Transcript Slide 1

The Role of Higher Education in adapting to
Climate and Ecosystems Change:
The case in Ethiopian context
Mekuria Argaw (PhD)
Addis Ababa University
Environmental Science Program
Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoAREC/N)
WUR, Nov. 4, 2009
 Introduction
General environmental overview
Resource (ecosystem) degradation
Climate change indicators and impacts
Adaptation and Adaptive capacity
Research and training on climate change and Adaptation: Some examples
Climate change in the Higher Education Curriculum
Gaps and Opportunities
‘Climate change in HoAREC’
 Introduction
Country overview and resource degradation
• High population (over 80 million), projected to be 120 million by 2025
• Agrarian economy-rain fed (85 % employment, more than 90 % export-single
crop dependent)
• Diverse agro-ecology and agro-climatic regions (> 70 % in arid and semi-arid
domain with erratic RF)
• Troubled environment and severe soil erosion in the highlands (power house
of economy)
• High deforestation (16 – 2 %), overgrazing and mismanagement
• Impaired resilience in many parts of the degraded highlands
• Fragile and climate sensitive ecosystems (fire hazard-Bale)
Climate change impacts and indicators in Ethiopia
Food insecurity (increased number of vulnerable population)
Power shortage (reduced water in reservoirs)
Wider economic impacts (in all sectors-agriculture, energy, industry, water , etc)
Ecological impacts (degradation of critical watersheds-Bale and Kefa, severe
downstream impacts on important ecosystems)
• Social impacts (increased conflict over resource use-water and grazing land)
Extreme weather events (increased frequency of floods and droughts)
Increased variability in rainfall (in amount, spatial and temporal distribution)
Shift in cropping regimes (dramatic change of the cropping calendar-June to August)
Shift in favourable agro-climatic range of crops and diseases (e.g., lowland crops in
highlands-sorghum belt in highlands, malaria zone in the highlands)
• Shift in livestock composition in pastoral areas (from grazers to browsers)
• Change in ecosystems (rangelands to bush lands-borana, forest lands to bush
lands-Koga, drying of wetlands-Fogera plain, Changing of freshwater lakes into
saline lakes-Ziway and Abijata)
Adaptation and Adaptive capacity
• Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic
stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
• Not a once-off intervention and not a single stand-alone activity. It is a process that
needs to be taken as part of an overall development policy, program and projects in
a country.
• Communities at local level might have been doing this for long. Do we have
enough information? What do we know about the impacts and consequences?
Adaptive capacity
• The ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and
extremes) to lessen potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to
cope with consequences. Is there enough knowledge and expertise to design
adaptation programs?
 Research and training on climate change and adaptation: Some examples
Research in higher institutes
• Re-thinking water storage for climate
change adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa
(Ethiopia and Ghana)
Ethiopia: Selected watersheds in Blue Nile Basin
Ghana: selected watersheds Volta basin
Partners: IWMI-Addis Ababa and Ghana, ZEFUniversity of Bonn, Arba Minch University, Climate
Impact Research-Germany, Water Research
Institute -Ghana, University of Ghana, Volta Basin
Authority/ Water Resource Authority -Ghana
• Capacity Building in Integrated River Basin Management in Higher Learning Institutes
A research and training project at PhD and MSc levels, by developing new curriculum
for the program in which climate change is one of the themes.
Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre/Network: initiator and coordinator
Partners: Addis Ababa University, 8 other Ethiopian universities, UNESCO-IHE
Free University Amsterdam , WUR, META-META
• Bio-resource innovations network in Eastern Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda,
Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia-Addis Ababa University)
A regional research and training project on bio-resources. AAU partly coordinates and
a country focal point. Climate change is a major component.
Partners: various academic and research institutes in member countries
• Staff research projects: small grant projects on climate change adaptation and
community responses, Food security and climate change
Research in non-academic research institutes
Some research/publications on local adaptation practices from:
International Policy Research Institute (IFPRI-Addis Ababa)
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI-Addis Ababa)
Ethiopian Economics Association
Forum for Social Studies (on policy and adaptation)
 Climate change in the Higher Education Curriculum
• No streams of specialization (in climate change and adaptation)
• Few related courses in the curriculum in AAU, HU and MU (virtually none)
e.g., Introduction to climate (Dept. Geography and environmental Science AAU)
Climate change (Environmental Science, new module AAU) Applied
Climatology (Dept. Natural Resources Management MU)
• Student thesis research (mainly on prediction and trend analysis, not in
 Gaps and Opportunities in HEIs
• Inadequate research and analysis on the impacts of climate change (insufficient hard
data except common knowledge)
• Absence of classified information on the impact spectrum (sector, geographical
region, agro-ecology, social groups, habitats, ecosystems, etc...)
• Clear lack of information on national and local adaptation mechanisms and coping
• Absence of adaptive capacity analysis
• Inadvertent omission of climate issues in the curriculum of higher learning institutes
• No academic institute with a specialization stream on climate change/excellence
• In the process of national level reengineering of the governance and educational
structure (BPR), which requires complete review of the existing curriculum
• Curriculum preparation for the IRBM project is underway and climate change
adaptation can be incorporated
• Favourable policy direction (Ethiopia on fore front in the climate justice negotiation)
• Exiting regional and international network with universities and research institutes
 ‘Climate change at HoAREC/N’
• Climate change-one of the partnership program
• Key partner of EPA on climate change since 2007
• Organized and initiated the formation of National climate change research network
(with Global Mountain Program, University of Witwatersrand and EIAR)
September 2008
• Supporter and founding member of the ECSNCC
• Supported the participation of members of the ECSNCC and the centre staff
in the on-going negotiations on CC in Bonn, Bangkok and Copenhagen in December
• Member of the national climate appeal campaign and public hearing
• Organized a training for Ethiopian negotiators on the main issues, negotiation skills, as
LDC and MVC, as African nation
• Member of the national negotiation team in Copenhagen
• Participated in several climate change awareness workshops and advocacy workshops
e.g., joined the group which called for the US to lead the deal (there is a lot of noise)
• Invited by the media on climate change talks (TV, Radio, Press)
• Participated in the AMCEN and PACJA meetings held in October 2009 in Addis
• Organized regional training on “Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and
Natural Resource Management” in collaboration with WUR June, 2009
Timely and much needed training
Participants gained important experience and learned analytical tools
More people are interested to join
Appreciated by many as it was an ‘eye-opener training’
Initiated staff members to write projects on climate change adaptation
• HoAREC started networking with participants’ organizations (e.g., Dr. Bayu)
• PhD study on climate change impacts and adaptation in agriculture in
Gambela-one of the affected lowland regions
• Further collaboration on adaptation research by one of the participants
(Haramaya University)
• CDM training workshop (SC-US)
Thank You!