‘Enhance capacity of communities to adapt to climate change’

DAR ES SALAAM: RESEARCHERS have underscored the need for enhancing the capacity of communities to adapt to climate change and identify mitigation measures which are appropriate to their local settings.

This was said during the Climate Adaptation Research Programme (CARP) workshop, geared towards improving disaster preparedness and planning in Africa by providing applied research funds and complementary networking and training opportunities to young and early career scholars at higher education institutions in the Global South.

The CARP workshop which is hosted by Ardhi University (ARU) in Dar es Salaam was attended by 70 participants from different countries including South Africa, USA, Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Cameroon and hosts Tanzania.

The main aim of the workshop is to build a foundation of research activities, by creating a community of engaged academic scholars that engage with government leaders, practitioners, and local communities to address climate adaptation challenges.

In January this year, President Samia Suluhu Hassan called for collaborative efforts between governments and the private sector, to mitigate and adapt to effects of climate change as well as steering the globe towards smooth energy transition.

Dr Samia made the call in Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) during a panel discussion with a title; “Repowering the World.”

“In Tanzania, we are also affected by climate change and we have made changes to some of our policies to cope with the situation.

“We have been working with the private sector to mitigate effects of climate change. Tanzania is ready to invite private sector from other parts of the world since we have required resources and determination,” she commented.

Dr Samia said collaborative efforts between countries will play a crucial role in addressing the challenge since some are blessed with technology while other countries endowed with resources.

Speaking during the opening of the workshop on Monday, Vice-Chancellor of Ardhi University (ARU), Professor Evaristo Liwa said that the workshop also aimed at empowering the communities through co-production of knowledge in assessing their needs and potential risks of climate change in the quest for pragmatic interventions.

“It is a known fact that climate change and variability impact communities in many ways and therefore, working with the communities in exploring adaptation measures, which suit their local contexts is indispensable,” Prof Liwa said.

He said that the workshop participants will be more empowered and the acquired skills and knowledge which will enhance their research capacity to engage with communities in the co-production of knowledge for devising effective climate change adaptation measures and enhancement of communities’ resilience to disasters.

He further noted that the workshop has been organised for enhancing the capacity of partner universities in climate change adaptation and risk and vulnerability reduction in the African Continent in line with the core objective of the Partners Enhancing Resilience for People Exposed to Risks (PERIPERI U) initiative.

“Periperi U being the initiative of higher learning institutions is committed to advance actions on risk and vulnerability reduction on the African Continent through knowledge creation, sharing and transmission of the same” he added

CARP which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), promotes a new generation of applied climate adaptation research in Africa with a focus on the impacts and implications for disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and strategies.

The objectives of the workshop including to collaboratively create a vision for the CARP community and a sense of identity around what it means to be a CARP researcher and to showcase the different research projects and engage in peer learning around the research.

Other objective is to identify gaps and opportunities for capacity building and peer-to-peer mentorship among researchers to support a strategy for engagement.

During this year to 2024, 33 research teams, composed of over 125 researchers across 11 different African countries are conducting climate adaptation research with a focus on its impacts and implications for humanitarian assistance and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policies and strategies.

The CARP is managed by the University of Arizona (United States) in partnership with Stellenbosch University (South Africa), which hosts the PERIPERI U Network.

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