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NEWS: CDKN supports dialogue on IPCC science at this week’s African Climate Risks Conference

CDKN is exhibiting and organising side events at the African Climate Risks Conference from 7-9 October in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The main focus of CDKN’s engagement will be to promote better understanding and dialogue about the implications of the IPCC’s Special Reports on Climate Change and Land, and Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. We’ll be asking: What does the science say about climate impacts on African societies and economies? What are some of the most promising solutions and what should decision-makers do differently?

Side events

CDKN will be hosting two side events on Wednesday 9th October, one for each Special Report.

The first session, The IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate: Presentation and policy response, will be at 11.00-13.00. In this seminar, IPCC Coordinating Lead Author James Kairo will present the Special Report’s headline findings on Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low Lying Islands, Coasts and Communities and Changing Ocean, Marine Ecosystems, and Dependent Communities. The seminar will continue by providing a platform for a range of African policy-makers, business and civil society leaders to respond formally to the Special Report’s findings – by discussing its implications for key development decisions that are being made in sub-Saharan Africa now – particularly on exposed coastlines.

Professor Chris Gordon of the University of Ghana shall provide a commentary on the resonance of the IPCC Special Report’s issues with current development priorities in Ghana and will, furthermore, comment on key evidence gaps in the Special Report and promising directions for new research. Lillian Mwihaki of Edinburgh Napier University will describe her extensive field experience in understanding the different impacts on women and men of changing fisheries yields in the Western Indian Ocean countries; while Anne Wanjiru of the Mikoko Pamoja mangrove restoration project in coastal Kenya will give insights from the community perspective. Genito Maure will describe a ‘City Learning Lab’ for integrating climate information into urban planning in Maputo, Mozambique. Jacqueline Uku, President of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association-WIOMSA, will unpack the political implications of the report for governments of the region. Edna Odhiambo, a Kenyan lawyer, will bring her legal view to the challenges of sea level rise and its impacts on her country’s coastline.

The second session, The IPCC’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land: Presentation and policy response, will be held at 14:00-15:30, chaired by CDKN’s Robi Redda and with a keynote address from Tony Knowles, IPCC Lead Author. This seminar will encourage attendees to consider the Special Report’s implications for development policy and practice. There will be a particular opportunity to ‘unpack’ the science around interlinkages between desertification, land degradation, food security and greenhouse gas fluxes: and what it means for sustainable development choices in African contexts. We shall consider the risks and opportunities of land-based climate change mitigation and adaptation pathways for sustainable development. The seminar will begin with a presentation of the Special Report’s headline findings. We will then invite speakers from policy, business and civil society to respond formally to the Special Report’s findings – by discussing its implications for key development decisions that are being made in sub-Saharan Africa now.

Hon. Bernice Adiku Heloo, a Member of the Parliament of Ghana, will respond to the findings and their implications for government policy-makers. She represents the people of the Hohoe Constituency in the Volta Region and is a former Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. She will be joined in her response by Bernice Mpere-Gyekye of Pro-Link Ghana, who works closely with rural women’s groups on exploring the potential of climate-smart agriculture. Janet Ngombalu of the East African Grains Council will describe how her industry association is disseminating information about climate change impacts and climate-compatible solutions among its many members along the grain value chain.

Journalist training

On Monday 7 October, CDKN will be facilitating a training for Africa-based journalists on what the Special Reports mean for sub-Saharan Africa. The training is designed to enable participants to obtain a grounding in:

  • Why the IPCC’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land is important, and what it says about climate change and land interactions, and the impacts on food security and human society, that’s new or different.
  • Why the IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate is important, and what it says about the impacts of sea level rise, warming oceans, melting ice and other climate change on African societies, that’s new or different.

Headline scientific findings will be presented by expert lead authors of the two Special Reports, and there will be time for journalists to ask follow-up questions and understand the range of inter-linked issues through case studies. Further, the session is designed for journalists to have the opportunity to ask the IPCC authors and CDKN for key contacts for follow up investigations and interviews.

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