Climate experts and researchers on Monday stressed the necessity for advancing scientific cooperation to effectively prepare for the impacts of climate change during an international research forum held in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
Macharia Kamau, a Kenyan diplomat, emphasized the importance of robust climate science and the integral role of leadership, political will, solidarity and gender equity in addressing climate change.
The forum called for bridging the North-South gap in scientific research and understanding that climate change affects the entire planet. Decision-makers were urged to rely on comprehensive climate science to predict and plan for climate change impacts.
Rwandan Minister of Environment Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya highlighted Rwanda’s commitment to climate research and action as the host of the Open Science Conference of the World Climate Research Program, which drew over 1,400 experts.
The conference aimed to align climate science advances with the pace of climate change, with a focus on making climate information widely available and context-relevant. The event is hosted by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority and the University of Rwanda.
Helen Cleugh, the co-chair of the conference, acknowledged the inadequate research funding in regions vulnerable to climate change. “This conference is taking place in the heart of Africa, where, as with other places in the Global South, there is inadequate research funding in the same places where society is disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.”
The forum convened against a backdrop of prolonged and unprecedented heat, record-low Antarctic sea ice extent and record-high greenhouse gas concentrations. The outcomes of the forum will be included in the “Kigali Declaration,” scheduled for presentation at the 28th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates in December.