Finish-funded project on climate change comes to a conclusion

After close to 7 years (5 years of research on the impacts of climate change and 2 years of dissemination of results) of a fruitful and exciting contribution to climate change adaptation in the highland ecosystems of Eastern Africa, the AFERIA project held its last project meeting in Addis Ababa the capital city of Ethiopia. Being the highest elevation capital city in Africa, and the fifth highest in the world, Addis Ababa offered the perfect venue, firmly situated on a well-watered plateau surrounded by hills and mountains, to end a project that has focused on the climate change impacts on food security and ecosystem resilience in the highlands and mountains of Eastern Africa.

 The meeting was graced by the Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia, H.E. Ms. Helena Airaksinen to represent the generous project donor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Interestingly, this final meeting coincided with the celebration of Finland’s 100 years of independence and 50 years of development corporation with Ethiopia, one of the three host countries of the AFERIA project.  The strategies and activities of this project supported one of the four priority areas of the Finland’s Development Cooperation Policy namely: Improvement of food security; Access to water and energy; and sustainable use of natural resources as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 13 to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters.

The Director of Research and Partnerships, icipe Kenya Dr Sunday Ekesi, in his keynote speech, emphasized icipe’s continued commitment to ensure better food security and livelihoods in Africa by producing world-class knowledge through research, and then developing solutions that are environmentally friendly, accessible, affordable and easy-to-use by communities. He further acknowledged the project partners for their support in promoting community-based adaptation strategies and plans and supporting icipe’s goal of building the capacity of communities, especially women and special needs groups, as well as various stakeholders like agriculture extension officers. The AFERIA Project and its predecessor, Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Food Security in Eastern Africa (CHIESA Project) were hosted by and coordinate by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe). About icipe http://www.icipe.org/

AFERIA project not only conducted research but actively involved the beneficiaries especially the small holder farmers in developing community based climate change adaptation plans further building their adaptive capacity. Five farmers from Jimma and Taita that have benefitted from drip irrigation, modern bee keeping, cultivation of improved maize varieties and establishment of disease-resistant coffee nurseries. The farmers shared on how their yield and income had improved over time from the implementation of the recommended practices. The five have now become model farmers in their localities and their farms act as demonstration sites for climate change adaptation technologies. 

To further hear about the climate change adaptation actions such as integrated pest management, drip irrigation, roof rainwater harvesting and agro forestry implemented by the partner organizations in the target areas, An AFERIA output and results exhibition was set up. This provided the opportunity for the different participants to exchange information, share experiences with the young scholars trained during the CHIESA and AFERIA projects, the researchers and the small holder farmers who were beneficiaries of the project. In addition, there were thematic group work sessions, where all the participants took part in to share expertise with the project representatives to guide the way forward and ensure that the available results and findings have the greatest impact through their utilization by various ministries, research organizations, universities, extension agencies, NGOs and CBOs.

This final meeting was attended by participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Finland and UK representing; local and national government; community based organisations, academia, non-governmental organisations and local media. The interaction; lively discussions and exchange of information were confirmation that the collective effort of diverse stakeholder has the potential to translate to the long term ecosystem resilience and food security in the Eastern Africa highlands even with the challenge of climate change.

 

Please click here for the event photos

Please click here for the conference book of abstracts

Please click here for the AFERIA project photo report

The list of CHIESA and AFERIA Project publications can be found here

More about the AFERIA project http://chiesa.icipe.org/index.php/aboutaferia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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