Tag Archives: decision-making

“Climate variability affects water-energy-food infrastructure performance in East Africa” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper “Climate variability affects water-energy-food infrastructure performance in East Africa” has just been published in the journal One Earth. The paper, led by Christian Siderius with other members of the UMFULA project team, including Katharine Vincent, highlights how climate variability is poorly understood in East Africa’s climate transition zone, where variability in rainfall is projected to increase. The implications of these projected changes in climate on infrastructure performance are poorly understood, with implications for the water, energy and food sectors.

graphical abstract

Infrastructure design should take into consideration the potential for changes in climate variability and recognise the limitations of planning on the basis of short time series of observations or projections. In the Rufiji basin in Tanzania and Shire basin in Malawi, a repeat of an early-20th century multi-year drought would challenge the viability of proposed infrastructure (dams). A long view, which emphasizes past and future changes in variability, set within a broader context of climate information interpretation and decision-making, is crucial for screening the risk to infrastructure and informing contingency planning to manage climate risk.

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.

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 with other members of the UMFULA team

Lower ShireDr Katharine Vincent is in Malawi for the next 2 weeks, visiting Lilongwe, Mulanje, Blantyre and Chikwawa with other members of the UMFULA team. The "Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications" (UMFULA) project is part of the Future Climate for Africa programme, and concerned with climate services in Africa. Team members from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the University of Leeds, and the University of KwaZulu Natal will be continuing investigations into the political economy of decision-making contexts, interrogating priority climate metrics to generate user-relevant climate information, and seeking feedback and inputs to the the emerging design of a WEAP model for water resources under climate change for the Lower Shire basin. 

Kulima director in Malawi to assess political economy of decision-making

aerial LilongweDr Katharine Vincent is in Malawi this week to assess the political economy of decision-making. This forms one component of a broader study that is investigating the potential to develop national resilience in Malawi, and is being led by LTS International. The other components are considering medium term growth plans, alternative energy, the economics of adaptation, agricultural growth, and social protection.

Kulima directors in Malawi to facilitate workshop on weather and climate information

FCFA workshopDr Katharine Vincent and Ms Tracy Cull are in Lilongwe this week to facilitate a workshop of government decision-makers to determine the types of weather and climate information that would be useful to inform their planning. Malawi is one of four countries in which pilot projects are taking place as inputs into the design of the Future Climate for Africa programme. Kulima and the University of Leeds are leading the Malawi case study, and this workshop builds on in-country consultations held in May to determine the nature of decision-making processes and the current use of weather and climate information. A background paper on the weather and climate data availability and sources has also been published.