First Regional Workshop on Climate-Smart Soil in Nigeria

First Regional Workshop on Climate-Smart Soil in Nigeria 2560 866 Jamie

First Regional Workshop on Climate-Smart Soil in Nigeria

Soil plays a vital role in the Earth’s ecosystem and earth system functions that support the delivery of primary ecosystem services. Healthy soils are fundamental for food security, mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adaptation towards climate change. Excessive and improper land use leads to erosion, nutrient depletion, and other forms of degradation, which severely affects the productivity of the soils and the potential for mitigating climate change. The majority of the world’s soil resources are in only fair, poor or very poor conditions, with African soils being the most severely degraded.

Delegates discussing information needs for soil action during the First Regional Workshop on Climate Smart Soil in Abuja, Nigeria, 2023.
Opening remarks during the First Regional Workshop on Climate Smart Soil in Abuja, Nigeria 2023.

Improving soil health especially in agricultural lands will help address the problem of degradation. In the last 2 decades, droughts & floods have become regular and more frequent, creating significant challenges for the players in the agricultural value chain, especially the farmers, policy makers, extension workers and donors. Sustainable soil management (SSM) practices have been promoted as the approach for boosting healthy soils to address food security, mitigation, and adaptation challenges. These practices aim to, for example: i) improve the long-term soil fertility and ii) increase soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. Most of the major players across the agricultural value chain have recognized SOC’s potential and are setting up SOC sequestration-based targets to reduce GHG emissions. However, only a few African countries have proposed specific mitigation programs, most of which are only at the concept stage.

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing humans. Warming trends and changes in precipitation patterns, with increase in the frequency of occurrences of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and storms have increasingly severe impacts. Additionally, soil health can influence the impact of these climate changes on crops and agricultural yields. Smallholder farmers that depend on rain-fed agriculture are particularly vulnerable to these changes. Their future livelihoods in terms of food security, health, education, and standard of living in this changing temperature is a growing concern.

The biological, chemical and physical function of ‘soil health’ deteriorates with changing climate due to increasing turnover of soil organic matter, decreasing soil moisture content & soil water capacity, nutrient depletion, increased vulnerability to erosion and other degradation processes, harming soil structure. Climate change is linked to agriculture and especially to soil health as it controls soil vital processes and functions along with having an intrinsic effect on crop productivity which contributes towards food security and sustainability.

According to Nigeria’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 2021, the AFOLU sector continues to be critical in the move to a low carbon and climate resilient economy. AFOLU is the second largest contributor to total Greenhouse Gas emissions, contributing 25% of national GHG in 2018, Agriculture contributing 62.6% of the 87MtCO2eq. NDC Climate Smart Agriculture plans aim to sustainably increase agricultural production, enhance food security and development using an integrated approach. Thus, there is an opportunity to integrate solutions for improved soil health to support both food security and climate targets in the country.

The African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP) and the and the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC)  thus held the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop brought together policymakers, scientists, and practitioners to explore the critical nexus between soil health, climate change, and food security. It aimed to promote soil health and address compounding challenges in Nigeria.

To find out more about the workshop, the outcomes and recommendations made during the event see the reports below.

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop 2416 757 Jamie

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop

From the 20th – 21st of November 2023, AfCAP hosted its first Technical Support Livestock Peer Exchange  Visit in Salima, Malawi. This workshop aimed to support Malawi in developing and improving its livestock Tier 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories, raising awareness on GHG emissions within the livestock sector and, enhancing the incorporation of livestock GHG MRVs and mitigation options into the National Climate Policies and implementation plans.  Five experts,  from Kenya and Zimbabwe, attended this peer exchange visit offering their technical expertise and support. These experts shared their experiences on their country’s development of the Livestock Tier 2 GHG inventories and the faps identified during the process.  

Photo: AfCAP Secretariat with experts and Malawi delegates

This workshop was crucial in supporting Malawi in increasing awareness within Malawi’s livestock sector on the importance of using advanced GHG emission inventory methods and thus empowering the sector to meaningfully engage and contribute to national climate actions. The workshop provided an opportunity to help Malawi’s livestock sector to identify a pathway for support to assist Malawi to expand use of advanced GHG inventory methods of Tier 2 beyond the cattle species. 

