Uganda To Host First Ever Regional Symposium To Discuss Impacts Of Climate Change To Food Security

Uganda To Host First Ever Regional Symposium To Discuss Impacts Of Climate Change To Food Security

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By Spy Uganda

In a bid to address negative impacts of Climate Change, Uganda will next month host the first-ever regional climate change and food security symposium and expo as experts sit to discuss the impact of climate change on food security in the region.

The event oorganised by Climate Change Action East Africa (CCAEA) and the International University of East Africa (IUEA), to be held between October 14 and 16 at the IUEA in Kansanga – Ggaba Road, will be an avenue to promote awareness of the linkages of the impacts of climate change to the food security issue.

It will also promote open discussion within the food production chain and systems with a focus on safeguarding communities from hunger in Uganda, the East Africa region, Africa and the world as a global village facing the same challenges.

According to Dr Tom Okurut Executive Director of the Climate Change Action East Africa said, climate adaptation and resilience initiatives can be enhanced and reinforced in Uganda and East Africa as a region will be high on the agenda at the symposium and expo.

Okurut said the technologies that will be exhibited will be critical to current practitioners and new entrants to the food chain systems and climate change solution pool.

“We have decided and planned to hold food security symposia and expos annually in the capitals of the EAC partner states as the most imperative way of promoting awareness of climate change impacts for consequential energization of countries to plan and budget for climate change impact and as well implement their national commitments,” Dr. OKurut said.

“Climate change issues in the region are well discussed given that Uganda and all the countries in the EAC region are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),”he added.

Okurut explained that all the regional countries, adaptation to climate change impacts is the main response strategy given the low emissions from the region.

“However, what is observable is that the sectorial approaches; forests, water, and environment perspectives dominate the discourse Food insecurity linkages to climate change don’t come out prominently and as such, government planning for climate change impact interventions focuses on directly impacted aspects,” OKurut stressed.

Ronald Robert Lwabaayi, the Team Leader at Climate Change Action East Africa also said,“ The overall aim of holding the symposium and expo is to increase climate change resilience and food security awareness in East Africa.”

According to Lwabaayi, the symposium and expo will provide a platform for climate-smart technologies exposure and engagement but also facilitate smallholder farmers to showcase their product and share their innovations in response to the challenges impacting farmers.

Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa, the Vice Chancellor of IUEA said, “As strong believers in offering transformational experience for our students and stakeholders, the symposium will provide an arena for open discussion and knowledge sharing on the aspects of climate change, and food security among the wide range of participants from the Private sector, Academia, Development Partners, Institutions, Agricultural Sector Energy Sector, and Climate Change actors and Environment promoters, Government and Civil Society Organizations.”

Emeka said they will rely on technology to provide solution to community challenges especially on agriculture related solutions.

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, who presided over the unveiling event said many parts of East Africa have been experienced hunger due to acute food shortages citing Karamoja sub-region in Uganda.

But attributed food distribution logistics and extreme poverty as main drivers of food insecurity, absence of strategic response systems including food insecurity threat detection, storage, transportation, distribution, processing, seed preservation and effective utilization of food on climate change.

“The fluctuations of food production and availability due to climate change impacts can only, therefore, be mitigated if the smallholder farmer’s productive capacity and productivity are deliberately enhanced. The Uganda government is now focusing attention on climate change that is driving food insecurity through the introduction of specific strategies for farmers such as investing in micro-scale irrigation schemes and taking over seed production,” Kasaijja said.

According to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN 2021), Uganda is ranked as the 10th most vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change and 35th least readying terms of preparedness for climate change effects. Extreme weather events are increasingly frequent and severe across much of the Africa region, including in Uganda. In 2019, tens of thousands of Ugandans were displaced by floods and landslides, while a 2020 locust swarm destroyed crops and livelihoods.

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