, the multilateral initiative launched with CCSE AU-EU Partnership and JPI Climate co-designed joint activities with African partners:

  • a forum through a series of 4 in-depth webinars based on West-African hubs with African and European representatives on the area of Climate Services for Risk Reduction in West Africa and considering the three KIC (Knowledge, Innovation, and Capacity Development) angles.
  • and a stocktaking conference based on West-African and European hubs to present results of the forum of webinars.

To this aim, the events with West African partners were codesigned from three complementary angles (quoted KIC below):

  • Knowledge of the regional climate system at relevant scales for those working in the field within different sectors;
  • Innovation of climate services, meeting the actual needs of sectors exposed to current and future climate change and aligned with the AU-EU innovation agenda;
  • Capacity building, in particular for new African generations within the public and private sectors of the countries concerned.

The overall goals are to:

  • strengthen climate resilience in Africa in order to raise awareness about climate knowledge, identify key services for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction;
  • examine potential areas for cooperation in research on climate risk management, resilience and adaptation in West Africa and thus defragment the programme landscape in favour of common goals and common impact of funding;
  • describe pathways and priorities for research, innovation and capacity development in the area of Climate Services for Risk Reduction that contribute to the new Innovation Agenda between African Union and European Union;
  • identify actionable and complementary steps to boost KIC via trilateral or multilateral joint calls or actions (South-South and South-North).

 

The first webinar: Improvement of early warning system and adaptation measures for disaster risk reduction
September 28th, 2023, Université Lomé, Togo

The second webinar: Climate And Environmental Services For Water Excess Management
November 6th, 2023, University Félix Houphouet Boigny, Ivory Coast

The third webinar: Climate impacts and resilience under present and future scenarios
February 8th, 2024, University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal

The final webinar: Climate-smart agriculture and sustainable landscapes
March 14th,  2024 Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

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