The pressing need for a for a “continental network for adaptation in Africa” was the conclusion of the workshop held earlier this month in Nairobi entitled ‘Convening Adaptation Knowledge Networks and Platforms in Africa‘.
Coordinated by the Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet), the workshop hosted about 70 representatives from some 20 regional adaptation knowledge platforms and other organizations which jointly endorsed the Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) as the continental network responsible for coordinating, facilitating, harnessing and strengthening the exchange of information and knowledge as well as fostering and supporting strategic planning and policy processes.
The event which was convened at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters, provided a forum for facilitating learning and exploring the potential for synergies and concrete collaboration between the various initiatives with the aim of optimizing the use of resources for adaptation given current financial constraints.
The need for capacity building for climate change adaptation so as to provide sustainable solutions to reduce vulnerability of a great majority of the population from the impacts of climate change, has never been so urgent. The regional adaptation networks that attended the workshop highlighted the critical role of knowledge in supporting, planning and implementing climate change adaptation against the backdrop of challenges acing knowledge networks such as fragmentation, lack of alignment of practices, insufficient understanding of end users and overlap.
Regional networks adopted a declaration endorsing the Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) as the continental network responsible for:
o Coordinating, facilitating, harnessing and strengthening the exchange of information and knowledge
o Building new alliances to enhance collaboration and innovation
o Harmonizing and aggregating knowledge in useable packages tailored for addressing particular climate risks
o Fostering and supporting strategic planning and policy processes
o Building capacity to provide short, mid-term and long-term solutions to climate change
The Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) aims to harness the valuable knowledge and experiences gained from climate change adaptation initiatives, and to share these with governments, regional authorities, and communities facing similar climate challenges.