YAOUNDE, Cameroon )PAMACC News) - Stakeholders have been enjoined to reinforce adaptation policies and actions as pathways against climate change.
The call was made by environment experts at two day workshop to empower youths, women, small-scaled farmers,fath-based groups on climate adaptation policies and actions in Cameroon.
The workshop took place at the Mvolye Church Centre in Yaounde September 12-13, 2023.
Organised by the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy & Access (ACSEA), the workshop seeked to developing participants’ skills to better interact with stakeholders and decision makers therough effective communication, negotiation and advocacy techniques.
According to the CEO of ACSEA, Dr. Augustine Njamnshi, “the workshop was also to strengthen knowledge on processes and policy mechanism related to climate change adaptation at national level.”
“Faith-based organizations, small-scale farmers, youth and women groups often have a strong moral imperative to act on climate change, but they may lack the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate for climate adaptation policies and actions,” Njamnshi added.
The training centered on topics like climate change impact on food systems in Cameroon, Cameroons climate change adaptation and resilence strategies, mapping local climate change impacts and adaptation staregies, climate information and adaptive uses in Cameroon amongst others.
Climate experts say transforming lives means having the right policies in place and the enabling environment for climate investments to yield the right results.
“We need to empower the community on the issues sot hey can question and push government and non-governmental organisations, NGOs,to put in place the right policies. Community actors should be able to know, the problems their communties are facing and to see whether solutions proposed by some NGOs are not flawed” noted Eugene Nforngwa, head of programs ACSEA.
According to the World Bank,Cameroon has an opportunity to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity for a more green and resilient future for all, taking a people centered approach to climate action. The country’s poverty rate could be reduced five-fold by 2050.
Experts say climate change is impacting social and economic gains in the country and and stakeholders must get to work with the right actions to address it.
“Climate change in a reality and we are all living witnesses of its disastrous effects. The floods, landslides, droughts are affecting agriculture, water resources, health and the environment in general. It will take our collective efforts to get the right solutions to address this crisis” says Professor Amougou Joseph Armathée, director general of the National Observatory on Climate Change.
According to World Bank 2022 report,Climate change is a big threat to the country’s dependence on natural resources and agriculture for livelihoods and subsistence.
The report says under current climate conditions, about two million people live in drought-affected areas.
Tropical forests cover almost 40% of the country and provide an estimated 8 million rural people with traditional staples including food, medicines, fuel, and construction material.
“Changes in temperature, rain, and droughts are putting these populations at greater risks for increased poverty and famine.”
The socioeconomic impact of climate change shocks is hurting both the structural poor and the close to 40% of vulnerable households in Cameroon. Women, especially those living in conflict areas or indigenous groups, are more severely hit by climate change because they are accounting for 75% of workers in the informal agricultural sector and are primarily responsible for the welfare of their households and food security, the World Bank report indicates.
Experts say communities need to be trained on the climate change challenges sot hey can better step up actions to address the crisis.
“With the climate threats worsening, the National Observatory on climate change is collecting data and sharing alerts and early warning information that can help communities take the necessary measures to either prevent or adapt to the effects of climate change” says Professor Amougou.
It should be recalled that the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report underscores the urgency for rapid, deep and sustained action on climate adaptation to ensure the world’s poorest countries are not caught off guard by worsening climate impacts.
The report assesses the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels and notes that “actions are most urgent in Africa, where accelerated effort is required to adapt to climate change to avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity and infrastructure.”
This seminal report offers new insights on possible pathways for policymakers, business leaders and others to ramp up their efforts to tackle the climate crisis at the scale and urgency required.