CCAFS / Climate change / East Africa / Environment / Mazingira / SLS

Better information and inclusive participation key to enable African farmers cope with changing climate

The Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (ACSAA) held its second annual forum in Nairobi on 11–13 October 2016 which discussed Africa’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs).

Under the Paris Agreement that seeks to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, countries publicly outlined the climate actions they intended to take, known as their INDCs.

A parallel session by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa and partners at the forum brought together stakeholders to discuss research, analysis and facilitation of stakeholders’ participation in INDC implementation. Participants identified timely access to the right information and inclusive participation as key factors critical for successful climate smart agriculture implementation.

The session was facilitated by Todd Rosenstock from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and included speakers from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Southern Africa Alliance, OXFAM and the Youth Alliance on climate smart agriculture. Rosenstock called for more debates around the progress made in climate smart agriculture to generate more ideas on how it can be further implemented.

ILRI’s Lutz Merbold said INDCs play an important role in GHG emissions management by focussing on the environmental footprint of systems and how to move towards low emissions development strategies. See his presentation below:

Targeting, research and stakeholder participation were highlighted as fundamental components of climate smart agriculture and the meeting brought to the fore the need to create more awareness and promote inclusive stakeholder involvement for women, the youth and private sector in climate smart farming.

In emphasizing the role of research in improving the INDCs, Merbold said research, such as that carried out at ILRI’s Mazingira Centre, can provide accurate context-specific data and helps to building capacity among stakeholders.

But farmers in the continent are in most cases unable to take appropriate action because of limited knowledge about GHG emissions and the importance of climate smart agriculture.

Second Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance- Annual Forum

Beatrice Manake, a farmer from Botswana, speaking at the event

‘It is not that we do not care about climate smart agriculture; it is because we do not know’ said Beatrice Manake, a farmer from Botswana.

The need for country-specific GHG emission factors was also noted as a significant contributing factor towards ratification of INDCs by African countries.

Read more about CCAFS East Africa and ILRI’s efforts towards region-specific GHG inventories here and here.


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