The first day of the peer exchange visit began with an overview of the global context of climate change and livestock which was followed by presentations on Malawi’s climate goals, livestock sector, Malawi and Kenya’s approach to the development of Tier 2 inventories. The second day kicked off with welcoming remarks from Malawi’s Director for Animal Health and Livestock Development (AHLD), Dr. Julius Chulu. Following the welcoming remarks, experts from Zimbabwe and Kenya presented their country experiences. The workshop concluded with afternoon breakout sessions on Malawi’s lessons learnt, challenges and opportunities in the development of its’ Tier 2 inventories. 

Photo: Expert Bernard Kimoro, State Department for Livestock Development (MOALD), Kenya, with Malawi delegates during a breakout session
Photo: Expert Grace Tambo, Department of Livestock Research, Zimbabwe, with Malawi delegates during a breakout session

The various stakeholders had expressed the usefulness of this workshop as it aided in building capacity of these stakeholders. The workshop raised awareness among the various stakeholders. Both Malawian stakeholders and experts from Zimbabwe and Kenya felt that learning had happened both ways during this workshop.  Overall, the workshop was an extremely useful opportunity to raise awareness and increase Malawi’s understanding around the issues related to GHG emissions in the livestock sector. 

Attached below is the outcome report developed from the Malawi workshop for further insights into what was discussed during the workshop.

Exploring regional priorities low emissions and climate resilient livestock in Southern, East, West and North Africa

Exploring regional priorities low emissions and climate resilient livestock in Southern, East, West and North Africa 2400 1050 Jamie

Exploring regional priorities low emissions and climate resilient livestock in Southern, East, West and North Africa

In May and August 2023, the African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP) Livestock Community of Practice (CoP) hosted three inaugural regional livestock fora in Southern, East, West and North Africa. The aim of these events were to further understand the challenges, priorities and opportunities that were specific to each region and to create common messaging within each region. The fora convened key members and potential members from each region within the Livestock CoP and provided them with a platform for knowledge sharing, peer-to-peer learning and identifying key shared priorities.

Photo: AfCAP Secretariat with delegates at the Southern Africa Livestock Forum
Photo: AfCAP Secretariat with delegates at the East Africa Livestock Forum
Photo: AfCAP Secretariat with delegates at the West and North Africa Livestock Forum

These fora gave an opportunity to reflect on challenges in increasing low emission livestock ambitions in policy and implementation as well as an opportunity to actualise what has been written in policies. The fora focused on understanding pressing issues and sharing challenges which inhibit low emission development within the agricultural and livestock sectors within each region.

Attached below are the three outcome reports developed from the Southern, East, West and North Africa livestock fora for further insights into what was discussed during these fora.

Call for Expressions of Interest: Rice Community of Practice – Core group of experts

Call for Expressions of Interest: Rice Community of Practice – Core group of experts 2560 1707 aflp

Call for Expressions of Interest: Rice Community of Practice – Core group of experts

Rice production is a key component of Africa’s agriculture sector and is a staple crop in many African countries, particularly in West Africa. As demand for rice is projected to increase, many African countries are aiming to increase their rice production. However, Paddy rice is a key source of GHG emissions, particularly methane emission. To support low emission and climate resilient paddy rice production in Africa, having a collaborative network for key players to interact and share learning is vital. Peer-to-peer learning can support greater understanding of the contribution of rice emissions in the continent and to support shared efforts in developing sustainable production practices. 

AfCAP aims to convene a platform for peer-to-peer learning and collaboration amongst key African players within the paddy rice sector. The CoP will complement the broader AfCAP goal of advancing low emission and climate smart development through the following objectives:

  1. Promoting knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer exchanges among key players, programmes and country institutions within paddy rice sector
  2. Cultivate and support African climate champions and best practice within the paddy rice sector
  3. Support capacity development for the design and implementation of low emission and climate resilient rice production in Africa

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern or interest in a topic and who come together to fulfil both group and individual goals. The CoP on rice in Africa, will revolve around different objectives such as:

  1. Creating network of key African countries engaged in paddy rice production
  2. Providing a platform and opportunities for peer-to-peer knowledge sharing through regional engagements, annual meetings and other knowledge sharing events
  3. Supporting the generation of new knowledge and data to support mitigation and other climate action within the paddy rice sector
  4. Sharing and providing policy and technical support through technical exchange visits and technical assistance

The core group of experts will work with the AfCAP Secretariat to contribute to the Rice Community of Practice through technical and research support, report writing and stakeholder engagement.

