First African Climate Risks Conference Showcases Climate Research in Africa
UN Photo/Marco Dormino
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Sessions during the African Climate Risks Conference sought to holistically address the opportunities and challenges related to climate change adaptation action in Africa.

In closing remarks, the organizers highlighted, among other issues, the importance of capacity development and African leadership, the “last mile” problem and scaling, finance, and uncertainty in climate predictions in Africa, and the need to make the economic case for weather and climate information services.

Held under the theme, ‘Dismantling Barriers to Urgent Climate Change Adaptation Actions,’ the first African Climate Risks Conference (ACRC) provided an open platform for sharing the latest climate research in Africa among researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and development partners.

The ACRC convened from 7-9 October 2019, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was hosted by the Future Climate for Africa programme in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s African Climate Policy Center (UNECA-ACPC), and the University of Addis Ababa. The Department for International Development (DFID), UK, and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK, funded the conference, which attracted more than 350 participants.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary of the event reports that sessions during the African Climate Risks Conference sought to holistically address the opportunities and challenges related to climate change adaptation action in Africa. The conference was structured across eight themes:

  • latest research on climate science of Africa;
  • latest research on the science and projections of future climate change in Africa; 
  • climate change risk analysis; 
  • delivering resilience in the face of climate change uncertainty; 
  • co-production of knowledge; 
  • information distillation and communication; 
  • mobilizing investment in climate and weather services; and 
  • the water-energy-food-health nexus.

Among other discussion topics, participants considered: the status of climate research in Africa and the success stories of bringing this research into use while also investigating the challenges to have climate information integrated into decision and policy making for a resilient Africa; the future of climate research on the continent; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Reports on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and on Climate Change and Land; climate services initiatives in Africa; urban challenges related to climate change adaptation; multi-level governance in enabling climate-resilient development; multidisciplinary approaches to climate change risk analysis; and links between climate adaptation and the agriculture and water sectors.

In their closing remarks, the organizers highlighted discussions on challenges and opportunities related to, inter alia: capacity development and African leadership; the “last mile” problem and scaling, finance, and uncertainty in climate predictions in Africa; making the economic case for weather and climate information services, and developing national frameworks for climate services; and research to support socioeconomic development and to understand impacts. Ernest Afiesimama, WMO, highlighted the expectation that this “first” ACRC would be followed by subsequent conferences. [ENB Coverage of ACRC]


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