The Climate Change Counts in Zambia workshop, one of twelve being held over the course of 2013, was held in Lusaka on 9-10 July 2013. The workshop was made possible through the kind contribution of the University of Zambia.
The workshop was opened by the University of Zambia Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Simukanga, who highlighted climate change as one of the major national challenges in Zambia, including some potential barriers to national climate change adaptation and mitigation as outlined in the 2007 Zambia National Adaptation Programme on Action (NAPA). In the light of these barriers to climate change adaptation in Zambia, Prof. Simukanga said that:
“SADC Universities are ‘engines of change’ in championing climate change issues.”
Some key issues that were highlighted in the discussion on the impact of climate change in Zambia included:
- Climate change and environmental education need to be institutionalised at all levels of education;
- Inadequate climatic data and poor institutional capacity to publish climatic data exists;
- There is limited human capacity. i.e. limited number of personnel with expertise in CCD;
- Zambia lacks coordinated efforts among stakeholders especially Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) and NGOs.
Manoah Muchanga reiterated these points on Day 2 when he summarised that there is an array of stakeholder and knowledge networks at national and regional levels, which present unprecedented opportunity for CCD collaboration, but they lack a common focal point.
Prof Charles Namafe presented some closing remarks which can be summarised in the words of one participant:
The very, very important lesson that I have learned is the importance of transdisciplinary research and its importance in driving sustainability research and addressing CCD.
The Climate Change Counts in Zambia workshop added some valuable contributions to the regional perspective SARUA is building.