Climate change is an increasing threat to Africa with many African communities lacking the capacity to respond or adapt to its impacts. Increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security, and socio-economic development in Africa. Warming trends have already become evident across the continent.
In 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). The SROCC finds that strongly reducing Green House Gases emissions, protecting and restoring ecosystems, and carefully managing the use of natural resources would make it possible to preserve the ocean and cryosphere as a source of opportunities that help build climate resilience to future changes, limit risks to livelihoods and offer multiple additional societal benefits.
From 15 to 17 September 2021, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Sub Commission for Africa & the Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA) organized a hybrid meeting with a group of experts physically present in Naivasha, Kenya to finalize a long process of translating the report into relevant information for African policy makers to ensure that the report informs common Africa position at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow. The process has been facilitated by the African Group of Negotiators Experts Support (AGNES), with support from the IOCAFRICA based in UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa in Nairobi, and the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Four policy briefs have been created as part of this process
Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-Lying Islands, Coasts and Communities: This policy brief will cover sea level rise in terms of causes, impacts, projections and response to current and future changes.
Changing Oceans, Marine Ecosystems and Dependent Communities: This policy brief will address issues concerning changing ocean and coastal biodiversity, changing marine ecosystem services and human wellbeing, and ocean and coastal governance.
Extremes, Abrupt Changes and Managing Risks: This policy brief will highlight issues related to changes in tracks, intensity and frequency of tropical and extratropical cyclones; marine heat waves; inter-ocean exchange and global change; and extreme El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events.
Climate Change and the Ocean Economy: This policy brief will address issues related to fisheries and aquaculture, ocean-based renewable energy, ocean-based transport operations, coastal and marine.