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Climate Information for Decision Making—Focus on Peri-Urban Areas

The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Professorial Chair in Environment and Climate Change (MJNPC-ECC) of the University of Dar es Salaam is on behalf of CSAG, International START and CDKN organizing a three day workshop to pilot the methodology on co-development of knowledge for decision-making on adaptation to Climate Change in peri-urban areas.

Peri-urban areas are facing intensive land-use change pressures from urban encroachment (i.e. higher density development) that have implications for, among others, food production, water resources, biodiversity and flood risk management for cities. Peri-urban areas face unique challenges in that infrastructure and other urban services often do not keep pace with human settlement (both formal and informal), and governance in peri-urban areas can be weak where jurisdictions, policies and legal codes between urban and non-urban areas overlap and are often highly contested.

Representing the transition zone between urban and rural spheres, peri-urban areas can be difficult to precisely define, particularly where rapid urban growth is pushing the urban boundary outwards. In this workshop, we are not looking for a set spatial definition of the highly dynamic peri-urban area, rather we propose to think of this area as a set of characteristics that provide a lens through which issues of land-use, food and water resources and environmental services can be examined in the context of increasing climate risks. The set of characteristics we wish to propose for peri-urban areas are that they:

  • Have a mix of urban and rural land uses
  • Are experiencing rapid encroachment of urban settlements onto formerly agricultural lands and open public spaces – these sometimes include high risk areas, such as wetlands that regularly flood
  • Agricultural activities tend to be oriented to urban markets
  • Basic services and infrastructure for the urbanizing areas lag behind those in the urban core
  • Spatial planning policies and enforcement of land-use and environmental regulations tend to be weak
  • There are often limited employment opportunities in these areas and transport to urban centers is limited and costly

In this workshop, participants will be asked to consider these characteristics in the context of your city and determine key sectoral activities and environmental services of the peri-urban area and identify vulnerabilities these areas face, shaped by both climatic and non-climatic factors. This workshop presents a good opportunity to examine the peri-urban space across five cities (Lusaka, Maputo, Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Addis Ababa) with different climate regimes and ecosystems.

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