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Intense exchange with African experts

07/01/2013 - Two groups of high-level experts from Africa came to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for an intense exchange on pressing issues like changing precipitation patterns and water availability under unabated global warming. Most importantly, one delegation sought advice for designing the Pan African Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) at the Abou Bakr Belkaïd University in Tlemcen, Algeria - this institute is supposed to provide expertise for the whole continent. Before visiting PIK, the group met with the German Minister of Economic Development and Cooperation to officially announce financial support for the project.
Intense exchange with African experts

Delegation from the Pan African University visiting PIK. Photo: PIK

“It is of great importance that Africa scales up its research capacities, and we’re glad we have been asked for sharing insights,” says Fred Hattermann, of PIK’s research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerability. “Africa is one of the regions that will be hit hardest by the effects of global warming, while also being one of the regions that contributed the least to past greenhouse gas emissions.” This was not a courtesy visit, he stressed. Debates encompassed technical issues like ensuring sustained data quality and issues like the design of sustainable adaptation strategies under uncertainty of future developments.

Commissioner Martial De-Paul Ikounga of the African Union showed great satisfaction with the meeting, calling it “a climax” of the delegation’s week-long trip to Germany.

The delegation took special interest in the science-business interface for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. A representative of the Climate-KIC Germany (Knowledge and Innovation Community) informed the African experts about past experience and new approaches. The KIC has been launched by the European Union, its governing board is chaired by PIK's director.

Some days before, the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Directors’ Delegation came to PIK, assembling representatives of 22 countries – from Egypt to Zimbabwe, and from Mauritania to Kenya, among them the country’s highest water officials. They took special interest in water security and climate resilient development in the German water sector. Research at PIK covers both the national and the global level, in some cases linking the two. Findings from a project on global change impacts in the Elbe river basin in Germany for instance got transferred to the Niger basin in West Africa.

 

Weblinks to PIK projects on Africa:

  • DEWFORA – Improved Drought Early Warning and Forecasting to strengthen the preparedness and adaptation to droughts in Africa http://dewfora.net/
  • AFROMAISON - Africa at meso-scale: Adaptive and integrated tools and strategies on natural resources management http://www.afromaison.net/
  • IMPACT2C - Quantifying projected impacts under 2°C warming http://www.hzg.de/mw/impact2c/

 

Weblink to Climate KIC: http://www.climate-kic.org/

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