SASSCAL, its West African counterpart WASCAL and the German Mittweida University of Applied Sciences recently hosted the Climate Forum 2023 during which researchers shared findings and experiences on challenges faced due to climate change and possible adaptation strategies for the southern African and West African regions.
The forum, titled “Climate Forum 2023: Science for Sustainable Livelihoods”, was held from 13 – 16 June.
The Mittweida town Mayor, Ralf Schreiber, Rector of Mittweida University, Prof Dr Volker Tolkmitt, SASSCAL and WASCAL officials spoke during the welcoming session of the forum.
Dr Wilfried Kraus of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, set the tone for the pursuing proceedings with his keynote address “The Role and Importance of Capacity Building for Sustainable Development in Africa in the Context of Climate Change”, followed by another address on “The Power of Narrative in Creating a Circular Economy” by Prof Dr. Sina Leipold, Head of the Department of Environmental Politics at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
The three-day forum was a hype of activity with its speeches, presentations, and a panel discussions.
The panel discussion on “Securing Livelihoods under changing climate” sensitized participants on the fundamentals of livelihoods beyond having the basic necessities and aspiring for prosperity.
Climate change impacted livelihoods negatively affecting their families and communities through the loss of basic needs but also highlighted the impact in the context of gender, social background, economic status and geographic location.
As part of the forum, SASSCAL hosted a session on “Climate Change: Real Stories from Africa”. SASSCAL Director of Science, Technology and Capacity Development, Dr Budzanani Tacheba provided insight into the plight and challenges faced by southern Africa due to a changing climate.
He highlighted the growing importance of accurate research and science in ensuring preparedness and mitigation for the extreme events plaguing the region.
Mr. Morris Manyika from the SASSCAL Zambia Node presented research on “Strengthening Community Adaptation and Resilience to climate change through ecosystem-based solutions”, by demonstrating a number of drought indicators for Angola while Ms. Sylvia Thompson from the SASSCAL Regional Secretariat, provided an overview of the SASSCAL 2.0 Research Programme being implemented from 2023 to 2026.
In addition, Jimmy Katambo, a SASSCAL Graduate Studies Programme in Integrated Water and Resource Management PhD student from the Namibia University of Science and Technology recited a thrilling poem on climate change in southern Africa, that captured the audience’s attention and made them feel the effects of a changing region due to climate change.