Theme 7: Capacity--Oral Sessions

Description

Africa makes a relatively minor contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions compared with developed nations, yet the African continent will be increasingly vulnerable to climate change processes in the coming decades. Critical challenges include meeting basic needs for food, water, shelter, and other necessities without undermining biodiversity and ecosystem services. Coordination efforts to address multiple global change related stressors has generally occurred at the national level and taken an external approach, with national governments favoring collaboration with foreign-based NGOs and other international institutions. However, the involvement of actors at the local level correlates with decisions that are better adapted to local social-cultural and environmental contexts, reducing implementation costs, and increasing trust, thereby increasing the equity and efficacy of decentralized approaches. This paper examines indigenous and local knowledge of climate change and its impacts. It addresses climate and environmental change from the perspectives of Kenyan pastoralists who identified a myriad of environmental issues that occur and interact at different scales. They also identified ways forward at several scales from the local to the global. The continued functioning of ecosystems for local populations will depend critically upon sound policy, planning, and practice that includes pastoralist leadership.

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Producing Useful Knowledge for Sustainable Development

Africa makes a relatively minor contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions compared with developed nations, yet the African continent will be increasingly vulnerable to climate change processes in the coming decades. Critical challenges include meeting basic needs for food, water, shelter, and other necessities without undermining biodiversity and ecosystem services. Coordination efforts to address multiple global change related stressors has generally occurred at the national level and taken an external approach, with national governments favoring collaboration with foreign-based NGOs and other international institutions. However, the involvement of actors at the local level correlates with decisions that are better adapted to local social-cultural and environmental contexts, reducing implementation costs, and increasing trust, thereby increasing the equity and efficacy of decentralized approaches. This paper examines indigenous and local knowledge of climate change and its impacts. It addresses climate and environmental change from the perspectives of Kenyan pastoralists who identified a myriad of environmental issues that occur and interact at different scales. They also identified ways forward at several scales from the local to the global. The continued functioning of ecosystems for local populations will depend critically upon sound policy, planning, and practice that includes pastoralist leadership.