Monday, 31 January 2011

African activists awarded for climate change innovation

Africa’s poor and vulnerable communities have first hand experience of climate change and are eager to learn more about what they should do to become climate resilient. However, these communities can be isolated from formal exchanges of knowledge on how to build resilience. AfricaAdapt’s  Knowledge Sharing Innovation Fund has been set to reverse this and has just announced the winners of its 2010 call.

Nine local projects helping different communities adapt to the changing climate have won grants from the AfricaAdapt Innovation Fund. The money will help the community-based groups carry out ground-breaking research and put their life-changing ideas into practice in 2011.

Inspiring winners
“Winners were selected from hundreds of great submissions from across the continent. The finalists were judged to be the most innovative, effective and inspiring,” says Moussa Na Abou Mamouda, network coordinator of AfricaAdapt.

‘In Madagascar, local folk songs – Hira Gasy – will be used by Antananarivo University to spread the message to farmers about the need to improve risk-control,’ explains Binetou Diagne, Knowledge Sharing Officer from AfricaAdapt.

She adds: ‘Children and adults in the central highlands of Kenya will use cheap and free local materials to create colourful murals about climate change, performing arts, environmental games and demonstration gardens, all supported by the Tree Is Life Trust. It’s a great way to get people involved at the grassroots level in thinking about how climate change will affect them on a day-to-day basis. That’s what the AfricaAdapt Innovation Fund is all about.’

In Ethiopia, three small villages will be involved with Haramaya University in creating and showcasing short films about climate change. Then there’ll be discussions about what practical action they can take, as well as how they can input into local government adaptation plans.

Other winners were the Women’s Action Network in Burkina Faso, the Lipangwe Organic Manure Demonstration Farm in Malawi; and the ONG Young Volunteers for the Environment in Benin.

About AfricaAdapt
AfricaAdapt is a network committed to ensure that Africa’s most vulnerable communities access and contribute to research and information to help them strengthen their resilience to climate change. For more information on AfricaAdapt please visit or email