African experts call for adaptation financing to tame climate crisis

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NAIROBI, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The next phase of climate change fight in Africa should focus on robust financing toward grassroots-led adaptation initiatives in order to boost the continent's ability to withstand shocks like droughts, heatwaves, wildfires and the spread of vector-borne diseases, experts said Monday.

Speaking during the launch of the sixth assessment report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) report on the sidelines of the resumed fifth session of UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) underway in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, the experts said that securing a resilient and green future for the continent hinged on scaling up adaptation financing.

"Access to adaptation funds is one of the most effective ways to ensure climate resilience in Africa remains on track," said Youba Sokona, the IPCC vice-chair and a Malian climate scientist.

He acknowledged Africa's growing vulnerability to the climate crisis, adding that investments in adaptation programs focusing on a shift to renewable energy, climate-smart farming and ecosystem restoration would boost communities' resilience in the face of extreme weather events.

The sixth IPCC assessment report under the theme of impacts, adaptation and vulnerability singles out the African continent as the global climate change hotspot amid recurrent droughts, water stress, hunger and habitat loss.

Abdalah Mokssit, the secretary of IPCC and a Moroccan meteorologist, said that the emerging consensus was that Africa required a seamless flow of funds, technology and knowledge to boost its capacity to respond to climate emergencies.

Mokssit urged for greater adoption of indigenous knowledge to help communities predict the onset of extreme weather patterns in addition to investing in resilience projects like rainwater harvesting and expanding tree cover. He said that support for climate-resilient agriculture, pastoralism and fisheries was urgent to tame growing food insecurity, water stress and malnutrition among local communities.

Daniel Olago, the IPCC lead author and Kenyan climate scientist, said that investing in nature-based interventions like reforestation, mixed cropping and protection of watersheds has proved effective in shielding African communities from negative impacts of uncontrolled temperature rise. Enditem

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