NAIROBI — Long-term stability, growth and prosperity in the Horn of Africa region will hinge on robust action on the climate crisis that has devastated livelihoods, experts said on Monday.
Guleid Artan, director of Nairobi-based Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Climate Prediction and Application Centre said that investment in climate resilience programs is imperative in order to tackle poverty and conflicts bedeviling the Horn of Africa.
“We need to strengthen the capacity of governments and communities to respond to the climate crisis which threatens food security and stability across the east and horn of African region,” Artan said at a virtual briefing in Nairobi.
He said that the Horn of African region is reeling from climatic shocks, including droughts and floods that have undermined efforts to achieve sustainable development, peace and stability.
“The extreme weather events that have escalated in the region have devastated communities already reeling from effects of COVID-19 pandemic and desert locust invasion,” said Artan.
He urged policy realignment, public awareness, investments in research and new weather forecast technologies to enhance response to climatic stresses in the Horn of Africa region.
Judy Omumbo, a researcher at Nairobi-based African Academy of Sciences, said that Horn of Africa states should prioritize low carbon development to enhance resilience against shocks like droughts and pandemics.
“Governments in the region can explore technologies that promote low carbon and resilient future for communities given the intensity of the climate crisis,” said Omumbo.
She said that greater funding should be channeled towards adaptation programs targeting natural resource-based sectors like agriculture, energy and tourism.
Daniel Olago, the director of Institute of Climate Change Adaptation, University of Nairobi said that governments in the region can partner with industry to boost climate resilience through leveraging big data, innovation and public education.
“There is a need for sound policies to promote adoption of green economy principles by the private sector in the region,” said Olago, adding that emerging technologies like artificial intelligence should be adopted to boost climate response.