Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 6 December 2017 – On this day, the African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) hosted delegations from African embassies based in Addis Ababa to a briefing on the role of climate information services (CIS) in development planning.
Speaking at the opening of the event, James Murombedzi, ACPC Officer in Charge, underscored to the participants the need to demonstrate benefits of CIS by instituting concrete interventions that confer solutions to the impacts of climate change related disasters. He further noted the imperative to integrate CIS in the sectors that are affected by climate impacts, such as poverty reduction, health and infrastructure. The challenge however, is firstly to demonstrate what CIS can contribute to climate informed planning and decision making. Lastly, Mr. Murombedzi lauded the briefing of ambassador’s event, as it serves to reinvigorate the engagement of ambassadors as key constituency in the policy making landscape.
Mr. Frank Rutabingwa, the Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) coordinator, recalled the mandate of the ACPC, to integrate climate change into development planning with a view to accelerate development pace towards the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs). He noted that the creation of the center remains relevant today as climate challenges in development become even more precarious.
Participants followed keenly the presentation on the definitions and objectives of investing in and utilizing CIS in the continent. They voiced interest to further understand the initiatives and interventions the ACPC is undertaking, and ways to engage with the Center for the benefit of their countries.
The ambassador of the Comoros highlighted the unique needs and challenges faced by the small island developing states (SIDS), which heavily depend on the blue economy, whose sectors such as tourism and fisheries are significantly and negatively impacted by climate change. He proposed a role for religious leaders in sensitizing communities on the benefits of protecting the environment.
The representative from Chad decried the impact of climate change, which he averred is not only economical but also presents a threat to national and regional security. For example, in Chad the Lake is shared with many countries, but as the lake is currently drying out, its creating a security issue around the basin.
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