The Second African Climate Talks Concludes with Calls for Homegrown Solutions

 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 23 March 2018 - Africa should focus more on building internal solutions to its problems rather than depend on international partners to solve its challenges. This was the dominant message at the end of the two-day meeting on the Talanoa Dialogue: African Climate Talks II (ACT!-II) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
 
Participants at the talks on the theme “Market policy versus market mechanisms in the implementation of the Paris Agreement”, called for African initiatives to address the continent’s climate problems. They advocated for holistic African approaches to help the region in its climate change mitigation, adaptation and in addressing it's exposure and vulnerability to constantly increasing climate impacts.
 
Mr James Murombedzi, Officer in Charge of Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) underscored that Africa continues to have the least capacity for climate information services (CIS), a concern that the Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) programme is addressing. “WISER seeks to demonstrate the socio-economic benefits (SEB) of investing in CIS. Apart from investing in CIS, we should also build the capacity of decision makers to be able to analyse and integrate CIS in policy,” Murombedzi said. He added that WISER is also supporting development of climate research for development (CR4D) for CIS to be fully integrated in policy making.
 
Prof Laban Ogallo, University of Nairobi, urged for use of historical data which is available to solve climate problems.
“The future is now. Indigenous knowledge is vital and we should make use of it together with right technologies to predict the future,” he said. Dr Buruhani Nyenzi, a consultant from Tanzania called for meteorologists to be involved in the negotiations to provide good climate information. “Combine adaptation and CIS for good results and advocacy on how to apply this knowledge at the grassroots,” Nyenzi said. On his part, Dr Amos Makarau, formerly of Zimbabwe Meteorological Services called for integration of IKS in early warning systems in in-country networks to increase observation and fill gaps in spatial coverage. He stressed the need to regulate issuance of climate information to protect producers and users.
 
Youth representatives at the meeting advocated for their greater inclusion in decision making forums. “Expose the youth to challenges of policy making now so that they can know how better to find solutions rather than just be observers as the region suffers,” said Chinma George from Nigeria.
Barbara Nakangu from Makerere University, Uganda, urged the youth to join politics and be part of decision and policy making.
 
On the globe's continued warming, Dr Webster Whande of CDKN, South Africa said the continent should develop tools to assess its collective progress of achieving the 1.5 degrees centigrade. Dr Robert Mbeche of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya added that various agreements under UNFCCC and other agreements have not slowed down carbon emissions and temperatures are rising towards 3 degrees centigrade.
 
The more that 170 participants in attendance lastly recommended that engineers, climate resilience experts and disaster risk managers should work together to save the continent from losing money on infrastructure such as roads, bridges that are being washed away by floods yearly.