20 May 2009

Africa - Climate Change: From Awareness to Adaptation

The need to reduce climate impacts on communities, homes and public institutions has informed the Environment and Development in the Third World (ENDA), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) to team up with Institute of Development Studies and create AfricaAdapt.

Established to reduce human vulnerabilities in an age when climate change becomes a threat, FARA coordinator, Ms Jackeline Nman said AfricaAdapt “is the first pan-African network dedicated to climate change adaptation on the continent.” Agreed that it has brought untold stories of miseries on families and communities in the last decade, Nman said the network was created “to reduce human suffering and vulnerabilities, which climate change often occasion.”

She said the network took cognisance of some constraint to realising its set objectives. Nman said “AfricaAdapt will overcome linguistic and geographical divides ensuring that knowledge that can help vulnerable communities adapt to the changes taking place is accessible to anybody exploring responses to climate change.” The network is using different fora and media to create climate change awareness and inculcate a culture of climate adaptation that can help mitigate climate impacts. This is evident in the statement of FARA coordinator when she said the network “depends on interactive website, our events, specialised radio broadcasts and support for innovation will facilitate the sharing of knowledge on how to reduce climate impacts on Nigeria with other researchers and vulnerable communities across the continent. AfricaAdapt is free to access and open to any individuals and organisations working on climate change adaptation in Africa.

“The website will be a platform connecting users according to their areas of interest and their activities. We believe African media have a key role to play in facilitating the sharing of knowledge with our communities. This is why we will work with community-based radio stations and seek opportunities to collaborate with journalists across the region. Such experiences and research could help vulnerable communities elsewhere in Africa to adapt to climate change. This is what AfricaAdapt was set up to do,” Nman stated.

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