5 inspiring stories about climate action in Africa

5 inspiring stories about climate action in Africa

Photo by United Nations Environment Programme/Aidan Dockery

Development success stories are a source of inspiration to innovate and anticipate. Although climate change is often seen as a complex issue to communicate, media experts have noted that storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to take complex topics and break them down into something that feels personal, localized. and resolvable.

For too long, the narrative surrounding Africa’s development has been one of stagnation and decline, but there are also many vivid examples of how a participatory approach – including all actors – to development can stimulate the creativity of all parties involved.

Natural dykes in the Seychelles

The story of Victorin Laboudallon tells how a grandfather from the Seychelles created his own organization to plant forests and fight against climate change. He has built up a network of volunteers, from children to retirees, whom he calls on to help him replant.

Sea levels are rising at an alarming rate in the Seychelles, but instead of leaving the matter to the government, Laboudallon decided to act by planting mangroves, which help defend against the impacts of rising seas and coastal erosion by reducing the height and force of the waves before they reach the shore.

The power of mangroves to protect both land and corals has prompted the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to consider these trees a “super solution” to climate change. As part of a global adaptation project called Ecosystem-based Adaptation South, or EbA South, the Seychelles government has worked with leaders like Victorin Laboudallon. Funded by the Global Environment Facility, the project uses nature to defend against climate impacts in three ecosystems: coastal habitats in the Seychelles, arid deserts in Mauritania and mountainous forests in Nepal.

The Great Green Wall

The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement to grow an 8,000 kilometer wall of vegetation across the width of Africa. About 15 percent is currently underway, helping to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes on an unprecedented scale, while delivering improved food security, jobs and livelihoods.

The initiative is designed to prevent the spread of the desert and the subsequent destruction of water supplies and livelihoods. When completed, the Great Green Wall is expected to be the largest living structure on the planet and aims to create 10 million jobs in rural areas by 2030.

Nigerian Young Farmers Network

Courtesy of Nigerian Young Farmers Network

Promise Amahah, a young farmer, agribusiness expert and development consultant, aims to foster a vibrant new generational agricultural sector with the “Nigerian Young Farmers Network”.

To build the organization, Amahah created a dynamic team and consulted with relevant stakeholders, before embarking on a nationwide needs assessment to open up membership to all young people, regardless of background, educational discipline and their social status. “To create an open and inclusive platform, we have developed an administrative structure that includes different levels of leadership composed of young people from different walks of life, including farmers from rural to urban areas, as well as representatives from national-state to national levels. local and local. community level”.

First, it brings together relevant data, people and resources to help farmers make informed decisions and increase their profitability; second, it provides capacity development through vocational and vocational training as well as the provision of modern machinery and tools; third, it facilitates access to credit, business linkages, market access and multi-stakeholder engagement, and fourth, it provides support and business promotion to its network of young farmers.

Protect coastal areas and communities

Sea level rise will have a direct and critical impact on Egypt’s infrastructure and development along the coastal lowlands. The Green Climate Fund-funded project, “Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation on the North Coast of Egypt”, protects the densely populated lowlands of the Nile Delta, which have been identified as highly vulnerable to sea ​​level rise induced by climate change.

Leveraging local knowledge to establish 69 kilometers of sand dunes, the project aims to protect coastal areas and communities in a cost-effective way. It will expand the use of a low-cost levee system to prevent flooding of lowlands by sea waves.

Saving water with data

Reshaping agricultural development through climate-smart agricultural techniques, The International Finance Corporation and ALEXBANK announced in 2021 a new partnership to help Egyptian farmers access financing to purchase solar-powered irrigation systems, which reduces their dependence on diesel generators and increases their productivity and individual incomes.

Through this partnership, the International Finance Corporation and ALEXBANK will design new financial products to enable farmers – most of whom do not have direct access to the electricity grid – to purchase and install energy-efficient irrigation pumps solar, which could save farmers up to EGP 14 billion (USD 875 million) per year in diesel fuel costs and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to help farmers save water resources, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have launched the IRWI app -phone as part of the Smallholder Farmer Capacity Development Project, which provides farmers with information based on their land and local weather conditions, and translates technical data into irrigation schedules.

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