The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has lauded the County Government of Wajir for setting up a climate change fund even as the country witnesses a positive move in climate change policies.

This is after the county government announced plans to spend Ksh96.8 million on the newly launched Wajir County Climate Change Fund to support climate change action projects in the county.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Wajir Deputy Governor Ahmed Muktar said the fund, through the Wajir County Integrated Plan, would help implement climate change mitigation and adaptation projects through the promotion of renewable energy and tree planting exercises across the six sub-counties.

“Wajir County has been experiencing increasingly frequent and severe droughts that have weakened the livelihoods of our people and the economy of the county. These are often followed by flash floods that also damage the limited but critical infrastructure of the area such as roads and living areas. As a county, we made a decision to come up with better and coordinated ways of dealing with these challenges even as we wait for national level policies and plans,” said Muktar

“Climate change poses a great risk to development processes and efforts, further emphasizing on the need for an appropriate development pathway that takes into account the diverse risks and uncertainties associated with climate variability and change,” he noted.

Wajir now joins Makueni and Kitui counties as one of the county administrations that have passed laws on climate change action including mitigation and adaptation measures.

The news came just a day after the UN issued carbon credits to a programme that helps farmers install biodigesters in their homes in Burkina Faso.

Over three billion people worldwide cook with charcoal or wood, causing polluted air that contributes to millions of premature deaths every year. Cooking with biogas generated by the digesters – installed by private companies supported through the World Bank’s Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) – reduces this pollution, while also cutting greenhouse gas emissions, combatting deforestation, and improving the livelihoods of farmers. 

Climate change policies in African countries have seen an upward trend, mostly owing to the Paris Agreement that required party states to set up laws in order to implement the treaty that comes into play in the year 2020.

In February this year, Kenyan members of parliament vowed to support the passage of the National Policy on Climate Change that will see the Kenyan government set aside Ksh200 million annually over five years to address the impacts of climate change after it is passed.

The MPs expressed concern that global warming caused by climate change will have an adverse effect on all the sectors of the economy including agriculture, industry, energy, water, trade, and tourism.

The leader of Majority Aden Duale urged MPs to approve the policy to help transform Kenya by implementing the Vision 2030.

He regretted that the cost of managing climate change impacts is increasing day by day and thus needs to be addressed urgently.

“If climate change is left unattended to, it will impede vision 2030 whose aim is to transform Kenya into a globally competitive, middle-income country,” he said.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has welcomed the move by the Kenya Members of the National Assembly to support the passage of the National Policy on Climate Change that will see the government set aside Ksh200 million annually over five years to address the impacts of climate change after it is passed.

Speaking in his office on Wednesday, PACJA Secretary General Mithika Mwenda lauded the move by the MPs terming it a step in the right direction. 

“This move is a step in the right direction and demonstrates commitment by the Kenyan Government to address climate change and its impacts on the citizenry,” he said. 

Mr Mithika took the opportunity to state that the developed nations, which are historically responsible for the rapid change in the earth’s climate, should bear the responsibility for the mitigation efforts, adding that partners should match the government’s commitment ten fold.

“We now leave it to the industralised countries to compliment this commitment. The amount proposed is little compared to the impacts being faced by the citizens so we insist that the responsibility rests with the industralised nations as per climate change conventions and the Paris Agreement,” he noted.

Yesterday (Tuesday) the MPs expressed concern that global warming caused by climate change will have an adverse effect on all the sectors of the economy including agriculture, industry, energy, water, trade and tourism.

The leader of Majority Aden Duale urged MPs to approve the policy to help transform Kenya by implementing the Vision 2013.

He regretted that the cost of managing climate change impacts is increasing day by day and thus need to be addressed urgently.

“If climate change is left unattended to, it will impede vision 2030 whose aim is to transform Kenya into a globally competitive, middle-income country,” he said.

Leader of Minority John Mbadi said effects of deforestation have had disastrous effects including reducing the country’s water levels. He proposed that in order to address the impact of climate change there is need to pass legislation to condition local companies to put a percentage of their profits into planting trees. 

