Research-based interventions to support climate change adaptation

By Embassy of Finland in Nairobi

The Government of Finland and The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) have signed an agreement of the implementation of the AFERIA programme with a value of 1 million Euros during 2016-2017.

This new initiative is a continuation of a programme named "Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Food Security in Eastern Africa" (2011-2015) and aims to implement research-based interventions to manage climate risks and reduce vulnerability in the highlands of eastern Africa. It is aimed at supporting the ability of smallholder farming families living around fragile mountain ecosystems in eastern Africa to adapt to the impacts of climate variability and change through research-based interventions.

Known as the Adaptation for Ecosystem Resilience in Africa (AFERIA), the two-year initiative will be coordinated by the Nairobi-headquartered International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), with funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Globally, and in Africa in particular, sensitive mountain ecosystems provide invaluable services, such as water provision, which are seriously threatened by accelerating land cover and land use change on the upper slopes where most of the remaining mountain forests are located. The capacity of these mountain water towers to store moisture, supply freshwater to the lowlands and reduce peak flood flows during extreme weather events has been compromised mainly by human activities, such as deforestation. The impacts are also amplified by increasing temperatures and variability in rainfall due to global climate change.

Through climate change adaptation action plans and technology transfer, the AFERIA Project will disseminate research findings on climate change impacts and implement research-based interventions in different agro-ecological zones including: the Taita Hills and Murang'a County in Kenya; Mount Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania and the Jimma Highlands of Ethiopia. The Project will cooperate with national and local organizations to reach smallholder farmers, especially women and special needs groups. Among the adaptation technologies to be transferred to communities are: drip irrigation, roof rain water harvesting, conservation agriculture, farm forestry and insect pest management.