The underlying importance of accurate data for climate change strategies was confirmed this week when the Environmental Investment Fund signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management, to gain access to the latter’s extensive data base on climate.
Chief Executive of the environment fund, Benedict Libanda signed the memorandum together with the service centre’s Executive Director, Dr Jane Olwoch, laying the foundation for an envisaged long-term relationship to develop complementary research as well as institutional capacity.
The ultimate goal is to generate and apply accurate climate data on which Namibia’s climate change strategies will be founded.
The service centre’s Open Access Data Centre is now available to the environment fund through the centre’s WeatherNet comprising 154 weather stations spread across the Southern African Development Community.
Libanda said the fund has mobilised funding of N$560 million from the Green Climate Fund for four climate change adaptation projects. The Memorandum of Understanding with the service centre is premised on the intention to quantify project outcomes during implementation, continuing for the duration of the projects, based on scientific evidence.
Libanda, reiterated the importance of data in climate change adaptation projects saying “Access to weather and climate information is crucial in establishing early warning systems for the implementers of projects financed through the Environmental Investment Fund.”
The service centre’s work is seen as a important knowledge input when engaging those involved in and affected by climate change projects. These include farmers, conservancies and other community organisations.
Dr Olwoch highlighted some of the services and knowledge products developed under their Research Portfolio which it is believed will enable the environment fund to manage its portfolio sustainably.
“The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management is an internationally recognised science service centre anchored on research, capacity development, products and services,” said Dr Olwoch adding that it is ideally positioned to assist the environment fund in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating its programmes and projects.
The Memorandum, in force for five years, also makes provision for joint research and education to spread awareness among the communities affected by climate change.
The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management is a joint project of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Germany in response to the challenges of global climate change. Its mission is to strengthen regional capacity to generate and use scientific knowledge products and services to assist decision makes through research management, human capital development and service provision.