Vice Chancellor Releases Book On Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy Book

Victoria University focus on a research driven education continues to pay off after the Vice Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Krishna N. Sharma, released his latest book titled Advanced Techniques in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.

Prof. Sharma said that this 246 pages book is for physiotherapy and occupational therapy students and professionals. He adds that the book is designed after considering undergraduate and postgraduate PT/OT curricula of several international Universities.

“It encompasses 32 advance orthopedic/manual therapy, neurological, vestibular and cardiopulmonary physiotherapy and occupational therapy techniques,” he explains.

“The content is in-depth but precise and concise, written in simple English that makes almost all the chapters a 15 minutes read. The book is enhanced with easy-to-comprehend figures, flowcharts, and photographs,” he adds.

This book is published by Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd., New Delhi, India; a 50 years old leading medical publication with 3,500 titles in its list and 350 new products added each year.

Prof. Sharma was recently named the youngest Vice Chancellor in the world. He is a renowned academician and prolific author. He has written several books on medical and health sciences, music and literature and a few of them were listed in the bestsellers list on amazon.com.

Apart from academic management, he is also active in the field of pain management. After years of his experience and supervising more than 60 researches, he developed his own therapeutic manual therapy techniques- Krishna’s Kinetikinetic Manual Therapy (KKMT) which is being taught and practiced in several countries

Protect Natural Forests For Sustainable Development

By Jolly Bategeka

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day is celebrated and raises awareness on the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.

Uganda will join the rest of the world on March 21, 2019 to celebrate the International Day of Forests (IDF).  This day will be celebrated under the theme, 'Forests and Education.' It will seek to raise awareness on how sustainably managed forests provide a wide array of contributions in this area.

Uganda’s forests are an important and treasured natural asset contributing about 8.7% to the national economy based on conservative estimates (NEMA, 2011). According to the ministry of Water and Environment (State of Uganda’s forestry 2016), the forestry estate has shrunk from 23% of the total land area in 1990 to 9% in 2015. According to National Forestry Authority report in 2015, Uganda is losing 200,000Ha per year and if no action is taken to protect natural forests Uganda may not have natural forests by 2025.

Forests provide multiple benefits and sustainably managed forests give environmental benefits, sustainable economic development and improve the quality of life of people across the country. Forests provide habitats for many native flora and fauna species, renewable products and energy and contribute to the development of a green economy. Forests also provide a wide range of wood and non-wood products, clean water resources, and play a vital role in the mitigation of climate change.

A key objective of Uganda’s sustainable forest management is to protect and enhance the health and biodiversity of our forest resources, while ensuring they continue to provide a range of environmental, social and economic benefits for Uganda’s present and future generations.

The Albertine Region is blessed with different natural resources like Forests (Bugoma, Budongo, Kangombe central forest reserves etc), Animals, water bodies, Hills, minerals to mention but a few. Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is a tourism hub and is home to about 600 Chimpanzees’ and other endangered bird spices notably Nahan’s Francolin. It lies at the center of the migratory corridor for large mammals such as chimps and Elephants connecting to Budongo and Murchison Falls National Park from Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is a central forest for Bunyoro especially in the formation of rain and the fact that Uganda enjoys rain feed agriculture.

However Uganda’s forests especially in the Albertine region, Central Forest Reserves (Bugoma, Budongo, Kangombe, Rukara, Muziizi etc) are faced with continuously worsening trends through encroachment, deforestation and forest degradation through conversion of forest land to other land uses. These include agriculture, urbanization etc.

There is also rampant felling of trees for timber, firewood and charcoal burning on private and government land, rampant fires and livestock damage on forests. There is high population growth rate that has put a lot of pressure on natural resources especially forests. The increasing population requires more food to be produced which in turn requires opening up more land for agriculture.

