13 June 2018

Malawi: Technology Key for Community to Adapt Climate Change-Experts

Photo: Charles Mkoka/Thomson Reuters Foundation
A man stands near a raised solar panel and reservoir tanks used for irrigation at Chiswamafupa irrigation scheme, in the traditional authority of Mambo in Zomba district, eastern Malawi, July 11, 2018.

Blantyre — Experts have warned that unless countries use climate technologies as a tool to enable communities to adapt to climate change, resilience building will still be problematic among farmers.

This has been said by Climate Change Experts in Lilongwe in an ongoing Community Based Adaptations Conference (CBA) 12 which among others is looking at how climate technologies can be used to solve the problems that are facing.

Director, Climate Change Research, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Clare Shakya said countries need to explore new and existing technologies that would work for poor and climate vulnerable communities and find workable ways forward for turning the growing calls for technology 'fixes' into practical, accessible and affordable solutions that could mobilize investment and enable adaptation at scale.

"In a world where new technology is changing the way we live our lives, and constantly surprising us about what is possible, it is no wonder that we look to 'new technology' to provide solutions to the world's most pressing issues," she said.

"Innovation in applying adaptation technology" is how people living in rural areas can use technologies to leverage the natural capital they already have- plants, animals, soils, water, forests, land to make their communities more productive and resilient in the face of a changing climate.

For example, water and land use management technologies that integrate the needs and voices of all vested-interest groups including groups within households, farmers, livestock owners and others.

Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF) Director, Heather McGray noted there is strong evidence that technology could play a big role in climate change adaptation saying it is high time countries like Malawi quickly embrace it.

She said technologies have significantly supported climate change mitigation like in commercial research, particularly around renewable energy that has created tremendous opportunity for nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

"The daunting task of taking action needed to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change, the mitigation and adaptation objectives of the Paris Agreement is no exception.

CJRF will continue safeguarding food security by promoting climate resilience agricultural practices," McGray pointed out.

Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), Anthony Ngozo said Malawi has done enough on using technology to enable communities adapt climate change like the issue of improving irrigation system using solar powered pumps to realize bumper harvest.

He said that, " What I have noted is that the country is still doing enough on technology but the private sector has to do more because it owns larger part of the technology being used.

Technology as a tool for climate change adaptation needs joints efforts."

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