Africa responding to climate risks

7th June 2016
Over March, the Eldis Climate Change Resource guide is showcasing regional content from Africa, Asia and Latin America. This week we focus on Africa.

We know that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and evidence from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) shows that 'climate change is expected to have widespread impacts on African society and Africans’ interaction with the natural environment. Given the strong reliance on small scale agriculture as a source of food security and exponentially growing cities that need access to growing amounts of water, energy and food, climate change risks are being (and will be) experienced in a variety of ways, especially for those who are already vulnerable. Pro-active and coordinated governance structures, adequate investments and resources and strong citizen engagement are key for effective responses.

V. Atakos - flickr

At the end of February, two events were hosted in the African region. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, an international Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa focused on 'fostering African resilience and capacity to adapt'. In Kigali, Rwanda, diverse stakeholders and experts came together to examine the 2015 El Niño impacts and lessons learned in the Greater Horn of Africa. Both these events showcased regional experience, learning and good practice.

In 2015, Joseph Dr. Johnson Nkem, a senior Climate Change Adaptation Expert based in the African Climate Policy Centre in UNECA, wrote a blog for Eldis discussing possible development trajectories for Africa in response to climate change, and how a shift in narrative could help Africa economically develop whilst responding to climate change long term impacts. You can read his full blog here.


Image Source: V. Atakos | Flickr