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The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance invests in communications and knowledge management to enable it achieve its strategic objectives of  Policy Influence, Public engagement and mobilization, Holding governments accountable, Research, knowledge development and communication and Institutional and governance strengthening.

The work is led at the organization level by the Communications and Knowledge Management team and in the chapters by various communications champions who ensure information is readily accessible to our publics.

Thursday, 21 September 2017 00:00

By Atayi Babs

ABUJA, Nigeria (PAMACC News) - Following suggestions that Donald Trump could only consider remaining a signatory of the Paris Agreement if new terms were reached, President of France, Emmanuel Macron has declared that the landmark Paris climate deal will not be renegotiated.

The French President's comments came during his address to the UN General Assembly amidst renewed hopes that the world's second largest polluter would remain tied to the accord's carbon emission targets.

Macron also told his audience at the United Nations General Assembly that "the door will be open" for the United States to return to the agreement if it so wishes.

"This agreement will not be renegotiated." "We will not retreat" he added.

Macron noted that the international community had so far fallen short of successfully addressing major threats such as climate change. Now more than ever before, we need common efforts to tackle environmental challenges and other global issues, Macron said, including war and terrorism.

"We can only address those challenges through multilateralism, not through survival of the fittest."

Macron also hit back at US President Donald Trump on Tuesday by staunchly defending the Iran nuclear deal at the UN General Assembly, speaking soon after Trump called the deal an "embarrassment to the United States".

“Renouncing it would be a grave error, not respecting it would be irresponsible, because it is a good accord that is essential to peace at a time where the risk of an infernal conflagration cannot be excluded,” Macron said.

The French president added that he had made his position clear to both Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when he met with them on Monday.

This article first appeared on the PAMACC website.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 00:00

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance last week held a training on Natural resource management (NRM), adaptation to climate change and agricultural development at Marimanti County Lodge in Tharaka Nithi County.

The one-day training covered topics such as Climate Sensitive Agricultural production techniques, post-harvest management, integrated soil fertility improvement, crop diversification, land preparation technologies, integrated water resources management best practices as well as sustainable land use practices.

The 45 participants drawn from four Sub-locations in Tharaka Nithi County were satisfactorily trained on the causes and impacts of climate change as it relates to the livelihood of the community, providing them with strategies to tackle the negative impacts of climate and harness the opportunities it presents.  

“The participants, who were largely smallholder farmers, were made aware of unsustainable farming and natural resource management practices that contribute to climate change, food insecurity, and resource depletion,” explained PACJA’s David Mulba, adding that they were provided with new skills and ideas that would enable them to shift away from unsustainable practices.

He noted that they gained adequate new knowledge on crop verities selection and diversification, farmland preparation, soil fertile improvement techniques, farm and household level water management and sustainable land use techniques.

The training was the second in its series in the county and is part of the UKAM/Trocaire funded Community resilience and climate change adaptation project that seeks to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities in three drought-affected semi-arid Counties in Eastern Kenya (Kitui, Tharaka-Nithi and Embu County) to the impact of shocks and stresses related to climate change.

The participants appreciated the new knowledge and skills gained. They noted that the training impacted them directly. They committed to integrate the new knowledge into their farming practices and sharing their new knowledge with their respective communities. In so doing, they developed action plans and clearly highlighted how they hope to achieve the same.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

By Ann Wangalachi

Today, food security and nutrition matters are once again taking center stage in African development dialogue. The dialogue is yielding real commitment from public and business leaders; backed by financial pledges. This week alone, during the seventh edition of the African Green Revolution Forum, $ 280 million has been pledged to contribute to transforming Africa’s agriculture across 11 countries.

This week too, saw the recognition of efforts by two women — both pioneers in their chosen paths and contributions to transforming Africa’s rural areas by working on matters of nutrition and raising the productivity of key food crops. The two — Prof. Ruth Oniang’o and Maimouna Coulibaly — jointly won the Africa Food Prize 2017. The prize includes $100,000 and an ornate handcrafted glass trophy.

Both spent many years and at times their own resources to create enterprises that benefit rural farmers, most of whom are women. They have shown that it is not enough to give women access to improved farm inputs but it is also important to empower them with knowledge on how to produce more food, of good quality. To empower them to feed their families and villages.

