By Padili James Mikomangwa, Daily News/NECJOGHA
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania –With no doubt, knowledge has been a paramount currency in translating development aspects over space and time, and yet it has been found to be quite effective against climate risks adaptation within the African climate change landscape.
The latter has been expounded during the African Climate Risk Conference which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia between October 7th and 9th, 2019, attracting a diverse range of experts on climate, philosophy, and finance who shared their insights on crucial aspects to explore for a comprehensive co-production of knowledge between science, business, policy, practice and local communities.
Throughout the conference various vital issues were raised, exposing rather actionable ideas necessary for handling climate risk sustainably, but more importantly involving viable stakeholders, who have been taking keen interest in studying African climates and uncertainties, impacting development plans.
Dr Robert Manteaw- Research Fellow -University of Ghana, with significant experience in climate change resilience, came forth with a rather robust angle on exploring co-production of knowledge, that integrates an ignored aspect across African communities and that is data.
Dr Manteaw’s idea reflects on climate-informed decision making in data-poor environments: enhancing climate risk management through knowledge co-production Networks in Local Communities in Africa.
According to Dr Manteaw data-poor environment or data poverty, is rather the absence of long-term planning organization of information to make it usable and fashionable for decision making.
“A lot of adaptation efforts in Africa, in particular, are constrained, by the fact that we lack data on climate information services,” Dr Manteaw comments.
According to Dr. Manteaw, due to lack of respective data across Africa, smallholder farmers are left with no choice and tend to rely on their own experiences and knowledge in their practices.
Additionally, when it comes to various efforts within climate change adaptation grounds (which is a climate risk monument), these efforts have proven to be incoherent, due to lack of reliable, accessible and salient information.
“This reflects the broader challenge we face a lot in our countries, the lack of a culture of systematic monitoring, collection and documentation of evidence-based data to support climate risk management or decision making,” he adds.
Data aversion and mismanagement is a concerned sub-culture in most of Africa, which implies lack of relevant information and learning cultures in managing climate risks. Systematic monitoring of data is a crucial aspect for entire Africa to hold-dear, whereby the inadequate capacities of nations across Africa to collect climate-based data for informed decisions.
Despite the latter, Dr. Manteaw—calls for the creation of a co-production of knowledge within communities, involving vital stakeholders such as extension officers and researchers to generate and validate new climate knowledge, but also establishment of farmers support groups to share farm-based operations and validate their ideas, on a more informed evidence-based data.
On the other hand, Ms. Emmah Mwangi – a climate researcher- International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs, highlighted crucial points within anticipatory drought risk management, expounding various challenges and prospects emerging in Kenya.