At the recent European Development Days, partners in the ‘Brussels briefings’ organized a parallel session to bring ‘voices from the ACP field’ to address the question ‘How climate changes agriculture in rural ACP countries?’
Over 200 people attended the session to hear how different agencies and groups are tacking, or preparing to tackle the challenges posed by climate change in ACP regions. Speakers from the European Commission and World Bank emphasized the scale of the challenges: A 3 degree increase in temperature around the world would lead to famine for more than 150 million people. More than half of those affected live in Africa and Asia. Looking at the implications for Africa, a similar temperature increase in Uganda would decimate existing coffee producing areas that support many small scale farmers.
The scale of the problem only seemed to expand as each speaker showed images that spoke louder than their words.
Two main features characterize how different projects are addressing the problems:
1) Each was looking to gain better access to information to better predict the effects of climate change in the local community;
2) Each had a need to raise awareness of the issues and promote the exchange of adaptation approaches in the community.
Two very interesting approaches were a toolkit developed by researchers to help meteorologists with climate prediction, and the increasing use of video and participatory work by sociologists to promote the exchange of adaptation strategies among and across communities.
The final panel more deeply explored communication approaches and tools and related tools to retrieve and share information and build capacities to deal with climate change issues.