This is partly attributed to weak institutions, uncoordinated implementation of policies between different sectors of the economy, insufficient funding, issues relating to governance in the forestry sector, Issues associated with illegal and unregulated trade of forest products and the unsecured forest rights, and limited capacity at all levels which has undermined effectiveness and efficiency in developing and sustainably managing forest resources in the Albertine Region. Lack of sufficient human resources and poor facilitation of the environmental police is another reason cited for the continued lack of effective management of our forests. 

Recommendations

Therefore I recommend that NFA urgently prioritize boundary opening. This is because lack of clear boundaries is the main excuse used by communities adjacent to Central Forest Reserves to encroach upon them and is the same reason that make it hard for NFA to enforce regulations when they themselves don’t know the boundaries.

Corruption and the practice of local officials conniving to a bet illegal activities in forestry reserves, especially illicit logging be firmly dealt with. While encroachers and illegal loggers have been prosecuted, Forestry officials that connive with them need to be prosecuted too so as to set an example

More forest personnel with a robust mandate need to be recruited and the welfare and incentives of the existing ones improved so as to reduce on the temptation to indulge in illegal activity. The numbers of environmental police needs to be increased so as to provide a more robust backing for forestry officials in their work

Land titles held in central forest Reserves need to be deeply investigated, the arrant officials be punished, tittles found to have been issued fraudulently should be scrutinized and recalled.

Forest restoration, Uganda should prioritize forest restoration. The main target should be to restore forest cover that has been lost. This should be done through Agro-forestry, community tree planting programme, corporate tree planting in forest reserves, tree talk foundations and green charcoal (addressing barriers to adoption of improved charcoal production technologies and sustainable land management practices through an integrated approach).

In conclusion, we need to combine all efforts to protect forests by stakeholders at all levels or else Uganda may have no any natural forest by 2025. 

The writer is a Project Officer-Forestry at Mid-Western Region Anti-Corruption Coalition    

AfDB's Prof. Nyong Named Among World's 100 Most Influential People In Climate Policy

The African Development Bank is pleased to announce  the nomination of Professor Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth, as one of the '100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy 2019' by Apolitical, a peer-to-peer learning platform for governments.

Nyong, a pioneering and globally recognized climate change expert, was named among the top 20 on the prestigious listing announced Wednesday in London.

Lisa Witter, Apolitical's Executive Chairman said: "The need to reduce greenhouse gas emission is urgent. 174 countries and the EU agreed to act at the Paris Agreements. At Apolitical, we highlight the good work that government does and help it to become even better. By showcasing these climate policy leaders, we hope to encourage more collaboration and exchange to accelerate the effective response to the global climate threat."

Nyong joined the Bank in 2008 and built up the Bank's climate change initiatives including its Green Growth Agenda. Prior to joining the Bank, he worked as a Senior Program Specialist for Climate Change at the International Development Research Centre in Nairobi.

In this role, Nyong successfully mobilized substantial resources to set up the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program that has significantly built adaptation capacity across the continent.

Prior to that, he was a Coordinating Lead Author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was a Co-Recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions. Mr. Nyong also served as a Professor of Climate Change at the University of Jos, Nigeria.

"We are delighted by this nomination of one of our own to this list," Bank Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott said. "It is a worthy recognition of his - and the Bank's -commitment to respond to climate change threats on our continent, which remains disproportionately affected."

Apolitical's '100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy' list celebrates inspirational leaders, politicians, advocates, youth activists, academics and diplomats from all over the world whose work is indispensable to raising awareness, such as Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who sparked off a worldwide movement to fight against global warming, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest ever US Congresswoman and lead advocate of the Green New Deal, Patricia Espinosa, and David Attenborough, world-renowned British historian.

The list was compiled from hundreds of nominations from governments, international organisations and academia, including the UNDP, Harvard, Oxford, Bloomberg, the Climate Action Network.

 "It is an honour to be acknowledged amongst such an influential list of leaders who are passionate and actively working to influence policy and make a tangible difference towards addressing global climate change," said Nyong.

