Think prevention and work with communities; African voices at COP26
The COP26 was not short of experts, government representatives, civil society organizations and many other people with a good understanding of the developing climate crisis, and for Kossivi Adessou, West Africa coordinator for the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations – GNDR, it was a good place to remind the world of the people that really matter in the climate crisis conversation: local communities.
“For these policies to be effective you need the communities – that’s where these problems are experienced,” he said.
As the world seeks solutions to the developing climate emergency, Adessou believes communities too have important contributions to make, based on their lived experiences and indigenous knowledge.
For Asha Mohammed, secretary-general of the Kenya Red Cross Society, the global climate emergency means governments and partners must swiftly initiate anticipatory mechanisms in addressing the risks from extreme climate events. The Kenya Red Cross Society has been implementing forecast-based financing in disaster management, a system that enables humanitarian actors to access funding before a disaster occurs. This approach is implemented based on credible forecasts and analysis of past disaster events.
Watch their interviews here::
Mami Mizutori and Ibrahima Cheikh Diong in Conversation
Two years of COVID-19 and its devastating effects on almost every aspect of life clearly illustrates the systemic nature of risk. What started as a health risk has turned out to be a risk to entire economies globally.
In a conversation on the sidelines of COP 26, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – UNDRR, Mami Mizutori and Africa Risk Capacity – ARC Director General Ibrahima Cheikh Diong agreed on the need for the world to shift from managing disaster to managing risk.
Anticipating risk and initiating early action, including social protection for the poor and vulnerable populations, are now more than ever, necessary, in light of frequent and more devastating climate emergencies.
According to Mr Ibrahima, the Africa Risk Capacity already has country risk profiles which are crucial in creating risk-informed policy but also foundational for insurance to protect lives and livelihoods.
Mami Mizutori highlighted storytelling as an important tool in convincing decision-makers to make the shift from disaster management to risk reduction.
“It is an opportunity to show that prevention is not a cost but an investment,” she said.
Watch that conversation here:
We’ve made Progress: closing messages from COP26
The head of UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – UNDRR Mami Mizutori and World Meteorological Organization- WMO deputy secretary-general Dr Elena Manaenkova, weighed in on the just concluded COP26. They are both hopeful.
With 350 billion dollars committed to the adaptation fund, the largest single commitment ever, and a commitment by leaders to shift focus to locally-led adaptation policies and decisions, Mami believes it is no time to be complacent but to do more.
According to Dr Elena “, this is the best COP yet.”
She explained that the status of the climate report was very well received by leaders and that they are looking forward to practical action on the ground.
Watch their messages here: