New Grantham Research Institute working paper with inputs from Kulima-“Insurance as a catalyst for government climate planning?”

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment have just released a new working paper from the UMFULA project with inputs from Dr Katharine Vincent. The paper, Insurance as a catalyst for government climate planning? A framework for analysing drivers and barriers, tested against evidence emerging from Sub-Saharan Africa, explores how climate risk information emanating from insurance processes can support a move towards anticipatory climate risk management. Using information from insurers in Africa, as well as case studies of different types of insurance in Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa, it presents the underpinning political economy factors that influence the process of climate information uptake, highlighting that the clear scope for dynamic interaction between insurers and users can face many challenges that go beyond availability and suitability of data. These challenges include limited trust, unclear risk ownership or lack of incentives, even if there is motivation, risk-awareness and overall buy-in into the need to manage climate risks. All three cases show the importance of sustained engagement and capacity building to increase awareness of the role of insurance-related climate risk information and its potential benefits and uses.

‘The current and future climate of central and southern Africa: What we have learnt and what it means for decision-making in Malawi and Tanzania”-summary of UMFULA project released

After 4 years of research by a multi-disciplinary team and co-production in partnership with government staff, the UMFULA project has released a briefing note that discusses "The current and future climate of central and southern Africa: What we have learnt and what it means for decision-making in Malawi and Tanzania". It highlights how understanding the likely future characteristics of climate risk is a key component of adaptation and climate-resilient planning, but given future uncertainty it is important to design approaches that are strongly informed by local considerations and are robust to uncertainty. Choosing the right tools and approach for climate risk assessment and adaptation to suit the scale of the decision allows a suitable trade-off between robustness and resources  required (time and expertise) for analysis. In the medium term, policy decisions require careful cross-sectoral planning, particularly in cases involving large  investments, long life-times and irreversibility, where there is a strong argument for assessing resilience to future climate change (for example around water, energy and food in Malawi and Tanzania). Co-producing knowledge, as in UMFULA, contributes to building societal and institutional capacity to factor climate risks into long-term planning. It also builds the capacity of researchers to better understand real world decision contexts in which climate change is one of many important factors.

Kulima participating in UMFULA project writeshop in Pretoria

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Pretoria this week, joining colleagues Professor Andy Dougill from the University of Leeds and Professor Emma Archer from the University of Pretoria for a writeshop on the UMFULA project. As it comes to the end of its lifespan, they will synthesise key findings on climate information for medium-term planning in the water, energy and agriculture sectors for Malawi, taking into account the current policy and institutional context and information needs of the new National Planning Commission. 

New release “A guide to effective collaboration and learning in consortia” with inputs from Kulima

The BRACED programme, in partnership with Future Climate For Africa, CARIAA, PLACARD, Partners for Resilience and SHEAR, has just released A guide to effective collaboration and learning in consortia. Building resilience to rising climate risks, written by Bettina Koelle, Lucia Scodanibbio, Katharine Vincent, Blane Harvey, Maarten van Aalst, Sophie Rigg, Nicola Ward and Margot Curl. Reflecting their experiences in the partner programmes and beyond, the guide outlines 8 principles to build effective transdisciplinary collaborations, highlighting the roles for different parties at different stages throughout the intended lifespan of the collaboration. The guide is illustrated with vignettes, examples, and checklists.

New working paper led by Kulima “Creating useful and usable weather and climate information-Insights from Participatory Scenario Planning in Malawi

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment has just released a new working paper led by Dorothy Tembo-Nhlema and Katharine Vincent, with Rebecka Henriksson Malinga from the University of KwaZulu Natal. The paper, Creating useful and usable weather and climate information-Insights from Participatory Scenario Planning in Malawi, is an output of the Future Climate For Africa programme's UMFULA project. Based on qualitative research, it finds that advisories co-produced through the Participatory Scenario Planning process have been used by farmers to successfully reduce risk. However the scaling up and sustainability has been challenged by technical constraints relating to delays in the release of the national seasonal forecast and staff availability, and financial constraints which limit the extent to which the process can be carried out at district level. These challenges are reinforced by the lack of a policy framework.

IPCC SRCCL available for download

The latest IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land (full name-Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems) was released after plenary approval on 8th August 2019. The Summary for Policy Makers and all chapters are now available for download. Dr Katharine Vincent was a contributing author to chapter 4 on land degradation and the cross-chapter box 11 on gender in inclusive approaches to climate change, land, and sustainable development, which features in chapter 7 (p66).

Kulima part of team presenting an initial cost estimate of South Africa’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to a multi-stakeholder validation workshop

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Pretoria this week with colleagues from CowaterSogema to present their initial cost estimate for the implementation of South Africa's National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to the a validation workshop of multiple stakeholders, including the Department of Environmental Affairs. The aim of the costing exercise is to highlight the business case for investment in adaptation in South Africa, for use both within national government and to seek alternative sources of adaptation finance. The strategy has a 10 year lifespan as is due to be formally adopted in 2019. The team applied mixed methods (top down/parametric, bottom-up, analagous and expert-informed) to cost the strategic interventions. After finalisation the initial cost estimate will have various purposes, including lobbying government to fund activities contained within it.

Kulima director participating in Africa’s first Wikipedia edit-a-thon on climate change

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Cape Town this week to participate in Africa's first Wikipedia edit-a-thon on climate change. Hosted by CDKN and Future Climate For Africa, the event will bring together researchers from across the African continent who have been involved in a number of major research programmes so that they can update and create new pages to reflect their findings. With an average of 16 billion page views a month, Wikipedia is a common port-of-call for laypeople, and thus using the platform to communicate research findings can improve impact and also help to ensure quality and robustness of information. As she is involved in two major Africa-focused research programmes, Future Climate For Africa and Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia, Katharine's role will be to synthesise findings from across the participants into some of the broader thematic topics.

UMFULA launches new brief projecting future water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin

The Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just released a new brief Projecting water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin. Led by Dr Ajay Bhave from the University of Leeds, the UMFULA research team has developed an open access water resources model (WEAP) that highlights potential future changes in Lake Malawi water levels and subsequent flows in the Shire River basin. Water availability has implications for energy (hydropower generation), food production (irrigation capacity) and environmental flows (for example through the maintenance of the Elephant Marsh wetland). Results indicate a range of potential futures, which illustrates the importance of adaptive decision-making approaches that are robust to uncertainty in supporting improved water management and infrastructure development in Malawi.

 

Kulima director in Malawi for annual meeting of GCRF Building Research Capacity for sustainable water and food security In sub-Saharan Africa (BRECcIA) project

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Malawi this week to participate in the annual research meeting ot the GCRF Building Research Capacity for sustainable water and food security In sub-Saharan Africa (BRECcIA) project. BRECcIA aims to “strengthen individual research capabilities and institutional capacity in three countries: Kenya, Ghana and Malawi” and do this in order to carry out impactful and high-quality research that leads to positive changes in policy and practice for sustainable water and food security. Katharine is a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the project, and will be providing inputs to the applicability of research findings in the region and to the complementarities with other related initiatives.