"Climate change has evolved from an environmental worry to a threat on global development, particularly in Africa. The African Development Bank under the leadership of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has demonstrated a strong commitment at both policy and implementation level, to climate compatible development in Africa."

AfDB Pledges $25bn To climate finance For 2020-2025

The African Development Bank will double its climate finance commitments for the period 2020-2025, the Bank’s President announced today at the One Planet Summit taking place in Nairobi. Akinwumi A. Adesina said that the Bank would commit at least US$25 billion towards climate finance.

Speaking at a plenary in the presence of Heads of State, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and French President Emmanuel Macron, Adesina also announced the Bank is on course to achieve its target of allocating 40% of its funding to climate finance by 2020, a year ahead.

The Bank’s commitment on the target, the highest among all multilateral development banks, has progressed steadily from 9% in 2016 to 28% in 2017 and 32% in 2018.

Considering Africa’s high vulnerability despite contributing the least to climate change, the African Development Bank has successfully raised its adaptation finance from less than 30% of total climate finance to parity with mitigation in 2018. The African Development Bank will continue this trend into the future.

“The required level of financing is only feasible with the direct involvement of the entire financial sector,” said Adesina. “Consequently, the Bank launched the African Financial Alliance for Climate Change (AFAC) to link all stock exchanges, pension and sovereign wealth funds, central Banks and other financial institutions of Africa to mobilize and incentivize the shift of their portfolios towards low carbon and climate resilient investments.”

The Bank made another milestone announcement. “It is not good enough to simply ask countries to stay away from polluting technologies,” Adesina said. “We have to be proactive in exploring alternatives. We will therefore be launching the ‘green baseload’ facility under the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA 2.0) to provide concessional finance and technical assistance to support the penetration and scale-up of renewable energy, to provide affordable and reliable renewable energy baseload.”

Several donors, including Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Italy, the UK and USAID have indicated their interest in this transformative instrument, which will also help to replace coal. The African Development Bank has played a critical role in building Africa’s clean energy capacities.

The Bank’s last investment in a coal project was 10 years ago. Additionally, and in line with its ambitious New Deal on Energy for Africa, 95% of all Bank investments in power generation over the 2016-18 period have been in renewables.

The “Desert to Power” program, a $10 billion initiative to build a 10 GW solar zone across the Sahel—the largest in the world— would provide electricity for 250 million people.  Together with partners such as the Green Climate Fund and the EU, the Bank has now financed the first project under this Initiative: The Yeleen Rural Electrification Project in Burkina Faso.

One Planet Summit To Make Crucial climate change Case

Africa is responsible for only four per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but 65 per cent of its population is thought to be directly affected by climate change. So, in Nairobi, the One Planet Summit will illustrate the core truth at the heart of the climate change debate: global warming has an impact on everyone on the planet, whether or not they contribute substantially to it.

The OPS Nairobi Summit will showcase Africa’s strengths as a vibrant place for climate innovation and investments with advances in sustainable business models, climate smart agriculture, green bonds, and renewable energy Confirmed by French Republic President Macron, « We have all the means to act to fight against climate change. But one country or one business alone can’t save everyone.

That’s why we need the international meetings and coalitions to coordinate our efforts and strike hard. We need to act now to achieve our main goal: reduce our production of carbon which destabilizes the climate balance and causes impacts on our security and health. The next months will be full of opportunities to strengthen our joint effort and to create new partnerships”.

This is a response to Africa’s disproportionate burden as the result of climate change, the complex shifts that affect our planet’s weather and climate systems. Climate change encompasses not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather events, rising seas, and shifting wildlife populations and habitats.

Africa’s vast ecological wealth and unique natural ecosystems are especially susceptible, which is why Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta will launch a call to action at the Summit “to prevent, halt and reverse the loss of Africa's forests”.

