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3 Africa offers creative solutions to climate change

creative solutions to climate change

3 Africa offers creative solutions to climate change

Producing creative solutions to climate change is quickly assuming center stage as the world community struggles to meet the enormous problem of ensuring the future of the planet. Innovative and progressive methods are emerging in a variety of environments and groups, providing some optimism in the face of growing environmental problems. These solutions, which range from ground-breaking technology innovations to community-driven projects, best represent the spirit of human inventiveness and resilience in the search for a sustainable future. 


Africa is experiencing an increase in the effects of climate change, but the continent’s nations are still setting the pace for climate action and utilizing its resources to the fullest. The preservation of Africa’s distinctive natural beauties and the promotion of peace and development depend on governments’ climate pledges. That includes the Nile, the longest river in the world, the second-largest rainforest in the world, the Congo, and the unmatched biodiversity found throughout the continent’s various ecosystems.


Below is how Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia, three African nations, are proving that significant advancements in climate action are feasible by adopting transparency, inclusion, and creative solutions to climate change.


1. ‘All systems go’ in Uganda: Countries must track their progress toward attaining their climate targets in order for their efforts to combat climate change to be worthwhile. One of the initial nations to create and introduce an interactive monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) platform was Uganda. The new platform streamlines data gathering by monitoring and reporting climate activities across sectors while tracking the national GHG inventory in real time. The tool’s inclusion of both adaptation and mitigation measures, together with its rigorous monitoring of the achievement of the goals set forth in Uganda’s revised NDC, make it particularly special.


The MRV tool used in Uganda does more than just keep track of sectoral contributions to climate action. Additionally, it provides reports that show how the data correlates with various SDG indicators, satisfying both domestic and international reporting obligations. The tool also monitors the flow of climate finance for certain climate activities, which is essential for spotting funding shortfalls and improving planning and budgeting for NDC implementation. 


This novel strategy also connects Uganda’s climate measures to the nation’s broader sustainable development goals, which is an added benefit. This demonstrates Uganda’s dedication to a comprehensive and integrated approach to climate and development action, which will assist interventions to be more effective, serve as a basis for balancing short- and long-term advantages, and help secure funding for solutions that have the most positive effects on society and the environment. 


With assistance from UNDP’s Climate Promise and SCALA Program, the MRV tool was formally operationalized in accordance with their NDC’s implementation and finance strategy. Uganda is enhancing its national capability to make use of the tool’s capabilities for effective climate action and reporting through a hands-on training of 60 officials from national and local governments, the commercial sector, and civil society organizations.


2. Everyone’s forest in Kenya: Kenya is currently focusing on protecting, regenerating, and increasing its unique forest ecosystems as another creative solution to climate change intended to mitigate the effects of decades of deforestation. The nation has already made significant progress, exceeding its original target of having 10% of its land covered in trees by 2022. By 2050, it now aspires to have 30 percent of the land covered in trees. These initiatives are a part of the nation’s larger pledge to raise its climate ambition, which includes lowering greenhouse gas emissions and putting more effective adaptation measures in place.


Kenya’s policy is unique not only because of its lofty reforestation objective but also because it has adopted a whole-of-society approach. This is demonstrated by the active participation of community organizations in the rehabilitation of three crucial forestry ecosystems for the nation: the Kaptagat and Kakamega forests, as well as Lake Magadi.


This effort benefits the approximately 2 million individuals whose livelihoods depend on forest ecosystems. Alongside the Kenya Forest Service, community organizations, such as school and forest associations, have participated in tree-planting drives and created plans for the communal management of local forests. Such inclusive strategies aid in ensuring ownership and the long-term viability of these initiatives. 


For instance, 20 schools are actively taking part in a locally organized tree-planting effort in Narok County. The program involves 4,800 schools around the country and creates seedling farms that give kids practical opportunities to learn about growing and caring for seedlings. This strategy cultivates environmental consciousness in the next generation while simultaneously giving them useful skills and essential greenery for schools. 


Similarly, indigenous peoples play a crucial role in protecting forests, a fact that Kenya and its partners actively acknowledge and encourage. The UNDP seeks to support local efforts for forest conservation by giving direct grants to chosen local non-governmental organizations that will work with Indigenous communities. By doing so, it recognizes their distinctive knowledge, skills, and perspectives and builds on the experience of those who are on the front lines. 


Kenya is meeting its climate targets and establishing a sustainable future for its residents and its priceless ecosystems through incorporating stakeholders, encouraging community engagement, and empowering young people and Indigenous groups.


3. Bridging gaps with partnerships in Somalia: Engaging academic institutions as strategic partners in climate action is emerging as a major solution to weak technical and institutional capacity in Somalia, which is another creative solution to climate change.


To implement its National Adaptation Plan (NAP), Somalia has partnered with three universities: Moud University, Puntland State University (PSU), and SIMAD University. Through this partnership, the government is able to use university expertise and contract out the creation of crucial training and outreach programs. By collaborating with academic institutions, Somalia is guaranteeing that the knowledge and lessons discovered while implementing its NAP project supported by the Green Climate Fund and UNDP can continue to be useful to the nation long after it has ended. 


The universities will contribute ideas on data availability, monitoring techniques, and framework implementation to the development of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework. In order to support the creation of the National Adaptation Plan, university partners will also play a significant advising role in the development and application of approaches for vulnerability assessment. 


Academic players will participate in the steering committee of the project, initially as spectators and eventually switching to an advising role, to improve governance and coordination. This was the first stage in the co-production of knowledge regarding adaptation and aims to further deepen the partnership. 


University partners are able to guarantee that the capacity and institutional learning created may continue to be leveraged to contribute to the country’s long-term climate action by serving as a knowledge repository and an oversight partner. The efficiency of Somalia’s climate initiatives is further increased by utilizing the available academic expertise, which gives it access to cutting-edge research and approaches.


These three African nations have taken the initiative in developing cutting-edge strategies for partnership, transparency, and incorporating all facets of society to bolster their efforts to combat climate change. These occurrences serve as significant role models that other nations might use as inspiration. 

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