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has just concluded stakeholder consultations with Ethiopia, Botswana and Zambia on climate advocacy and inputs into national and regional strategic climate change processes. These three countries also underwent an Organization Capacity Assessment to understand their strengths, weakness, and opportunities as organizations and strengthen strategic links

This move by PACJA is aimed at creating strong pillars in countries hosting Regional Economic Integration Communities (RECs) and Pan African Institutions to ensure consistent and sustainable outreach, where civil society and communities at the front line of climate change impacts play proactive role.

The National platforms identified and relevant Institutions they host, respectively, include Kenya (UN Environment), Ethiopia (AU, UNECA), Botswana (SADC), Gabon (AMCEN, CAHOSCC, CEMACC), Nigeria (ECOWAS), Tanzania (EAC), Ivory Coast (African Development Bank) and Zambia (COMESA).

This process will enhance capacity of civil society and their effectiveness in coordination, strategically engaging in various governmental spaces, first beginning at national and feeding into continental levels, will enable them to catalyse change and ensure bottom-up, pro-poor and people-centred narratives form the basis for implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement, and more importantly, the Nationally Determined Contributions ( NDCs). 

The next stakeholder consultative meetings will take place in Gabon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance is this week taking part in an expert meeting to assess the progress made in the process to formulate and implement the national adaptation plans. 

PACJA is represented in the meeting that is taking part from 7-9 February 2018 at Hotel Praia in Sao Tome and Principe.

The meeting comes just months before the subsidiary body for implementation (SBI) 48th session that will be held between April and May 2018.

During the session, the SBI will assess progress made in the process to formulate and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs) with a view to making recommendations thereon to the Conference of Parties (COP).

As part of the actions and steps for the assessment, the COP requested the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG), in collaboration with the Adaptation Committee, to organize a meeting of Party experts, to consider the progress made towards the achievement of the objectives of the process to formulate and implement NAPs, experiences, best practices, lessons learned, gaps and needs, and support provided and received, with a view to providing a summary of progress made in the process to formulate and implement NAPs.

By Jacob Munoru

Every few years, the issue of deforestation and illegal logging comes up in the news, and then dies a natural death, buried under other more ‘important’ issues until it comes back up sooner or later.

I was alerted to the resurgence of this issue after I came across an online petition by conservationists seeking to stop the legal felling of trees in the Mt Kenya forest.

The conservationists, who have so far garnered 3,398 signatures according to a brief on the Daily Nation (Thursday, January 18), want the Kenya Forest Service to stop the logging and conserve the forest.

At the same time, the Sengwer community that lives in Embobut Forest is facing eviction from their homes in the name of forest conservation, with the ongoing conflict between the Kenya Forest Service officers and the community members allegedly resulting in the death of a herder on Wednesday.

The question therefore begs, is there a way to conserve forests while still benefiting from the resource and securing the homes of forest-dwelling communities?

Many of the world’s forests and woodlots mainly in the tropics and subtropics (read Africa or East Africa to be precise) are not managed sustainably. Most countries in the region lack appropriate forest policies, legislation, institutional framework and incentives to promote sustainable forest management.

Where forest management plans exist, they are limited to ensuring the sustainable production of wood, without paying attention to the many other products and services that forests offer. Alternative land uses like Agriculture and Real estate developments seems to be financially more attractive in the short run than forest management, motivating deforestation and land use changes. The World Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), helps to identify, test and promote innovative, multipurpose forest management approaches and techniques that respond to mitigating and adapting to a changing climate.

Sustainable forest management means environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of forests for present and future generations. Sustainable forest management addresses forest degradation and deforestation while increasing direct benefits to people and environment. At the social level, sustainable forest management contributes to livelihoods, income generation, and employment. At the environmental level, it contributes to important services such as carbon sequestration (carbon sinks) and water, soil and biodiversity conservation. Managing forests sustainably means increasing their benefits, including timber, food and medicine to meet society needs in a way that conserves maintaining the forest ecosystem as well as climate change mainstreaming for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Good forest conservation management promotes climate change mainstreaming. Forests play a crucial role in the Hydrological cycle, influencing the availability of water, regulating surface and groundwater flows and maintaining high water quality. Forest and trees, in general, reduce water-related risks such as landslides, local floods and droughts and help prevent desertification and salinization.