Already the hottest continent, Africa is expected to warm up to 1.5 times faster than the global average, causing longer, more severe droughts, raging storms and floods and unpredictable rainfall. This will make it harder for African farmers to grow key crops such as wheat, rice and maize, thereby endangering food security.

Add to that the expected population spurt in Africa, the youngest continent, and the challenges are daunting. According to a UN report, Africa will have an additional 1.3 billion people by 2050. Most of the growth will happen in the cities, posing a challenge for African governments to ensure smart and sustainable urban planning.

This is the context within which Kenya’s decision to co-host the One Planet Summit and actively fight climate change becomes significant. In the run-up to the Summit, Monica Juma, cabinet secretary in Kenya’s ministry of foreign affairs, said, “We’ve begun to frame Nairobi as the world global environmental capital.” She indicated that Kenya was determined to upscale discussions on the sustainable use of natural resources in line with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

A lot of jargon has been thrown around – better land management, biodiversity protection, the promotion of renewable energy and the need to foster resilience and adaptation among populations vulnerable to the effects of climate change. These are not merely symbolic for Africa. They are substantial. The continent is uniquely placed in the climate change debate. It has both immense challenges and extraordinary opportunities.

Preservation of biodiversity is a key issue for the African continent. Experts say climate change, alongside land degradation and habitat loss, could cause some African animal species to decline by as much as 50 per cent by the end of the century. The threat to Africa’s forests is dire. Nearly 20 per cent of the African continent is covered by forests, including the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest, the Congo Basin Forest, known as the “green lung of Africa.”

As President Kenyatta will say in his call to action at the One Planet Summit, “forests constitute a resource of great economic, cultural, spiritual and scientific value whose disappearance would be irrecoverable”. In November, Patricia Espinsoa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “Few other places on earth suffer the devastating impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss like the continent of Africa.”

Some African entrepreneurs are already investing in innovation and green energy. Malian Samba Bathily, CEO of Africa Development Solutions, recently said that as he crossed the continent, he felt proud to have been “…involved in the production of more than 1,000 MW of hydro-electric power… the creation of data centres and solar installations in more than 1,600 localities, benefiting between nine and 10m people”. Bathily incidentally supports the two-year-old Ghana-headquartered AfroChampions Initiative, which seeks to build up homegrown multi-national companies across the continent. In itself, AfroChampions is a powerful indicator of African optimism and opportunity, despite the challenges.

Accordingly, the One Planet Summit in Nairobi could usefully signal to the wider world both an urgent need to act as well as deliberative intent. How?

The One Planet Summit seems to be built for innovation. Unlike other, more crusty United Nations climate change conferences, this summit is young. It was born on a whim and a prayer in December 2017, when Macron hosted more than 50 world leaders in Paris to celebrate the anniversary of the UN climate compact agreed in the French capital in 2015. America’s newly elected president Donald Trump had announced the withdrawal from the Paris pact of the United States, the world’s second biggest polluter after China.

The painfully forged international consensus on climate action seemed to be unravelling. There seemed little certainty about the fate of the pledges produced in Paris, under the aegis of the UN, to hold the increase in the global average temperature to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”. Macron’s One Planet Summit might well have been a one-off, an ambitious irrelevance.

It was not as the next One Planet Summit in New York was to reveal with greater adepts.

All the talk in New York was about green finance, collaboration and investing in the transition to de-carbonised economies. Disparate countries reported on actual progress as well as their very real problems. There was mention of two pan-African science skills courses, which were launched in July 2018 in Nairobi and Dakar.

This will be important in building an African scientific community to prepare for climate change and agricultural adaptation. Reported accomplishments included the incubation of seven programmes to support trans-boundary river basin organizations by the Agence Française de Développement and the World Bank is supporting the Niger Basin Authority. The 2018 One Planet Summit said 1.5 million euros had been committed to 30 countries in Africa, where 20 adaptation projects had already been identified.

