The pressing need for a for a " continental network for Adaptation in Africa " was the conclusion of the workshop entitled Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) workshop: “Convening Adaptation Knowledge Networks and Platforms in Africa”.
Around 70 representatives from some 20 regional adaptation knowledge platforms and others organizations together endorsed the Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) as the continental network to be responsible for coordinating, facilitating, harnessing and strengthening the exchange of information and knowledge and fostering and supporting strategic planning and policy processes.
The event was hosted at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) HQ to provide a forum for facilitating learning and exploring the potential for synergies and concrete collaboration between the various initiatives with rational to optimizing the use of resources for adaptation under the current financial resource constraint.
Coming just after the Eighteenth Conference of Parties (COP18) that took place in Doha and injected some energy and momentum for advancing the adaptation agenda and also when there are many disasters such as severe droughts in the Sahel in 2012 and the Horn of Africa in 2011 that have brought into sharp focus the serious impacts of climate change on the continent, the need for capacity building for CC Adaptation as a priority in providing sustainable solutions to reduce vulnerability of a great majority of the population from the impacts of climate change has never been so urgent.
On the final days of the workshop, all the regional adaptation networks highlighted Knowledge has a critical role to support planning and Implementation of CC Adaptation but there are challenges such as fragmentation, lack of alignment of practices, insufficient understanding of end users and overlap.
Against this backdrop the regional networks adopted a declaration endorsing the Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) as the continental network to be responsible for:
o Coordinating, facilitating, harnessing and strengthening the exchange of information and knowledge.
o Building new alliances to enhance collaboration and innovation,
o Harmonizing and aggregating knowledge in useable packages tailored for addressing particular climate risks.
o Fostering and supporting strategic planning and policy processes
o Building capacity to provide short, midterm and long-term solutions to climate change.
The Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) aims to harness the valuable knowledge and experiences gained from such initiatives, and to share these with governments, regional authorities, and communities facing similar climate challenges.
The AAKNet website is available at: www.africa.ganadapt.org