Our country’s tree cover is below 10 per cent, hence the many adverse effects of climate change like floods, droughts, repetitive crop failures for many years, unreliable rainfall patterns and amounts, ice caps disappearing from our high mountains and frequent outbreaks of both human and livestock diseases- but- our government has set a good target of increasing the forest cover to reach 10 per cent within the soonest time possible. To the general public and all stakeholders ( CSOs, Bilateral and Multilateral partners ) concerted efforts should be in place to help in attaining the 10 per cent forest cover to arrest the negative effects of climate change via the practice of sustainable forest management.

Sustainable forest management and climate change mainstreaming are evolving processes and the parameters defining them change over time based on latest scientific knowledge and societies understanding of the concepts. Forest ecosystems are complex and influenced by numerous external factors; also different regions of the world require different sustainable strategies; therefore the criteria for sustainable forest management must constantly adapt to new circumstances, as well as social, economic, political, cultural and spiritual dimensions. Climate change mainstreaming is essential to address the serious effects of climate change which affect Man and the environments in the world mainly due to anthropogenic reasons.

Our hope of securing the environment while still benefiting from our forest resources therefore lies in formulating policies and strategies that are appropriate for our region and country and are socially acceptable so that communities are not disenfrinchised and our environment is not completely destroyed.

About the Author: Jacob Munoru is a Forest Management Expert working with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility project at the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance

This article was first published on the Daily Nation

PEMBA, Zambia (PAMACC News) - Grace Moonga harvested 115 by 50 Kg bags of maize last season. And it was enough for family food consumption and sale for income generation to support her second year University student son.

But she is afraid that this year’s farming season is turning out negative—a prolonged dry spell affecting her 3-hectare maize field.

“Just look at this crop,” lamentsMoonga, pointing at her severely wilted crop. “It has been 22 days since it last rained here. This is a serious disaster for a widow like me whose only source of income is farming, I don’t even know what will become of my son at the University.”

Since 2007 when her husband died, Moonga has been supporting her six children through smallholder farming. So far, her firstborn son has completed his teaching course, while the university student was only in primary five when his father died.

However, dependency on rainfall is increasingly becoming a risky business for smallholder farmers as erratic rainfall punctuated with prolonged dry spells has become the norm rather than an exception. For instance, the 2015/16 farming season was characterized by the El Nino induced drought. While 2016/17 season restored some hope with normal to above normal rainfall, the 2017/18 season is turning out negative—a prolonged dry spell which according to the Zambia Meteorological Department, has caused substantial moisture deficits and an increased likelihood for adverse crop production.

According to Zambia Meteorological Department, the prolonged dry spell being experienced over Lusaka, Southern, Western and Southern parts of Central and Eastern Provinces have been largely due to atmospheric systems – the consecutive occurrence of deep low-pressure systems and tropical cyclones over the Mozambique channel and the Indian ocean.

Unfortunately, the forecast up to March 2018 remains negative as abnormal dryness has strengthened and expanded, placing additional moisture stress on crops, especially at critical stages of growth.

Nevertheless, good as this forecast may be, it largely remains generic and scientific for smallholder farmers to easily interpret. It is for this reason that climate change development actors have been advocating for improved climate information and other climate-resilient services such as insurance for smallholder farmers.

In Zambia, one such institution working in this area is the World Food Programme (WFP). Under its R4—Rural Resilience Initiative, WFP has installed automated and manual weather stations in selected project areas to facilitate improved meteorological information for smallholder farmers.

Mosco Hamalambo is a trained rain gauge attendant at Sibajene village, one of the 20 manual rain gauge stations dotted around Pemba district. He believes the weather stations have improved farmers’ knowledge especially on the time to plant.

