UK provides £4.8m to support climate research project in Africa

climate-changeA five-year Climate Impacts Research Capacity Building Programme targeted at strengthening the capacity of African scientists to undertake and utilise research on climate change and its local impacts on development for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been launched in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dubbed “Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE),” it would assist African institutions and researchers to develop local solutions to the impacts of climate change at all levels.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is funding the programme with £4.85 million, which is expected to strengthen institutional research in addition to providing 100 research fellowships from 2013 – 2018.

CIRCLE would be implemented by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) with an inception phase to last 6 months, is to begin immediately.

The programme’s output objective according to a release made available to the Ghana News Agency hinged on increasing the number of high quality African researchers on Climate Change successfully designing, delivering and communicating peer reviewed research as well as research institution training management and support systems in SSA.

It is again anticipated to increase annual streams of high quality, peer-reviewed and internationally recognised research products from researchers in addition to seeking a robust assessment of the impact of research capacity building published in an internationally recognised journal.

The release stated between 1981 and 2009, African scientists contributed less than two percent of global climate change publications, an indication of insufficient support and resource to build a solid base.

Dr Benjamin Gyampoh, representative of AAS, said CIRCLE  would competitively  identify  60 post-PhD and 40 post-MSc  candidates  from  selected  “home institutions”  in  sub-Saharan  Africa  to  undertake structured research skills development through supervised placement in Africa-based “host research institutions”.

He said these would be done through competitive bidding processes including expression of interests, selection of host and home institutions and final call for prospective applicants.

“A better understanding of the likely changes in climate, extent of Africa’s vulnerability, probable impacts is critical in developing appropriate feasible, cost-effective and sustainable home-based responses.”

Dr Gyampoh said there are initiatives in Africa helping to address continent’s climate change problems but the research community remains in need of a boost, which CIRCLE seeks to provide.

He said the scheme would provide a cutting-edge relevant solutions that are best researched, developed, tested and fine-tuned locally to improve the uptake and use in local, national and regional policy and implementation.

Dr Kwasi Appeaning-Addo, a researcher at the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences of the University of Ghana, said the project is timely and scientifically would broaden the scope and understanding on how climate change would impact the environment, affect sources of livelihood and ensure food security.

“There is the need to develop adaptation strategies that will help address climate change impact at all levels. These measures can be achieved through funded research activities like this.”

Source: GNA

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