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Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism

Youth in Uganda take the lead on Community-Based Adaptation

KEY IMPACTS

National Adaptation Plans – Climate-Smart Agriculture:

  • Agriculture is increasingly part of nationalprocesses to develop National Adaptation Plans and the climate-smart approach is embedded in this medium to long-term planning process.
  • In Malawi, climate change adaptation was mainstreamed in the new National Agriculture Policy and in the National Agriculture Investment Plan.
  • In Uganda capacities were enhanced at institutional ministry level and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries were supported to finalise the National Adaptation Plan for the Agriculture sector.
  • Contributed to FAO’s flagship work on integrating agriculture into National Adaptation Plans supporting 7 global and regional programmes, 10 national programmes, including 10 LDCs and 22 developing countries.

Even if the world succeeds in cutting greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement and in limiting climate change, some impacts on vulnerable communities are inevitable.

In Uganda, for example, agriculture accounts for 24 percent of gross domestic product. However, changes in temperatures are bringing more frequent and longer-lasting droughts, killing more cattle and hitting crop production. Uganda estimates the cost of climate change adaptation could reach USD 644 million by 2025. However, the cost of inaction will be around USD 3.1 to 5.9 billion by 2025, making it clear that climate change adaptation is crucial to secure a sound economic future.

FAO directly supports and implements adaptation actions on the ground in Uganda and other nations, but it also works at a policy and training level, through a global support programme to assist countries in making their agricultural sectors more resilient. This includes planning and budgeting of adaptation actions and ensuring that climate-smart agriculture is fully embedded in agricultural development and investment planning – including through training the next generation of change-makers.

“It is important for governments to recognize the need to involve young people in all decision-making processes that are aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change as they can perpetuate and abate this global challenge”, said Okwi James, Director of Programs and Partnerships for Uganda’s Youth Go Green.

In June 2017, the project co-sponsored a youth conference as part of the 11th international conference on Community-Based Adaptation in Kampala – in collaboration with Makerere University Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovations (MUCCRI), the Uganda Ministry of Water and Environment, the European Union and the International Institute for Environment and Development.

The conference attracted over 120 young people from Uganda and across the world, who learned skills on climate-smart agriculture and ecosystem resilience, water management, peer-to-peer experience sharing and innovative solutions for climate action. Field training in community areas in Mubende district, where FAO is supporting work on climate change adaptation, solidified the theories presented at the conference.

“The young people came back with a full appreciation of the real impact of climate change, the need to add value in the agricultural sectors and the dire need to get deeply involved in Community-Based Adaptation”, said Okwi James. Some of the participants are already putting the knowledge they gained into practice.

“With my background knowledge and exposure arising from the field visit … I have been able to draw linkages between documented literature and what farmers are actually doing on the ground”, said Ms. Gift Namanya, a geography graduate and Makerere University Climate Champion Network Member.

“Today, some of the agricultural practices I am involved in are vegetable growing, poultry keeping, piggery and goat rearing. These activities are based on the skills and knowledge learnt during interactions with the farmers in Mubende district”. Namanya is passing on her skills, documenting the climate-smart practices she saw in the MUCCRI website and database as part of an internship she secured as a result of the event.

“Some of the most interesting and outstanding activities I have documented are about rainwater harvesting and climate smart agriculture”, she said. “By increasing access to water, given that much of the agricultural sector is rain-fed, the presence of some of the most predominant and devastating climate change impacts – like droughts and food insecurity – are offset.”