“With this facility, we now have readily available information when we should plant our crops,” Hamalambo told PAMACC News. “Even as we are experiencing this dry spell, we have the information on how much rainfall we have received and how poorly distributed it has been.”

Hamalambosays such information is helpful for comparison with satellite data on which weather index insurance is based—another component of the R4 project where farmers are enrolled for a possible pay-out if they do not receive required amounts of rainfall in a set and agreed window of the farming season.

In terms of amounts of rainfall, 400 mm of rainfall received in the area is enough for optimum production of maize according to Stanley Ndhlovu,

WFP Zambia R4 Coordinator. However, “the challenge has been distribution, it has been very erratic.”It is however not yet clear whether the index would trigger for a pay-out. Close to 4000 farmers are enrolled on the R4 project weather index insurance scheme. 
In the meantime, Grace Moonga is hoping and praying for some heavy downpour as she still believes something could be salvaged from her wilted crop—thanks to Conservation Agriculture (CA) which she practices. Under CA, minimum tillage and mulching practices help to retain moisture for crops to withstand prolonged dry spells.

Considering the elongated dry spell experienced, Moonga knows that what could be salvaged would still not be enough, hence placing her last hope in weather insurance. “From what we were taught about how this insurance works, I am hopeful that we might receive a pay-out this year,” she says enthusiastically.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance is today holding a meeting on climate change resilience and adaptation in Embu County. 

The meeting that is being organized under the Trocaire-funded Community Resilience And Climate Change Adaptation project is geared at engaging stakeholders including policymakers to develop climate change policies that take Natural Resource Management into consideration.

The meetings come just a day after similar meetings were held in Kitui and Tharaka Nithi counties with a view of building community resilience to climate change.

PACJA, being the most knowledgeable African civil society coalition in the context of climate policy influence, is working with key stakeholders in Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Kitui Counties to establish County “best fit’’ Climate Change policies in each the three Counties.

In implementing the project, PACJA’s role is to support community members and Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups to participate in and have influence over decision-making processes on NRM, agricultural development and climate change adaptation at community and County levels, in particular policy-making, planning and budget allocation as well as support partners to influence County and national government departments to develop climate-sensitive policies, laws, plans and budgets that support community resilience and adaptive capacity.

PACJA further strives to provide technical support to government officials at the County level to develop policies, legislation, plans and budgets that support climate change adaptation, climate-sensitive resilience building and natural resource management.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance is today (Monday) holding a workshop on climate change mainstreaming at Ngong Hills Hotel in Nairobi.

The meeting brings together key stakeholders – government representatives, civil society, academia and members of the private sector - to interrogate the state of affairs of climate change mainstreaming processes.

The workshop will look deeply into Kenya’s implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions and the efforts counties are making in the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient green development. 

This workshop is expected to facilitate relationships between the Civil Society Organisations and the new county governments in working towards Climate Change Governance at the county level.

The networks and recommendations developed will add to PACJA’s work of enhancing Climate Change Governance in Kenya.

The meeting has been convened under the project on Improving Civil Society Engagements in Mainstreaming Climate Change at National and county level sectorial policies and programmes that are currently being implemented by PACJA with funding support from Act Change Transform (ACT!). 

Through this project, being implemented both at the national level and in two counties, Baringo and Turkana, PACJA is working in collaboration with relevant government ministries including the Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, Ministry of Water, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Energy, the Private sector, Academia and other civil society organisations from the national and county level.

Climate change mainstreaming is a process facilitated by institutions such as sectorial agencies, county/national governments and non-state actors.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance is today (Friday) convening the Africa Regional Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Consultative Workshop on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

The workshop, which will be held at Sunland Hotel in the city, is aimed at facilitating the sharing of experiences and lessons learned from civil society organisations across Africa in the REDD+ Readiness processes.

The workshop was organised under an FCPF-funded project aimed at building the capacity of African Civil Society and Local Communities on REDD+ that is currently being implemented by PACJA.

The beneficiaries of the project are Southern CSO networks and organisations from the 18 FCPF eligible countries in Africa. PACJA, the CSOs Intermediary and implementing agency, is focusing national level activities on five countries namely: Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Togo and Mozambique and Madagascar.