This could be the right way to invest in the future. Joyce Msuya, a Tanzanian microbiologist who serves as Acting Executive Director of UN Environment, recently pointed to an example of African “ingenuity” when faced with climate change.

“On February 7,” she said, “a boat made entirely of recycled plastic — the world’s first — cruised into a quiet harbour in Zanzibar after two weeks at sea.” It was, Msuya added, a remarkable example of human ingenuity and offered the possibility Africa can affect “systemic change”.

Will it have the resources for it? Strategic assistance will be essential. After 2018, it became clear that the One Planet Summit was actively engaging and recruiting public and private actors in the fight against climate change. This will be key for Africa. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the continent will need $20 to 30 billion every year for the next two decades to help fund climate change adaptation and resilience and accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

When the Paris pact was being signed four years ago, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina declared "Africa has been short-changed by climate change. Africa must not be short-changed by climate finance."

The Nairobi Summit, which will bring together key world figures, CEOs and civil society leaders, must respond to the call to action.

Law Enforcement Failures Weakening Environment Protection

The first-ever global assessment of environmental rule of law finds weak enforcement to be a global trend that is exacerbating environmental threats, despite prolific growth in environmental laws and agencies worldwide over the last four decades.

Despite a 38-fold increase in environmental laws put in place since 1972, failure to fully implement and enforce these laws is one of the greatest challenges to mitigating climate change, reducing pollution and preventing widespread species and habitat loss, the UN Environment report found.

The report is being released as climate experts and political and economic leaders seek to address dire findings released in October by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which urged rapid action to transform the global economy at a speed and scale that has "no documented historic precedent."

"This report solves the mystery of why problems such as pollution, declining biodiversity and climate change persist despite the proliferation of environmental laws in recent decades, "David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment said, " Unless the environmental rule of law is strengthened, even seemingly rigorous rules are destined to fail and the fundamental human right to a healthy environment will go unfulfilled."

While international aid did help countries to enter into over 1,100 environmental agreements since 1972 and develop many environmental framework laws, neither aid, nor domestic budgeting, has led to the establishment of strong environmental agencies capable of effectively enforcing laws and regulations. The report authors identify multiple factors contributing to poor enforcement of environmental rule of law, including poor coordination across government agencies, weak institutional capacity, lack of access to information, corruption and stifled civic engagement.

"We have the machinery in the form of laws, regulations and agencies to govern our environment sustainably," Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of UN Environment said, " Political will is now critical to making sure our laws work for the planet. This first global assessment on environmental rule of law highlights the work of those standing on the right side of history — and how many nations are stronger and safer as a result."

The report details the many developments in environmental law since 1972, including the adoption of a constitutional right to a healthy environment by 88 countries, with another 65 countries having enshrined environmental protection in their constitutions. In addition, over 350 environmental courts and tribunals have been established in over 50 countries, and more than 60 countries have at least some legal provisions for citizens' right to environmental information.

"The international community can do more," Carl Bruch, Director of International Programs at the Environmental Law Institute said. "Too often donor support focuses on very specific areas of the environment, resulting in robust environmental programs in some areas, and no funding or attention to other areas.

This patchwork approach can undermine environmental rule of law by not providing consistency in implementation and enforcement and by sending confusing messages to the regulated community and the public.  As a result, many of these laws have yet to take root across society, and in most instances, the culture of environmental compliance is weak or non-existent."

The report devotes significant attention to one particularly worrying trend: the growing resistance to environmental laws, which has been most evident in the harassment, arbitrary arrests threats, and killing of environmental defenders. Between 2002 and 2013, 908 people — including forest rangers, government inspectors, and local activists –were killed in 35 countries, and in 2017 alone, 197 environmental defenders were murdered.

"The criminalization and increasing attacks on environment defenders are clear violations of environmental rule of law and an affront to the rights, roles and contributions of indigenous peoples and civil society in protecting our environment.  This report captures the prevailing lack of accountability, strong environmental governance and respect for human rights for the sustainability of our environment," said Joan Carling, indigenous rights activist and environmental defender from the Philippines.

