African experts and policymakers have expressed joint concern over the vulnerability of African communities to the adverse effects of climate change.
Some 200 sustainable development experts are meeting to discuss climate adaptation strategies, with particular emphasis on the state of climate change across West Africa, the African Union (AU) disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday. The forum, which is being held under the joint umbrella of the AU Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is being held under the theme “Climate Change — from Vulnerability to Adaptation.”
Noting that the communities vulnerability to climate change is manifested in perennial flooding and coastal erosion, among other hazards, the 55-pan African bloc said in a statement issued on Wednesday that the “these phenomena must be tackled through adaptation strategies, integrated management and concerted international action.” The AU Commission, through its Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa), brings together major African actors in the fight against climate change that envisaged driving key continental initiatives on the management of the environment and mitigation of the impacts of climate change.
AU Commission Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology, Mahama Ouedraogo, said during the high-level regional climate change-themed meeting that the multifaceted negative effects of climate change requires both indigenous as well as collective awareness and responsibility. “This is crucial for the attainment of the aspirations pronounced in the African Agenda 2063,” the AU official stressed.
According to the AU, the high-level forum mainly envisaged serving as a platform for experts and policymakers to analyze the causes and impacts of climate change on livelihoods, and to strengthen knowledge on solutions, including adaptation, mitigation and resilience building. It also featured discussions on how GMES and Africa’s successes in entrepreneurship and partnership building can be valuable lessons for similar continental programs operating in natural resource management and climate governance, it was noted.