For more Information please view the Terms of Reference below

Pathways To Future Agriculture In Africa

Pathways To Future Agriculture In Africa 1920 800 Roy Bouwer

Pathways To Future Agriculture In Africa

Author and Contributors: Phatsimo Rahman (SouthSouthNorth), Roy Bouwer  (SouthSouthNorth), Dr Elliott Dossou-Yovo (Africa Rice Center) 

Illustrated by: Ellen Heydenrych

Agriculture in Africa, particularly smallholder farming, is a sector interwoven with intricate challenges and diverse vulnerabilities. Climate change, alongside market-related shocks and various other risks, constantly tests the resilience of farmers and agricultural systems. In response to these challenges, multifaceted adaptation strategies are emerging as crucial tools for enhancing agricultural sustainability and resilience across various scales.

Exploring Adaptation on Different Scales: Adaptation in agriculture operates on a spectrum of scales, spanning from individual farmers to regional communities. These solutions are devised to mitigate risks posed by a range of factors, including extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms, as well as market dynamics, pests, and conflicts that are prevalent in the agricultural landscape.

Adopting Multi-Scale Strategies: To effectively address the complexities and vulnerabilities faced by farmers and agricultural systems, multifaceted adaptation strategies are paramount. These strategies are designed to operate at multiple scales, incorporating a variety of elements. For instance, combining drought-tolerant seeds with insurance can significantly boost adoption rates. Similarly, integrating farmer training and field schools with policy changes can drive sustainable practices. Moreover, linking social protection measures such as cash or in-kind support with extension services can lead to transformative shifts in agricultural practices.

Farmers need access to a bundle of services across value chains;  Evidence underscores the effectiveness of combining various adaptation approaches. Bundling different strategies amplifies their impact and enhances their ability to address multifaceted challenges. For example, integrating input support with extension services can encourage diversification and the adoption of alternative crops. Similarly, aligning soil and water management practices with a holistic approach at the farm level creates a more resilient agricultural ecosystem.

Unveiling the Vital Role of Healthy Soils in Agricultural Sustainability: A Call for Enhanced Investment and National Commitments

The expansion of agriculture is resulting in the depletion of both soil organic carbon and essential nutrients. Thus, there’s a critical necessity to advocate for sustainable agricultural practices, including conservation agriculture and other viable sustainable approaches. This has become front and center for many African governments as food security becomes an increasingly critical issue due to climate change. Soil health is central to tackling this issue, and African governments are making concerted effort to integrate this into their national policy and NDCs. According to Nigeria’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 2021, the AFOLU sector continues to be critical in the move to a low carbon and climate resilient economy. The President of Nigeria has raised the issue of food security as a state of emergency, and the country is prioritizing soil health as a critical piece of the puzzle. 

In this light, the country will host a national workshop on climate smart soil, aimed at helping stakeholders understand the Nexus between soil health, food security and climate change, and to explore the important role of to discuss how using soil health as a sustainable tool to help develop frameworks, policies and activities to mitigate and/or adapt to the changing climate to the agricultural system. The workshop is being hosted by the Federal Ministry of Environment, in partnership with the African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP). The Coalition of Action for Soil Health (COA4SH) has been passionately advocating for the significance of soil health in fostering sustainable agriculture. They are urging governments to endorse the Soil Health Resolution, a series of pledges aimed at promoting and expanding practices that ensure soil health, acknowledging its critical role in helping to adapt to climate change, revive biodiversity, bolster water resilience, elevate food and nutrition security, and preserve both natural and cultural heritage.

During a Africa Climate Week in Nairobi, at a side event on “Supporting food security through low emission long-term strategies”, Dr Elliott Dossou-Yovo from AfricaRice reiterated the paramount importance of fostering robust partnerships in the realm of agricultural transformation. Firstly, collaborative efforts in agricultural research and technology capacity building can drive innovation and enhance knowledge exchange. Secondly, it is imperative to develop pilot business models that prioritize job creation for women and youth, promoting inclusivity and economic growth. Thirdly, research should focus on developing technologies that not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also enhance productivity, while systematic monitoring of emissions can furnish crucial data for evidence-based policymaking. Lastly, creating enabling conditions for widespread technology adoption, including access to extension services and education, is essential for scaling sustainable agricultural practices. Through these interconnected initiatives, we can forge a pathway towards a more sustainable and productive agricultural landscape.