The effective engagement of an informed civil society results in better decision making by government, more responsible environmental actions by companies, and more effective environmental law. The provision of periodic reports on domestic environmental quality, including on air quality and water quality helps achieve these goals.

Unfortunately, according to the Environmental Democracy Index, only 20 of 70 countries reviewed, or 28 percent, are ranked as "good" or "very good" in producing a regular, comprehensive, and current "State of the Environment" report.  In India, Thailand, and Uganda, data on pollution stemming from industrial facilities can only be obtained through a personal contact.

Electrifying The Deserts Of Africa

By Akani Chauke

During last week's Unlocking Solar Capital Africa conference, Solarplaza unveiled 'The Solar Future: Deserts of Africa', a new platform aimed at exploring the opportunities that accompany solar PV development in Africa's deserts. This new two-day event will be hosted in Dakar, Senegal on 13-14 March 2019.

"At Solarplaza, we want to facilitate the solar energy sector by expanding into new markets early on, markets that capture both opportunities and challenges. We believe that, by launching our African desert platform, we keep true to our mission of positively impacting the world by accelerating the sustainable energy transition," said Lydia van Os, Africa Lead and Project Manager at Solarplaza.

With a dispersed, but rapidly growing population, desert countries will need to tap into a combination of solar solutions, such as utility-scale power plants, mini-grids and off-grid applications, to create impact in regions that are disproportionately affected by climate change.

Fully realizing the true solar potential of the deserts of Africa will require a vast effort, one that will need to align visionary governments, courageous development finance institutions, pioneering investors and experienced developers. Solarplaza seeks to support these efforts by creating the right platforms, like The Solar Future: Deserts of Africa, for these parties to meet, share ideas and form effective partnerships.

As a preparation for this event, Solarplaza sought to take stock of the past, current and future initiatives related to the development of solar capacity in the African deserts, in order to provide context to the discussion we'll aim to incite during the event.

All of these desert solar initiatives as well as solar energy developments on a country level can be found in the brand new 'Desert Solar' report (Africa.TheSolarFuture.com/desert-solar-white-paper ).

For the purposes of this report, namely determining the scope and scale of renewable energy ambitions in the region, the report included both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power initiatives and projects.

African Financial Alliance on Climate Change Unveils Guiding Principles

The African Financial Alliance on Climate Change (AFAC) unveiled its guiding principles at the recently concluded Africa Investment Forum. Launched in June 2018, AFAC aims to increase financial sector participation in climate action, in order to raise the share of investments that support low-carbon and climate-resilient development in Africa.

Its Steering Committee, which provides overall direction and guidance, is constituted to ensure representation by key institutions within the African financial sector, namely central banks, insurance companies, sovereign wealth and pension funds, stock exchanges and commercial and development banks.

AFAC will mobilize private capital ?ow towards continent wide low-carbon and climate-resilient development, addressing four key areas:  knowledge sharing, instruments, disclosures, and risks and opportunities that are fit for the African ecosystem. Additionally, AFAC will help to position and align African financial actors as key stakeholders in the evolving global climate finance architecture, by proposing solutions and attracting capital for Africa's climate actions that support the Paris Agreement.

Commenting on AFAC, Bank's President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said, "Africa's financial actors need to work together creatively to mobilize global financial resources at scale to support local innovations that drive climate-resilient and low-carbon development on the continent. Having been short-changed by climate change, Africa must not be short-changed by climate finance."

In his address, Lord Nicholas Stern, the Steering Committee's Chair, said, "Failure to reach the Paris targets would be deeply damaging for the world as a whole, but more so for Africa. This Alliance is an important initiative for engaging Africa's financial sector to drive climate action. AFAC will form a vital foundation for climate-related governance, strategy, and risk-reward metrics towards low carbon and climate-resilient investments."

