The Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Food Security in Eastern Africa (CHIESA) is a four-year research and development project aimed at increasing knowledge on the impacts of climate change on ecosystem services in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot (EABH). CHIESA is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and coordinated by the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The project will help build the climate change adaptation capacity of East African research institutions, stakeholder organizations and decision-makers through research collaboration and training. Together with local communities, the project will develop, test and disseminate climate change adaptation tools, options and strategies at the farm level.
Further, CHIESA provides researcher training for staff members of the stakeholder organizations, enhances monitoring and prediction facilities by installing Automatic Weather Stations, and disseminates scientific outputs to various actors from farmers to policy-makers.
The key objective of the CHIESA Project is to fill knowledge gaps related to natural and human-induced factors contributing to land use/ land cover change, and climate variability/ change impacts on ecosystem services and food security in Eastern Africa’s mountain ecosystems. CHIESA has identified three study areas, namely Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Taita Hills in Kenya and Jimma Highlands in Ethiopia.
The other objectives of the Project include;
• Land use and land cover change detection and modelling
• Economic valuation of ecosystem services
• Assessment of impacts of climate change on biodiversity and habitats
• Assessment of ecosystem pest management and pollination
• Elaboration of adaptation strategies
• Dissemination of the findings of the research and applying them.
With reference to the objectives outlined for the project, CHIESA outcomes are as follows:
• Increased knowledge of climate change impacts on habitats, water provision, food security, functional biodiversity, and socio-economic vulnerability
• Increased capacity of the African research communities to access, collect, develop, use and manage scientific information in climate change related matters
• Adaptation options and strategies to changes in ecosystem services and Adaptive Management Framework tools.