This post was originally posted by The Africa Regional Resilience Hub. The Africa Regional Resilience Hub, led by SouthSouthNorth, is a crucial component of the COP28 Resilience Hub. Along with several other regions, the Regional Hubs work to amplify regional voices to global decision-making spaces, with a particular focus on communities and underrepresented and lesser heard voices. This blog forms a part of the Africa Regional Hubs efforts in this regard. The COP28 Resilience Hub events are all hybrid and allow for virtual attendance and participation. To register for the Resilience Hub virtual platform,  visit their website

Promoting soil health to address compounding challenges in Nigeria

Promoting soil health to address compounding challenges in Nigeria 2560 1707 aflp

Promoting soil health to address compounding challenges in Nigeria

In a proactive move towards promoting soil health in the face of food insecurity and climate change, the African Climate Action Partnership (ACAP) and the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) recently co-hosted the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop brought together policymakers, scientists, and practioners to explore the critical nexus between soil health, climate change, and food security.

Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Chris Nkwonta, providing goodwill messages during opening session at the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria

The workshop was organised in response to Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu’s, declaration of a state of emergency on food security. The event acknowledged the challenges posed by climate change to agriculture, particularly in Nigeria, where vulnerability to climate variability is high. During the two day workshop the need for holistic approaches that address the interconnected issues of soil degradation, changing weather patterns, and their impact on food production were raised.

Dr Salisu Dahiru, the Director General for the National Council on climate Change in Nigeria highlighted the urgency of the situation. “we are faced with sobering realities. Soil degradation, loss of arable land, and declining agricultural productivity pose significant threats to global food security. Climate change exacerbates these challenges further, with extreme weather events, rising temperatures, and unpredictable rainfall patterns wreaking havoc on agricultural systems worldwide. However, amidst these challenges lies an opportunity to recognize the immense potential of healthy soils as a solution to both food security and climate change”.

Delegates discuss knowledge gaps that inhibit further action on soil health during the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria

The discussions on the first day focused on the interlinkages and global advances being made in understanding the soil-climate-food nexus. This included presentations from leading organisations and initiatives in this field, including ICRAF-CIFOR, the Coalition of Action for Soil Health (CA4SH), and 4per1000. Policy opportunities were also highlighted within the context of Nigeria’s NDC as well as potential synergies between the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).

The workshop also addressed potential solutions and roadmaps for increasing soil health. Presenters on day 2 focused on methods for measuring soil emissions and mapping soils, solutions for sustainable fertiliser and land use practices as well as decision-support tools for improved soil management. Delegates were also introduced to the Soil Initiative for Africa and the African Fertiliser and Soil Health (AFSH) Action Plans which will be put forward at the African Fertiliser and Soil Health Forum in 2024.

The workshop concluded with discussion on how Nigeria can domesticate the Soil Initiative for Africa and develop their own action plans. Delegates expressed the need to improve cross sectoral collaboration and improvements in data access and analysis capacity as critical to further this action.

The collaborative nature of the event enforced a sense of the shared need to collective take these actions forward. Delegates noted that the event had created a valuable network of stakeholders and there was a need to expand the stakeholders involved to ensure all relevant actors were present. It was noted that it was critical to maintain the momentum from the event and form a technical committee to take this topic forward in Nigeria.

Delegates share their envisioned way forward during the conclusion of the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria

As the workshop concluded, a sense of optimism and determination prevailed. The exchange of knowledge, experiences, and ideas underscored the potential for strengthening Nigeria’s response to food insecurity and climate change. The NCCC pledged ongoing support for initiatives emerging from the workshop, ensuring that the momentum generated will translate into concrete actions that fortify the intersection of soil health, climate change resilience, and food security in Nigeria.