This unique convergence with policymakers among other stakeholders during the AU Summit will accord an opportunity to an array of actors drawn from diverse backgrounds – women, youth, indigenous peoples, and smallholder farmers – to interrogate the extent to which the Paris Agreement is capable of delivering a stabilized climate system in such a time frame as to avoid irreversible global warming and the implications of the Paris Agreement for Africa.

Debates on such mechanisms like REDD+ have not yet found adequate space in high-level policy processes in African countries, and this is one of the rare opportunities to create awareness to the policymakers and other stakeholders from across Africa.

The FCPF regional meeting will, therefore, in addition to knowledge exchange, be a platform to expand conversations and broaden partnerships around REDD+ readiness processes while at the same time contributing towards the Africa Union Summit agenda. 

You can download the meeting's concept note here.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 00:00

PACJA Elects New Continental Executive Board

Then Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has elected a new Continental Executive Board as the implementing organ of decisions and policies for the organization.

The elections were conducted during the Second Extra-Ordinary General Assembly meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on January 23, 2018.

Newly elected Chairperson of the Board, John Bonds Bideri, says building capacities of local CSOs remains crucial to PACJA to support grassroots initiatives to deal with climate vagaries.

“The most important thing is that the vulnerable people should have that protection at the global, continental and community levels in terms of responding to issues or challenges that affect them,” he stated.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has for almost a decade served as the largest advocacy platform for CSOs in Africa.

The activities of the Alliance resonates with the global call for action against climate change proclaimed by the United Nations, with a singular clarion call that no single individual, institution, country or region can single-handedly defeat the threats posed by the changing climate and the quest for achieving a sustainable development while leaving no one behind.

Secretary-General of the Organization, Mithika Mwenda, however, says the major concern is how to make the Paris Climate Agreement relevant to the vulnerable farmer who needs to irrigate his farm all year round to produce food and the community that gets displaced by flood anytime it rains.

“Having the Agreement is one thing and getting it implemented is another thing,” he said. “One of the things we’ve been trying to do is to push the governments to focus more on implementation because now we have a framework which is supposed to go on the ground”.

It is a shared opinion that Africa is not deficit in policy formulation. But getting the thoughts off paper to achieve set goals on the ground becomes problematic. Lack of finance for implementation is often cited as hindrance.

PACJA has been pushing the international community to provide sufficient funds for the implementation of provisions in the Paris Agreement, which includes each country’s NDCs, to ensure integration of climate change into the new paradigms of low-carbon development and climate resilience pathways.

“We are very optimistic, though it is not an easy thing to do. Africans and the global community have no choice; we have to act on climate change. We have frameworks in countries that if we build on, we can have very transformative economies,” said Mithika.

Building a stronger CSO Alliance

The adoption of the Paris Agreement left many stakeholders and countries unable to shift from the negotiation mode to implementation, including many civil society groups.

PACJA envisions a global environment free from the threat of climate change with sustainable development, equity and justice for all.

The Alliance acknowledges there is still more ground to cover around low-carbon, climate-resilient, green economy discourses.

African civil society organizations on climate change have been at the forefront in building momentum for vulnerable people on the continent and other developing economies to access climate justice.


The voices were high and loud going into the UN Conference of Parties (COP21) on Climate Change which produced the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015.

But these voices have gone down low after the talks.

Two years after Paris, most countries on the continent have slowed in climate action.

Sudanese scientist and climate activist, Dr. Shaddad Mauwa, has sat in meetings, shouted and held placards in demonstrations at the local, continental and global stages to clamour for climate justice.

He acknowledged that though African climate change actors – governments, parliamentarians, negotiators, civil society – are doing better than before, there seems to be a wall that has become difficult to break.

“There are many issues still not going in the line of what Africa will like to see,” he said.

For him, these issues include the commitment of developed economies to heed to the Paris Agreement in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lack of access to climate funds by developing countries and poor implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to be climate-resilient.


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