I first met Prof. Oniang’o (‘Prof.’) nearly 20 years ago, and remember being struck by how different she was from my long-held mental image of what a food science and nutrition professor looked like and worked on. I imagined that they worked in labs, churning out new scientific discoveries, formulae, and processes that would contribute to food science and nutrition theory. 

This was debunked soon after I joined her non-profit — then Rural Outreach Program — and traveled with her to the program sites in rural Kenya. What I saw there amazed me: Prof. was turning textbook knowledge into pragmatic interventions that could be understood and adopted by the village women to improve nutrition outcomes of their families. As she later told me, this was ‘action research’. In the week that I spent in the villages in Butere, in Kenya’s western region, I saw this research translated into action firsthand.

Mothers were growing and feeding their families nutrient-packed green leafy vegetables, gifting each other a young heifer to boost family milk supplies, and learning how to ‘feed’ the soil on which they depended good food too. Prof. taught them that the soil and plants needed to be nourished for their good health, just as people and animals did. This was through promoting various soil health management practices such as crop rotation, mulching and intercropping of complementary crops (such as legumes and cereals) to balance out the nutrient consumption-depletion cycles. The desire to bring this knowledge and the benefits of these practices to the village women drove Prof. to knock relentlessly on doors of development partners and global non-profits to support this work.

In another part of the village, concrete structures were constructed to protect springs of water which were the community’s lifeline. Village-based extension agents traveled by motorcycle to bridge the gaps in access to extension services; supplying much-needed services and supplies such as artificial insemination, agronomic information, and veterinary supplies. 

The village women were also trained in how to save the money they made from selling surplus milk through ‘table banking’. Prof. also pushed for a more nuanced understanding of ‘gender’: that of men and women working together for the good of the community — thereby promoting the wholesome buy-in of these interventions. The interventions were interconnected and intuitive: adapted to fit in with local cultural norms and practices. As we visited each homestead, we were proudly served a balanced meal of indigenous green leafy vegetables, a glass of fresh cow’s milk and ugali (a stiff porridge made of maize flour). Once considered ‘poor man’s food’, these vegetables had once again taken their pride of place. At the time, I remember getting the feeling that I was witnessing something truly great and probably had the potential to work across Africa.

This week, as I interacted with Prof. and congratulated her on her Africa Prize win, she reminded me that her life’s work was to uplift village women across Africa. She dedicated this win to them and vowed to continue using whatever platforms available — boardrooms, classrooms, conferences — to tirelessly and passionately champion their cause. Congratulations Prof. on this win!

Anne Wangalachi manages Strategic Insights Academy and advises organizations on corporate communications and agribusiness strategy. She has been quoted in the Washington Post, and was the first production editor of AJFAND — a scientific journal founded by Prof. Ruth Oniang’o.

The article first appeared on medium.com

Monday, 11 September 2017 00:00

 The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance on Friday last week organized a successful workshop that brought together 30 participants from pastoralist communities, CSOs, government and the private sector to discuss and share experiences on promoting climate resilient pastoralism in Kenya. 

The workshop sought to arrive at a common approach to achieving resilience in order to manage the risks posed by climate variation and change.

During the workshop participants shared tools, methods, and approaches to enhance learning and innovative ways to implement Community Based Adaptation, DRM, sustainable development and climate information services that they could incorporate into their lives and work to improve livelihoods of pastoralist communities.

The workshop focused on five thematic areas including promoting multi stakeholder interactions, governance, and policy, promoting community ownership and aspirations, risk management, and climate resilient investments in pastoralist areas.

Pastoralists in Kenya are among the most vulnerable to climate change variability with droughts in East Africa becoming more severe and frequent while less predictable.

According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, even the much anticipated March-April-May rains did very poorly across the country, most parts of the country experiencing below normal rainfall with areas remaining sunny and dry throughout the month of March 2017. 

“Due to this increasing vulnerability, pastoralists need to be supported not only to maintain the extraordinary resilience inherent in their traditional way of life, but also to adapt and – for some – to create viable alternative livelihoods in and beyond the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), which increase the adaptive capacity and build resilience of pastoralist communities,” noted the Julius Karanja, a project assistant with PACJA who organized the workshop. 

The necessary support is in the form of climate information and products, agro-advisory services, as well as support to enhance and utilize their indigenous knowledge.

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