Exploring models for public-private collaboration in clean energy access

Exploring models for public-private collaboration in clean energy access 2560 1707 aflp

Exploring models for public-private collaboration in clean energy access

On the 8th September 2023, the African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP) together with Camco, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Growing Government Engagement in Energy Access (GGEEA) and African Association for Rural Electrification (CLUB-ER) hosted an official side session entitled “Exploring models for public-private collaboration in clean energy access” during Africa Climate Week. This session explored the key enabling mechanisms that facilitate mini-grid deployment as well as focusing on the challenges and successes experienced by both the private and public sector in aligning priorities and actions.

Steven Payma (RREA Liberia) kicking off the official AfCAP side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

The first part of the session focused on how the public sector is working towards increasing energy access in Africa , the acceleration of the deployment of mini-grids and the current challenges and opportunities that African countries face when it comes to electrifying rural areas using Kenya and Liberia as examples.  The panel discussion kicked off with Steven Payma from the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency in Liberia (RREA). Payma explained that REA in Liberia has attracted their private sector to invest into the public by enabling policy and regulation environment partnerships in the public-private sector for clean energy access in Liberia.  Payma, indicated that Liberia’s National Electrification Strategy targets are set to achieve universal access to energy by 2030. So far, 30% of Liberia’s population in urban areas have access to electricity and only 8% of rural areas have access to electricity.  Payma explained that Liberia has both solicited and unsolicited projects running with the involvement of the private sector.  He noted that it is key to involve the private sector to attract investment in order to increase energy access and create an enabling policy and regulatory environment. A key message coming out from his discussion was that the national energy utility needs to be unbundled and the sector needs to open up to independent power producers. Such public-private collaborations would support clean , universal energy access.

Eng. Maxwell Ngala (REREC, Kenya)  during the AfCAP official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

The second speaker was Eng. Maxwell Ngala from the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation of Kenya  (REREC). Ngala was tasked with explaining the current challenges to electrifying rural areas in Kenya and what the opportunities are for mini-grids in aiding the achievement of this target.  Ngala explained that REREC has a pilot project running in the area of Kenya, called Wajiha. This project has rolled-out 35 mini-grids through mission projects. Ngala indicated that the main challenges faced are technical, institutional and financial. When it comes to planning and the deployment of mini-grids, it’s important to understand the available technologies and to determine which are the most suitable for the context to meet the needs of the local community, Ngala explained.

Ieva Indriunaite (Camco) speaking during AfCAP’s official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

The discussion shifted towards the private sector. This portion of the panel discussion focused on exploring options for improved collaboration, specifically on how the private sector can act as an implementing partner in realising governments’ NDC targets.  Ieva Indriunaite from Camco kicked off this part of discussion by explaining the challenges Camco experienced in funding viable mini-grid projects.

Indriunaite explained that when it comes to the gaps in energy access and viability for climate finance the key challenge is limited access to funding which makes scaling a challenge for the continent. Indriunaite expressed that inorder to enable the large-scale deployment of mini-grids, it requires blended finance. Attracting private sector funding requires regulatory frameworks that are clear, transparent and implemented in a timely manner to de-risk financing.  A key message from Indriunaite, is that governments should view mini-grid developers as partners, not as competitors. The private sector can mobilise solutions quickly and these solutions can be integrated into national grids and taken over by the public sector at a later stage.

The next speaker was Aaron Leopold from EnerGrow. Leopold shared some of his experiences of what enables effective collaboration with the public sector. He was in agreement with Indriunaite’s statement to not only involve the private sector in the later stages of the national plan for mini-grid deployment. Leopold explained there is a need for collaboration between the public and private sector at the start of the design process.  He indicated that Energrow works to accelerate electrification by looking at the demand side. The organisation looks at how to improve energy demand in rural communities so that mini-grid companies can improve their tariff. A key takeaway message from Leopold was that there is a need to find creative ways to collaborate in the public-private partnerships to support mini-grids, for example, micro-financing and engaging with consumers to understand what they need in their localised contexts.

Aaron Leopold (EnerGrow)  during the AfCAP official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

Our last speaker for the panel discussion was Suleiman Babamanu from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Babamanu shared his insights on how the RMI aimed to support the transformation of energy systems in Africa and what steps they are taking to enable greater private sector investment. He noted that it is possible to enable greater private sector investment by linking energy access to economic development which remains a challenge for Nigeria. Babamanu explained that RMI does collaboration through understanding the context of the country. For example,  Nigeria works on 2 main pillars; 1) Scaling and distributing energy resources, and 2) Deploying efficient demands for productive use. Babamanu indicated that the African Mini-grid Programme (AMP) aims to ensure that government and private developers are working together to create an enabling environment to ensure the transformation of energy systems and greater private sector investment through applying cost reduction techniques and innovative businesses.

