Insights and Initiatives from COP28

Stakeholders in climate change spent the first half of December participating in and following COP28 the proceedings of COP28, the world’s premier climate change forum. Held annually, this year marked the 28th iteration, hosted in the picturesque city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Africa Centre for Sustainable and Inclusive Development actively participated in COP28 by orchestrating side events and through the physical presence of our Executive Director, Ms. Salome Owuonda.

Our inaugural side event occurred on December 5th at the Food Systems Pavilion, hosted by Food Partnerships—a coalition of organizations committed to sustainable food systems, including notable entities such as the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, and EIT Food. As a young organization working with marginalized communities in Africa, we secured a sponsored session at the pavilion. The event, “Empowering Women Smallholder Farmers: Fostering Production and Climate Resilience with Sustainable Innovations,” featured a panel of youth from diverse African organizations sharing case studies. The case studies were on using accessible sustainable innovations to enhance food production and decrease carbon footprints along the food systems value chains. Smallholder farmers and innovators across the food systems value chain also had the opportunity to share their experiences. Our partners for this event included the Youth in Agroecology and Restoration Network (YARN), Inclusive Climate Change Adaptation for a Sustainable Africa (ICCASA), Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), and Farmers Association of Kenya (WoFaAK).

The second side event, held on December 6th at the Kenya Pavilion, focused on “Enhancing Community Climate Resilience & Gender-Responsive Livelihood in Climate-Induced Conflict Areas of Kenya.” Panelists, ranging from government officials to representatives of Civil Society Organizations and communities, shared their experiences. Discussions encompassed gender dimensions in climate-induced conflict and subsequent peacebuilding processes, the significance of effective coordination and reporting for early warning systems, timely responses to climate-induced conflicts, and integrating climate as a neutral entry point in peacebuilding processes including through conflict-sensitive climate finance. This event was organized collaboratively with the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG), Diakonia, Inclusive Climate Change Adaptation for Sustainable Agriculture (ICCASA), Christian Aid, GenderGap Solutions, and International Alert.

Key discussions from the side events found expression in the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action; the Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace; and the COP28 UAE Climate and Health Declaration. Several perspectives are also reflected in various negotiation position texts, with the hope of inclusion in future COP texts and climate actions across borders.

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