from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls
VICTORIA FALLS – CLIMATE experts have urged Africa Union member states to invest in scientific research on weather conditions in order to address recurrent global warming related catastrophes.
Such catastrophes include cyclones and heat waves that threaten food insecurity.
Climate experts attended a closed door workshop in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, to find institutional linkages for South-South partnerships and capacity building.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) facilitated the workshop.
The aim of the workshop was to seek ways of coming up with objective climate forecasts for agriculture and food security in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Munesu Munodawafa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment in Zimbabwe said the intensity and frequency of disruptions in natural and socio-economic systems caused by climate change requires African led and demand driven research in the areas of mitigation, adaptation, resilience building as well as capitalizing on emerging opportunities.
He said Africa should now be pro-active in dealing with climate change issues.
“Appropriate finance for research, dissemination and use of results in adaptation planning has not been adequately provided to the climate science community,” Munodawafa said.
“This should change if we are to tackle the envisaged impacts of climate change on the agriculture and food security sector. Climate related decisions, adaptation actions and resilience building across all socio-economic sectors as envisioned by the Paris Agreement should be based on the best available science which can only be obtained if adequate funding is available,” he added.
Munodawafa said as the world prepares for the 26th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in October and November, the need for climate finance that is directed towards research and systematic observation in Africa should be prioritised.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change calls for strengthening scientific knowledge on climate including research, systematic observation of climate system and early warning systems in a manner that informs climate services and supports decision making.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) also recommends the establishment of objective seasonal forecasting approaches in regional climate outlook through adoption of suitable practices and capacity development efforts.
Dr James Murombedzi, a climate expert from Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC-UNECA) said weather plays an important role in agricultural production as it influences crop growth, development of yields, incidence of pests and diseases, water needs and fertilizer requirements.
He said national meteorological services and partner institutions are expected to be fully equipped and capacitated to localize information provided by regional centres.
Some Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries were hit by Cyclone Idai in 2019, which claimed hundreds of people’s lives while leaving a trail of property destruction as well as livestock.
More cyclones are predicted in the 2021-2022 rainy season.
– CAJ News