Suleiman Babmanu (RMI) ending off the AfCAP official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

In closing,  the panellists had an opportunity to give their final reflections on how we can align the priorities of the public and private sector when it comes to energy access. Ngala shared his thoughts and expressed that it is important for the private and public sectors not to work in silos. Indriunaite explained that the private sector lacks accessibility to planning and national planning documents. She felt that it should not be seen as a competition between the private and public sector as both sectors have a common goal of providing energy access to all.  Ngala, agreed with Indriunaite on the lack of access to information and data and stated that local data needs to be generated and accessible to both public and private users to enable planning for mini-grids in Africa.

AfCAP aims to continue engagements around creating enabling environments for mini-grid deployment through the Africa Mini-Grid Community of Practice (AMG-CoP) and the Growing Government Engagement in Energy Access (GGEEA) project. If you would like more information on these activities please contact us on

This activity was co-funded by AfCAP and GGEEA. GGEEA is funded with UK aid from the UK government via the Transforming Energy Access programme.

Supporting food security through low emission long term strategies

Supporting food security through low emission long term strategies 2560 1707 aflp

Supporting food security through low emission long term strategies

On the 6th September 2023, the African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP) together with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Regional Collaboration Centres (UNFCCC RCC), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Coalition of Action for Soil Health (CA4$H) and the Global Methane Hub (GMH) hosted an official side session during Africa Climate Week. The session entitled:  “Supporting food security through low emission long-term strategies” explored climate smart solutions for key agricultural sectors and pathways to policy interventions through Long Term Low Emissions Development Strategies (LT-LEDS).

The first portion of the session focused on solutions for low emission and climate resilient food systems. The panel discussion kicked off with Dr. Claudia Arndt from ILRI and lead of the Mazingira Centre. She shared some of her work in terms of solutions for reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and improving the productivity of the livestock sector. Arndt indicated where African countries are in terms of setting and implementing reduction targets. She expressed that the heart of the problem lies in methane. It accounts for almost 70% of livestock GHG emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, tackling methane emissions is crucial to staying within the 1.5°C global warming limit. She indicated however, the focus should not only be on reducing emissions in Africa, as Africa has a triple challenge. The three challenges included; 1) achieving food security; 2) controlling escalating GHG emissions and 3) adapting to inevitable climate change.

Dr.Claudia Arndt (ILRI) speaking during the AfCAP’s official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

Arndt noted that while 21 African nations have set mitigation targets, there is still a mismatch between ambition and capacity. As many nations lack the technical know-how to do GHG assessments at the level of detail that is needed to effectively capture mitigation efforts.  In order to navigate these challenges in Africa, there is a need for Climate Smart Practices, which encompasses increased productivity, reduced emissions and bolstered adaptation. She indicated that local solutions need to be tailored to specific regions in Africa.  Arndt expressed that as we look at livestock emission reduction, it is essential to mention carbon sequestration through improving soil health and regenerative practices. Regrettably, data scarcity in Africa hinders the accurate calculation of carbon credits. Thus, investing in long-term experiments to gather this data is crucial.  Arndt concluded by stating that the urgency is clear that mitigation is needed now. By implementing Climate Smart Practices and concurrently measuring their impact, we can navigate the impending challenges.  Arndt left everyone with a reminder that the recent droughts in the Horn of Africa, leading to massive livestock losses,  is the price of inaction.

The second speaker was Dr.Elliott Dossou-Yovo from AfricaRice. Dossou-Yovo discussed whether African countries are considering climate change in their ambitions to increase rice production and what these countries should be doing to ensure their development ambitions for the sector are climate smart and are reducing emissions. Dossou-Yovo explained that most African countries recognise the importance of reducing the GHG emissions produced by the Rice sector. He indicated that research and technologies have been developed to reduce emissions while simultaneously increasing food security and climate change adaptation.

