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Climate Risk Management in Africa: Learning from Practice

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Type of Risk:
Weather & Climate related
Natural disasters
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk reduction/mitigation
Risk coping
Risk transfer
Hellmuth, M.E., Moorhead, A., Thomson, M.C., and Williams, J. (eds)
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI)

Most of the sectors on which development efforts focus are climate-sensitive, including agriculture, health, energy, transport, and water resources. Incorporating climate knowledge into these efforts could greatly enhance their effectiveness, yet the opportunities for doing this are largely being missed at present. Some believe this omission is undermining progress towards the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)  (UNDP, 2002). Climate-related disasters, in particular, are threatening development gains in many African countries. At the same time, the few climate science-driven projects that have been initiated have for the most part failed to address climate within the context of development needs. As a result, the products and services developed by the climate research community have not been as useful as they could have been. It is becoming clear that what is needed is an integrated approach that incorporates climate science into multidisciplinary development planning and projects. And crucially, the approach must also be participatory, involving all primary stakeholders so as to ensure that their real needs are met. The climate tools used in such an approach will enhance stakeholders’ decision making by providing relevant new information that they can incorporate into practice.