The New Times (Kigali)

30 July 2013

Rwanda: African Experts in Kigali for Climate Change Meet

Clear short- and long-term adaptation plans are needed to deal with the challenge of global warming and other climate change impacts, experts from Anglophone African least developed countries meeting in Kigali said yesterday.

More than 80 participants from 18 countries are attending the workshop organised by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in collaboration with Rwanda's Ministry of Natural Resources.

The Minister for Natural Resources Stanislas Kamanzi said climate change adverse impacts are hampering development efforts in Africa's least developed countries and there is a need to strengthen capacities to deal with climate change.

"Governments in the least developed countries develop different climate change adaptation plans, but the weaknesses are noted in the implementation process, even within government institutions," Kamanzi said.

He added that budgetary constraints are a challenge, as governments have to spend on implementation of many development projects with limited funding.

Paul Desanker, UNFCC's officer in charge of National Adaptation Plans and Policy Adaptation, said least developed countries have to face the unavoidable challenge of coping with and adapting to adverse impacts of climate change despite their limited capacity.

Strengthening adaptation

Benon Yassin, the chief environmental officer in Malawi's ministry of environment and climate change management, called on countries to address capacity gaps in climate change adaptation.

Yassin, who is also a member of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group, said there was need for skills development, technological transfer and sharing of experiences to help countries strengthen national adaptation programmes.

Citing his own country's economy based on agriculture, Yassin said many countries experience natural hazards such as floods, strong winds and drought because of climate change effects.

Desanker hoped the workshop would help participants acquire new ideas and write more climate change adaptation proposals to access funds available for the least developed countries to adapt to climate change.

The workshop closes on Friday.

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