Kilimanjaro hosts the 4th CHIESA Annual project meeting

The tranquil and green environment of the Moshi area at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania provided the perfect surroundings for the fourth and last annual project meeting of the CHIESA project. This meeting, that brought together scientists, government officials, farmer associations and other stakeholders, was a culmination of the effort, collaborations and hard work that has been part of the project in the past four years.

Participants of the 4th CHIESA project meeting in Moshi, Tanzania

 

Professor Shadrack Mwakalila of University of Dar es Salaam, in his welcoming remarks indicated that much work had been done in the project period and that some of the reflections from the organized workshops highlighted the need for urgent actions and interventions. He called upon continuation of capacity building for various stakeholders to implement existing national policies at the local level with each of the stakeholders taking responsibility of natural resource management in a participatory way to ensure healthier ecosystems and availability of ecosystem services in the face of climate change and land use change.

In his opening remarks the Regional Administrative Secretary of the Kilimanjaro region, Mr. Severine Kahitwa recognized that , climate change is a long-term phenomenon which must be monitored through decades and centuries so that trends can be observed and the need to comprehend which climatic events are driven by inter-annual variability and which events driven by climate change. He went on to add that “the CHIESA Project has produced high-resolution regional climate projections which indicate the changes in temperatures and rainfall by the year 2040 and beyond. These projections are useful for the decision-makers when they plan and design climate change adaptation for different sectors of the economy. I also look forward to see these climate projections in detail during this two-day annual meeting of the project”.

Eng. Mbogo Futakamba, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water, Tanzania in a keynote speech read on his behalf by Dr. Amandus Lwena, the Assistant Director, Irrigation Research & Technology Promotion National Irrigation Commission, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, acknowledged that climate change and variability is one of the greatest global challenges in the 21st century and that the government had began to put in place plans to deal with the effects.  “Climate change and variability has adversely impacted key sectors such as water, agriculture, energy, environment and food security. As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, Tanzania is implementing a number of climate change related activities. Tanzania has also formulated various policies, plans, programmes and strategies, which have a bearing on climate change among other environmental issues.”

Dr. Hezron Mogaka of Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) gave a presentation on “Sustaining the flow of ecosystem services under climate change in East Africa: Policy Implications”. In his presentation he indicated that the East Africa region was vulnerable to the impact of climate change but at the same time had considerable potential to minimise the effects of such changes through the deployment of innovative approaches in sustaining the flow of ecosystem services. Some of the interventions by ASARECA in the East Africa region in respect to enhancing ecosystem functioning at landscape and farm levels include: Community-Based Integrated Watershed Management; enhancing the functionality of agricultural-based ecosystems at farm level, and agricultural landscape transformation through Integrated Water Management. The policy recommendations shared were:

  • Regional promotion of ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change
  • Consideration of ecosystem services in National Accounting Systems – assessment of benefits and costs of ecosystems management and hence provision of services
  • Integration of ecosystems management into national planning processes and budgeting
  • Adoption of Integrated Watershed Management as viable approach to safeguarding provision of Ecosystem Services

The second presentation “Climate change adaptation- challenges and opportunities for the small-scale farmer” was from Mr. Katungisa Kenneth of Uganda National Farmers’ Federation. He shared the issue of climate change from the perspective of the farmer who in most cases is most vulnerable to climate change.  Low income from farming activities, the relatively high cost of implementing technologies and the lack of information were some of the challenges the small-scale farmers were facing. In spite of the impacts of climate change affecting the farmers, there were opportunities that provide hope to the adaptation efforts. There is willingness from the farmers to adopt better methods of farming, availability of funding for climate change adaptation and willingness of governments to support climate change initiatives. The priority areas for action were capacity building of farmer organisation; strengthening of key support institutions and promoting the use of resistant crop varieties and livestock breeds.  

The CHIESA project aims to increase knowledge and disseminate information among different stakeholders. This meeting provided an opportunity for the sharing of research results from six different components of the project namely : Land cover analysis in Kilimanjaro, Taita Hills and Didessa valley; Valuation of Ecosystem goods and services; Climate change impacts on biodiversity and habitats; Assessment of ecosystem pest management for maize, coffee and crucifers; Assessments of impacts on impacts on water resources and provision, and Elaboration of adaptation strategies and development of climate change adaptation plans.

To view presentation slides from the meeting, please click here

 

Participants of the 4th CHIESA project meeting during the presentations

To ensure that there was maximum participation and interaction between the participants a Knowledge Wall technique was used. This is an activity that provides an opportunity for the participants to explore the perceived challenges and opportunities of climate change adaptation in the highland agro-ecosystems. The objective was to mobilize participants to construct a Knowledge Wall where they shared their inputs on different color post-it stickers to indicate which key components they perceive as challenges and/or opportunities in adaptation to climate change under different themes.  This provided a chance to gather feedback from all the participants over the two day event.

L: The knowledge wall on the first day     R: The knowledge wall on the last day with input from stakeholders

 

 To view more photos from the meeting, please click here.

 

 

 

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