Also present at the unveiling, Rwanda Finance Minister Hon. Uzziel Ndagijimana lauded AFAC as instrumental in defining pathways that would help direct financial ?ows towards Africa's Nationally Declared Contributions and SDGs.

The Africa Investment Forum is an initiative of the African Development Bank organized in partnership with Africa Export-Import Bank, African Finance Corporation, Africa50, Development Bank of Southern Africa, European Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Trade and Development Bank.

The innovative marketplace is dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals.

AfDB Program To Boost Climate Change Financing

The African Development Bank on Tuesday approved the Africa Disaster Risks Financing (ADRiFi) Programme, the institution's first climate risk management programme to boost resilience and response to climate shocks in regional member countries.

The comprehensive programme, open to regional member countries, will enhance their ability to evaluate climate-related risks and costs, respond to disasters and review adaptation measures at both national and sub-national levels.

 It will also facilitate initial financing for countries in need of support.  The programme's initial phase is expected to run from 2019 to 2023.

The enhanced resilience and adaptation of countries to the negative impacts of climate change, as well as disaster risk insurance cover, will reduce the vulnerability of the poor to climate change and act as a safeguard against loss of livelihoods in communities, especially for smallholder farmers. Nine countries have already expressed interest in participating in the programme– Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.

"Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change, prone to a wide variety of natural disasters including droughts, floods and tropical cyclones. However, disaster risk management suffers from inadequate financing and challenges in the deployment of available funds", said Atsuko Toda, Bank Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development.

ADRiFi will promote disaster response mechanisms such as sovereign parametric index-based insurance, for which payouts will be disbursed automatically and in timely manner when a pre-defined risk threshold is exceeded. It is estimated that every US$ 1 spent on ex-ante intervention through the programme will save US$ 4.40 in ex-post disaster relief measures for a response carried out six months after the event.

 

 

Rising Temperatures Pushing Africans Into Poverty, Hunger

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report detailing progress and pathways to liming global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Responding to the report, Mr. Apollos Nwafor, Pan Africa Director of Oxfam International said Climate change has set the african planet on fire and already millions are feeling the impacts.

“The IPCC just showed that things can get much worse. Settling for 2 degrees would be a death sentence for people in many parts of Africa. The faster governments embrace the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods that will be spared.

"A hotter Africa is a hungrier Africa. Today at only 1.1 degrees of warming globally, crops and livestock across the region are being hit and hunger is rising, [i] with poor small scale women farmers, living in rural areas suffering the most. It only gets worse from here.

"To do nothing more and simply follow the commitments made in the Paris Agreement condemns the world to 3 degrees of warming. The damage to our planet and humanity would be exponentially worse and irreparable.

"None of this is inevitable. What gives us hope is that some of the poorest and lowest emitting countries are now leading the climate fight. We've moved from an era of 'you first' to 'follow me' - it's time for the rich world to do just that.

"Oxfam calls for increased, responsible and accountable climate finance from rich countries that supports small scale farmers, especially women to realize their right to food security and climate justice.

"While time is short, there is still a chance of keeping to 1.5 degrees of warming. We must reject any false solution like Large Scale Land Based Investments that means kicking small scale farmers off their land to make way for carbon farming and focus instead on stopping our use of fossil fuels, starting with an end to building new coal power stations worldwide."

Climate impacts in Africa:

Natural disasters such as droughts and floods have been thwarting development in the African continent. Fluctuations in agricultural production due to climate variations along with inefficient agricultural systems cause food insecurity, one of the most obvious indicators of poverty.  

The 2016 El Niño phenomenon, which was super charged by the effects of climate change, crippled rain-fed agricultural production and left over 40 million people foods insecure in Africa. Without urgent action to reduce global emissions, the occurrence of climate shocks and stresses in the Africa region are expected to get much worse.

 

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