Thursday, 2 July 2009

Climate Change Adaptation in Addis Ababa

After my MSP training in Uganda (April) I went on to visit some partners in Nairobi and Addis Ababa for the preparation of a climate change adaptation course. This two-week course took place from 12-27 June in Ethiopia.

At the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) Wageningen UR has initiated a support programme for climate change adaptation in Eastern Africa in 2008. In partnership with ASARECA, IUCN – EARO and RUFORUM we held a scoping workshop and follow-ups in to see how to respond to capacity building needs. The focus was on capacities needed to better integrated climate change adaptation responses into agricultural, rural development and natural resources policy processes. The initiative led, among others, to the development of a new training course in 2009, implemented by the partnership, in collaboration with HoA-REC at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

For me this was a completely new territory, and a very exciting one. Together with my colleague Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga we developed a very comprehensive course that tried to bridge the gap between science and policy on climate change adapation in East Africa.

The regional training on Climate Change Adaptation in agriculture and NRM took place from 15 to 26 June 2009 in Addis Ababa. It was attended by 26 participants from Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Participants were drawn from universities, agricultural research institutes, non-governmental organisations and government departments. I facilitated the course with Catharien, and Dr Mekuria Argaw from Addis Ababa university, complemented by presenters and lecturers from various universities and institutes.

The course covered a variety of topics related to climate change adaptation. As always, we used very interactive training methods. Experiences of participants were the entry point for interaction – and participants brought in their own examples of climate change hotspots that were used for joint analysis. The course included field work to practice vulnerability assessment and an interactive seminar with policy makers to discuss and refine strategies for policy development and programming on Climate Change.

It was a great experience to be in Ethiopia, working on this topic. The curriculum we developed for this course is a great mix between 'content' topics on climate change adaptation, vulnerability and sustainable development, and 'process' topics such as stakeholder analysis and policy development. We will deliver the same course again in East Africa in March 2010 and plans are underway to extend the capacity building programs to other continents. Exciting! More information: course report.