AfDB underscores crucial role of African knowledge on climate adaptation at “Africa Climate Conference 2013”

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“Advancing African Climate Science Research and Knowledge to Inform Adaptation Decision-Making in Africa”, was the theme of the Africa Climate Conference (ACC 2013) held in Arusha, Tanzania from 15-18 October.  The event that was co-sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB) sought to strengthen the link between the generation of climate knowledge and the needs of climate information users for timely, reliable and predictable information.

As an experienced knowledge-broker in climate change and a high performer in climate finance, AfDB’s role during the conference was to give inputs to set an agenda on climate research. This agenda is meant to bridge the gap between social and biophysical research, and between research and application, towards delivery of a co-ordinated climate research agenda for Africa that brings together research outputs with user needs.

The AfDB also organized a side event to share lessons and experiences on integrating climate information into national development planning processes. It featured the work of the AfDB’s climate finance team in the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department jointly with the Agriculture and Agro-Industries Department in designing the Strategic Programs for Climate Resilience (SPCR). The programs were developed for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) for the pilot countries in Africa including Niger, Mozambique and Zambia.

The meeting provided an opportunity for conference participants to understand how climate information was integrated into the SPCRs of the three pilot countries in Africa. With PPCR support, Mozambique, Niger and Zambia are undertaking scaled-up climate action and transformational change by integrating climate resilience in their national development planning.

Progress on the implementation of the ClimDev Africa Special Fund (CDSF) housed at the AfDB was also presented to the audience of experts in climate science research, applications and policy. “One of the aims of ClimDev is to increase Africa’s capacity to generate high quality climate information for sustainable development.

This requires efforts from the ClimDev partners to advocate for mobilizing more funds to create a solid foundation for Africa’s response to climate change. USD 40 billion are needed annually to address both adaptation and mitigation in Africa, which is a big challenge” explained Tounkara Samba Bocary, CDSF Interim Coordinator at the AfDB. During discussions, suggestions were provided on developing climate information and knowledge on agriculture and food production, water resources management, risk management, health, and adaptation planning.

The ACC 2013 gathered more than 300 scientists, climate change experts, representatives of national, regional, and international organizations, development partners, and users of climate information. They discussed the state of knowledge on the African climate system; identified current gaps in climate knowledge; identified priority areas and outlined an agenda to advance the frontiers of African climate research that will inform development and adaptation decisions; drafted a road map for mainstreaming climate information into decision making; and identified key African institutions to nurture pan-African research proposals.

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