February 2017 – Stockholm, Sweden
The AWEPA Section in the Swedish Parliament organized a seminar on the sustainable development of Africa with a particular focus on conflict and climate and the responsibilities herein of parliaments.
Hon. Kerstin Lundgren, President of the Swedish AWEPA Section warmly welcomed the participants and introduced the keynote presenters: Mr. Staffan Smedby, Head of Unit for justice and peace at SIDA, and Mr. Terje Östergård, scientist climate Africa group at the Nordic Africa Institute.
The group looked at the consequences of climate change in Africa greatly affecting the water availability. Too much or too little of the necessary waters (rain/flood) time for cultivation, may result in harvest failure. Agriculture is thus highly sensitive to climate change, noted Mr. Östergård. In this regard, Mr. Östergård presented the case of the Nile Basin countries where there is an increasing pressure on the water resources forming a risk for domestic food production.
Furthermore, Mr. Mr. Östergård put forward the policy advice of investing in rain-harvesting techniques. These are small, simple and relatively cheap solutions will reduce the farmers’ dependency on erratic and unpredictable rainfall patterns directly impacted by climate change, since they can partly collect and control the water for cultivation when needed.
After the meeting there was time reserved for comments and dialogue on the topics.