Climate Change Programme in Eastern and Southern Africa Strengthens Capacity, Builds Resilience

COMESA-EAC-SADC4 February 2014: The COMESA-EAC-SADC (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community, and the South African Development Community) Tripartite Programme Management Units of the Programme on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Eastern and Southern Africa met to finalize its 2014 work plans and budgets and review progress for the last half of 2013.

During the meeting, which convened in Gaborone, Botswana, from 14-16 January 2014, Margaret Nyirenda, SADC Director for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, urged the Programme Management Units to be creative while remaining focused on improving the lives of vulnerable communities. On behalf of COMESA, Mclay Kanyangarara, Tripartite Climate Change Coordinator, observed that the tripartite approach was the most effective for achieving regional integration in Africa.

The Programme addresses the impacts of climate change in the COMESA-EAC-SADC region through successful adaptation and mitigation actions that build economic and social resilience. The programme also aims to, inter alia: strengthen capacity of African countries in international negotiations to ensure their voices are heard globally; support the development of climate change strategies and scaling up of climate-smart agriculture; facilitate access to adaptation funds and other financing sources and mechanisms through investment frameworks for adaptation in agriculture and forestry; strengthen capacity in national research and training institutions and implementation of research programmes; implement climate vulnerability assessments and analysis; and employ mitigation solutions with carbon trading benefits.

The programme has institutionalized and harmonized vulnerability assessments in SADC countries, which has helped prevent and mitigate suffering and vulnerability through the provision of information on, inter alia, populations susceptible to food insecurity.

In January 2007, African countries agreed to mainstream adaptation and mitigation into their development plans, and, in 2009, endorsed the African Common Position on Climate Change. Subsequently, in 2010, COMESA, EAC and SADC established the Tripartite Programme on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, which will initially run for five years and is being implemented in 26 countries. The Programme is funded by the EU, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). [SADC Press Release] [Programme on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Website] [SADC Website] [COMESA Website] [EAC Website]