African Scientists roots for Investment in Research to boost Climate Resilience

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows settlements in the Salabani village where the rising water levels of Lake Baringo have now flooded displacing entire villages near Marigat, Baringo county on the Kenyan Rift Valley, (Photo by CELINE CLERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Robust investments in climate research is key to inform the development of policies that boost the resilience of African communities in the face of extreme weather events, scientists said in Nairobi on Monday.

Catherine Ngila, acting executive director of the Nairobi-based African Academy of Sciences said that tackling under-funding towards climate research in the continent should be at the heart of its green pandemic recovery efforts.

“We need to mobilize resources to support African researchers to come up with expertise that is required to tackle the climate crisis in the continent,” said Ngila.

She said that African governments should leverage a partnership with industry and local philanthropies to boost climate research funding amid declining support from overseas donors.

According to Ngila, establishing a vibrant research and development infrastructure, training, mentorship and provision of grants to upcoming African climate researchers is key to hastening the green transition.

Kenya is hosting the virtual climate research summit convened by AAS and UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) to discuss innovative ways to scale up research and boost coping mechanisms for communities grappling with recurrent droughts, floods and spread of vector-borne diseases.

Jean-Paul Adam, director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management at UN-ECA said that investing in climate research will help inform mitigation and adaptation strategies required to accelerate low carbon development in the continent.

Adam said that climate research should focus on how to build the resilience of vulnerable groups like women besides promoting local solutions to climatic shocks that have escalated poverty, water stress, hunger and inequality in Africa.

Joseph Mukabana, Director, Regional Office for Africa and Least Developed Countries at World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that harmonized research initiatives are key to strengthen climate adaptation in Africa targeting critical sectors like agriculture, health and energy.

Mithika Mwenda, executive director of Nairobi-based Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, said that people-centered research is key to hasten the realization of a just, green and inclusive growth in the continent.

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