Dr. Elliott Dossou-Yovo (AfricaRice)  speaking during AfCAP official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

Dossou-Yovo expressed that 4 actions need to be taken to incorporate rice production into their climate ambitions. The first being the need for partnership between CGIAR, the national agriculture research system and private sector for capacity building to ensure the appropriate use of technologies. The second is to develop pilot business models which will link to the scale of these technologies with job creation for women and youth whilst demonstrating profitability for the practices.  The third action focuses on research , there is a need for the continuous development of technologies that have potential to reduce GHG emissions whilst ensuring food security and climate adaptation. Key farming systems need to be monitored in order to support policy makers with data to inform decisions and targets set. The fourth and final action mentioned by Dossou-Yovo, is the adoption of innovative technologies and skills which will speak to the government.  Access to markets and extension services are the main drivers to the adoption of these innovative technologies. The main key message from Dossou-Yovo was that there are many options in the rice sector and the rice sector cannot afford to increase production if there is no evidence of innovation.

The third speaker was Dr. Kofi Boateng from GMH. He was tasked to provide the answer to the question of why African countries should be increasing their ambitions for methane reduction while food security is a persistent issue in many of these countries and how GMH can support these efforts.  Boateng expressed that African food production systems are not at the level where there will be sufficient food production for the whole continent; however, when African countries reach this level it will be through innovative technologies. He explained that there are opportunities for African countries to take advantage of the climate smart practices that will improve productivity whilst reducing methane emissions. He mentioned that it is important to consider methane mitigation through food security.

Dr. Kofi Boateng 9Global Methane Hub) at AfCAP’s official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023.

At the GMH, Boateng explained that the hub takes on many issues within the research and development sector. The hub brings together expertise to develop and share knowledge. One key focus area for GMH is to open access to data. He explained that there is a need for robust data and this needs to be taken into account. GMH is supporting efforts to improve GHG and MRV systems. The GMH is open for collaboration with government officials, research institutions, NGOs and many other stakeholders that have the capacity to mainstream the focus areas of the GMH.

The fourth speaker was Dr.Ermias Betemariam from CA4$H. He was tasked with telling the audience about the Soil Health Resolution and why countries should support this resolution.  He expressed that protecting our soil and soil health is like protecting human health. Betemariam explained that the key goal of the coalition is to bring soil health to a global platform. The coalition identified key areas on how to achieve the main goal, tap into opportunities while simultaneously reducing the barriers to achieve the overall goal. These key areas are namely; evidence and access to data, influence on policy, finance and investment and lastly the empowerment of farmers.

Dr. Ermias Betemariam (CA4SH)  speaking during AfCAP’s official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

Betemariam explained that the coalition has four basic targets. One is the integration of soil health in policy and having evidence of the integration. The second is having action and research. The third is the increase of land and healthy soils. The fourth target is attracting more investment. He explained that countries agree that agriculture is an important aspect of national planning but exclude this sector from their NDCs due to a lack of capacity that would be required to continuously report on progress.

The discussion then shifted focus towards integrating solutions for resilient and low emission agriculture into countries’ long-term strategies (LTS). The first speaker on this topic was Lawrence Mashungu from the UNFCCC RCC for East and Southern Africa. Lawrence focused on explaining why it is important for African countries to develop comprehensive long-term strategies and of the countries that have developed these strategies, have they taken into account  low emission and climate resilient food systems. Lawrence explained that information and what the LTS achieves for the stakeholders are valuable. It provides a long-term vision.  Lawrence indicated that it is important for countries to include food systems into their Long-Term Strategies (LTS) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) because this is where Africa’s economies are. Long term strategies outline countries long-term vision and thus measures for food security should be tied to long term ambition for climate action. 

Lawrence Mashungu (UNFCCC RCC ESA)  speaking during AfCAP’s official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

The next speaker was Bernard Kimoro from Kenya’s State Department for livestock. Bernard looked at how Kenya is aiming to reduce the emissions from its livestock sector and the obstacles that limit the countries’ ability to set and implement long-term strategies in the sector.  Bernard started the discussion by informing the audience that Kenya has launched 3 national documents. The first being the LTS 2022 – 2050, the second is the National Climate Change Action Plan 2022-2026 and the third was an amendment to the Climate Change Act which had now included Carbon Markets.  Bernard explained that the Kenyan government aims to reduce emissions by 32% by 2030. To achieve this there are key sectors that are being targeted. In Kenya there are 7 priority sectors, including the food and nutrition (Agriculture) sector , with a particular focus on livestock.

