An expert says climate change is getting in the way of implementing national development plans aimed at the realisation of sustainable development goals. “For instance, Namibia, the region, its people and its natural resources are extremely vulnerable to predicted impacts of climate change,” said programme coordinator of the Namibia Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) office Eric Ndala during a regional workshop in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) hybrid GMES and Africa, this week.
“It is also apparent that although some efforts are underway to test adaptation approaches and understand the impacts of climate change better, Namibia as well as the entire region, need to be thoroughly prepared in the short, medium and long term, and SASSCAL can offer some solutions.” He added, given the reliance of the majority of the population on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, biodiversity, wood and forestry, the potential impacts of these changes could be catastrophic for the people. He said climate change will bring a host of new challenges and opportunities for which people need to be thoroughly prepared.
Speaking at the same event was Tidiane Ouattara, the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa GMES and Africa Coordinator, African Union Commission, who said Africa must work on promoting crossfertilisation of ideas and innovation among consortia, facilitating easier access to data, and expanding the space for the private sector’s participation.
“It is equally important that consortia work on improving results by making training more relevant, effective and inclusive, and by ensuring deeper communication and engagement with end-users. This workshop, therefore, serves as an exclusive platform to elevate discussions with partners, stakeholders and users on project impacts at the regional level, and to engage policy and decision-makers as well as other actors in expressive dialogues that leverage their ideas and contributions,” he said.
Ouattara said it is an opportunity to have the projects relay their story, for deepening awareness about what they are doing on a national and domestic scale. The GMES and Africa Initiative is a programme formed out of cooperation between Africa and Europe with a focus on Earth Observation (EO) systems. It was formed to respond to the global need to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security by providing information to policymakers, scientists, the private sector and the public.