LDCs urged to invest in climate expertise


By Tiwonge Kampondeni:

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) must recognise that building capacity for climate change adaptation requires expert knowledge and sustainability and that universities, not governments, are better positioned to take the lead.

Mizan Khan, Director of the LDC Universities Consortium on Climate Change and Development (LUCCC), said this at a UNFCCC capacity-building event held on Wednesday at COP27.


He said most government officials lack practical knowledge to understand the science of climate change.

“Most government officials in key positions lack practical knowledge to understand climate change and yet the majority of LCDs have left the capacity building of communities in the hands of governments which has proved to be less effective and is not sustainable.

“Universities are the most sustainable institutions, they have the expertise, they outlive the governments, governments change, they come and go but universities stay on,” he said.


Khan said most LCDs are falling behind in climate change adaptation because capacity-building initiatives are disrupted when governments change.

The Africa Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (Anapri) said it recognises the importance of higher learning institutions and that, as an institution, it is collaborating with academic institutions to co-create courses and programmes that address the realities posed by climate change.

“Anapri has strategic alliances with different universities and research institutions and the majority of the think tanks are directly affiliated with universities,” said Antony Chapoto, technical chair for Anapri.

Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Eisenhower Mkaka agreed that climate change fight needs to be science-based and that a scientific body would be ideal to lead the fight against climate change.

Mkaka said the government is ensuring that there are watertight policies in place which would be a guide even when governments change.

“Sometimes because of lack of policy there is disruption when there is a change in government but with proper policy, it should be easy to have continuity in place,” he said.

Inger Ander, Under- Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, emphasised the importance of prioritising climate education, particularly among youth, because knowledge is required to combat climate change.

“Climate change is an issue for the future, and if we don’t help the young people of today have all the knowledge and the tools they need to fight this, we are not doing them and ourselves a service,” she said.

COP2 builds on the outcomes of COP26 to deliver action on a number of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency – from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience, and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.

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