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Kenya roots for more African representation on UN climate change

Environment and Climate Change Principal Secretary Eng. Festus Ng’eno has called for increased representation of African experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Speaking during the official opening of the Africa seventh assessment outline scoping meeting of the IPCC in Nairobi, Eng. Ng’eno said African needed more representation in the group because of her vulnerability to climate change.

“It is alarming that only 11% of authors of the assessment report are from Africa, despite the continent being one of the world’s most vulnerable continent to the impacts of climate change. “It is crucial to ensure that African voices are well represented when finding Kenya roots for more African representation on UN climate change solutions, crucial too is the inclusion of the role of indigenous and local knowledge systems as well as adequate gender representation,” Eng.

Ng’eno said. At the same time, Eng. Ng’eno applauded IPCC for its reports saying they were regular, unbiased and informative. “I therefore applaud you all for taking this initiative and leading the climate change agenda in Africa to plan in advance for Africa’s joint position in the 7th Assessment cycle of the IPCC. “The products in the 6th assessment cycle show an improvement in the representation of African issues, however there is still major room for improvement,” Eng. Ng’eno said.

He observed that lack of awareness of IPCC processes; limited funding for research; and prohibitive publishing costs were a major setback to the process, and challenged the scientists to find solutions to the challenges. “It is my hope that this meeting of like-minded individuals will generate solutions that can immediately be implemented to curb some of these challenges,” the PS said.

He advised the IPCC scientists to embrace collaboration with sectors that consumer their output, and cautioned against top-down dissemination of research findings. “In many cases, the wealth of knowledge that informs adaptation and mitigation planning, and decision making is not used to its full potential. “Top-down approaches to knowledge production are identified as one of the reasons for the gap between science and practice,” Eng. Ng’eno cautioned.

The PS said climate change adaptation was urgent for Africa because of her vulnerability and called for a special IPCC on adaptation indicators. “It would also be important to support or raise the need for a special report on among others adaptation indicators. This will support Africa to adequately push for the operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation,” Eng. Ng’eno said. The meeting was convened by the African Group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES) led by Dr George Wamukoya, and by among other Prof Debra Roberts, IPCC Working Group co-chair


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