Bernard Kimoro (State Department for Livestock Development, Kenya) speaking during AfCAP’s official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

Livestock in Kenya, it has the 6th largest herd of ruminants in Africa. Kenya is anticipating that the emissions from the livestock sub-sector will drastically increase. Currently the livestock sector in Kenya emits 95% of the overall emissions in the agricultural sector. In Kenya’s NDC, livestock is one of the key areas where emission reduction is targeted.  Bernard expressed that there are challenges that hinders progress. There is an issue of data, there are vast amounts of data in Kenya. One of key success factors is how to consolidate the data to enable you to do the inventory of emissions within the country. Therefore, Kenya is developing a road map in the livestock sub-sector to fully understand what actions and policies that are needed to be put in place to create a clear direction on reducing emissions.  In order to develop sectoral LTS requires adequate capacity, finance resources and a national LTS. Kenya’s agricultural sector is developing an LTS and has the benefit of a clear national LTS to align with. 

The final speaker of the session was Irene Chekwoti from the Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda. Irene touched on the measures Uganda has put in place to reduce emission in their agriculture sector and explained what the opportunities are to increase ambitions in long-term strategies. Overtime, Uganda’s agricultural productivity has declined. This is seen in the crop yields and the country is at risk of food insecurity. The livestock sector is growing which is resulting in increasing GHG emissions. Chekwoti explained that the government of Uganda has taken steps to mitigate GHG emissions. Last year Uganda developed two documents, one is the published NDC and other is the national LTS which is in the final stages of putting together, as well as an agricultural sector LTS. Uganda has a 2040 vision which is implemented through the National Development Plan.  In the updated NDC, the Uganda government aims to implement a number of mitigation measures and strategies to reduce emissions in the agriculture sector. These include measures within climate smart agriculture and strategies around livestock manure management. Uganda’s in its final stages of finalizing the national LTS. In the LTS, the government is looking at key pillars which will aid the agriculture sector to transition to a climate resilient and low carbon society by 2050.

Irene Chekwoti (Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda) speaking during AfCAP’s official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

The actions that these pillars speak to are to include promotion of climate resilient and low carbon agriculture production, promotion of sustainable land management practices and nature-based solutions. Chekwoti explained that Uganda’s agriculture sector has come up with a LTS, specifically for the agriculture sector, to address issues of improving resilience whilst moving towards a low-carbon pathway. There is a draft agriculture LTS (that has been validated) which is housed by the Ministry of Agriculture. Uganda’s LTS in agriculture has a number of areas in the long-term to address climate action within the agriculture sector until 2050. The government is committing to develop a climate resilience and low carbon livestock sub-sector whilst strengthening the operationalisation of climate responsive agriculture extension services. Uganda has a MRV tool which helps track the interventions proposed. Irene mentioned that what is of utmost importance is the mobilization of financing to support the development of a climate resilient and low-carbon agriculture sector.

In closing of the session the panelist gave their final reflections on how increased climate ambitions can support food security.  Dr.  Betemariam expressed that agriculture is not only a source of emissions but a source of solutions. Soil organic carbon is important however many African countries have not implemented this into their NDCs. He stated that having robust monitoring systems and improving capacity of institutions are needed. Dr. Boateng expressed that what was discussed during this session should be translated onto the ground. Science-policy is critical in Africa and it’s important to bridge the gap to have a food secure future for Africa. Dr. Dossou-Yovo expressed that there are real synergies between GHG emissions , rice production, livestock and soil carbon. These synergies should be exploited but it is also important that everyone works together to build capacity. Dr. Arndt expressed that capacity to measure GHG systems within different regions is lacking and that more researchers from the global north are brought in due to not enough scientists to educate and build awareness within African systems. Miss Chekwoti expressed that the agricultural sector requires additional financial support. There is a need to utilize carbon markets and credits to create additional financing for the agriculture sector and the actions needed to be implemented.

AfCAP aims to continue engagements around increasing climate ambitions aligned with food security through our Livestock, Soil Organic Carbon and Rice Communities of Practice. If you would like more information on these activities please contact us on 

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