What is the effect of climate change on dryland pastoralists and smallholder farmers in Africa? And how can communities be involved with building resilience?

Care International Learning Program Adaptation for Africa (ALP), the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and African Insect Science for Food and Health (ICIPE) are currently co-directs the activity learning “the Community-Based Adaptation and resilience in dryland East and South Africa.”

The event is designed to be a learning experience for professionals, researchers and policy makers and has brought together 80 participants, trying to raise awareness on adaptation and resilience and the application of best practices.

Africa’s climate is changing rapidly, and aggressively

The African climate has been changing a lot, and it is very difficult for meteorologists to give correct predictions. The same problem also applies to the use of indigenous knowledge where communities are not quite sure about trusting people who have saved the old and traditional knowledge, and want to bring back to society. These changes in climate affect the poorest in society, including farmers and small-scale herders, who are unable to protect their homes and livelihoods of external climatic events.

Successful adaptation and resilience, capacity building demands at all levels and integration between disciplines.

This point was reiterated by Maren Radeny Officer CCAFS scientist for East Africa, who noted that “the conclusions of the recently published report called IPCC urgency in adapting to climate change. Recognizing that climate change is not static, we have to come with dynamic solutions for adapting to climate change and where possible integrate mitigation.

For example, Maren noted that the research is taking CCAFS climate smart peoples as a model for addressing climate change in the agricultural sector. The villages are areas where farmers, researchers, development agents, the private sector and government work together to test the climate-smart agricultural interventions.

Read all blogs on climate-smart people focus across our regions

Ato Berthanu, Director of Environment, Assessment and Reporting Directorate, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ethiopia, said Africa needs to build resilience in order to cope with climate change. In this sense, community-based approaches have the potential to develop the capacity of communities to cope with the impacts of climate change.
Learning should lead to a change

During the opening ceremony, Garth Van Hul, Country Director of CARE Ethiopia stressed that the need for meaningful learning is greater than ever, and these events are opportunities for participants to take their time to learn from different stakeholders.

Looking ahead, Fiona Percy, Regional Coordinator, Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP) CARE International, said the lessons shared during the learning event will be used to prepare the critical events in 2015 and 2015 Framework for Reducing Post Disaster Risk (HFA) and 21 Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention of the United Nations Climate Change.
The construction of the main wall living

During the next four days, participants will work together to build the main living wall. After the first day’s discussions, some of the building blocks were emerging: decision making under uncertainty, governance-agency-rights, changing the face of drylands, the integration of knowledge sources, the interactions of multiple stakeholders, the community-based and measuring resilience approach.