ICWRGC at Science for Sustainable Livelihoods Forum in Mittweida
The first Mittweida Climate Forum titled “Science for Sustainable Livelihoods”, co-organized by ICWRGC, took place from 12-16 June 2023, bringing in experts, researchers, and policy makers from Europe and Africa. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences (HSMW) has been cooperating with WASCAL and SASSCAL (funded by BMBF) and the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC) in Koblenz and the Institute of Geography and Geology at the University of Würzburg.
The aim of the Forum was to promote the exchange of African and German expertise on the interplay of global and local climate systems on the African and European Continent. Furthermore, local measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change in regional environmental contexts were discussed.
Members from the partners of the Mittweida Hochschule, The South African Science Centre for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (SASSCAL), The West African Science Centre for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), University of Würzburg, and the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC) attended the meeting. In addition, stakeholders from universities, research institutions, politics and civil society, including young minds from Africa and Germany, shared their knowledge to find creative solutions in a more climate-resilient world.
The Mittweida, SASSCAL, WASCAL, ICWRGC, and University of Würzburg delegations at the welcoming ceremony of the Climate Forum 2023
ICWRGC represented by Dr. Luna Bharati, a member of the Advisory Board for this conference, and Dr. Layla Hashweh jointly convened an interactive workshop titled “Fair Data Principles”. The workshop aimed at showcasing ICWRGC and the two data centres, Global Environment Monitoring System for Freshwater (GEMS/Water) and the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN) it hosts.
The participants had the unique opportunity to not only learn about the developed data products, how they are set up and shared, but were also given the opportunity to retrieve the data provided from the websites themselves.
Additionally, Luna chaired the water management session where Layla held a scientific fifteen-minute oral presentation about Ewaso Narok wetland in East Africa, among presentations from other participants.
As part of the Forum, Layla moderated a workshop titled “Climate Change – Real Stories from Africa”, presented by our SASSCAL colleagues. The workshop showed research-based evidence on the effects of climate change in Southern Africa. Furthermore, it highlighted the Climate Scenarios in the region and the contribution of SASSCAL’s activities to climate change response. Last but not least, it advocated for cultural and traditional knowledge and norms in climate change and the perspectives of the communities.
A panel discussion on securing livelihoods under changing climate was also held as part of the 2023 forum. The panellists were Dr. Luna Bharati (ICWRGC), Prof. Dr. Kehinde Ogunjobi (WASCAL), Dr. Budzanani Tacheba (SASSCAL), Dr. Wilfried Kraus (Min.Dirig. BMBF a.D.) and it was moderated by PD Dr. Gunter Süß, IKKS. A link to the recording is available and included here: https://www.youtube.com/live/ges_qzMixX0?feature=share
PD Dr. Luna Bharati (2nd from left) highlights the importance of in-situ data collection in climate change analysis as part of the panel discussion with Dr. Gunter Süß, Prof. Dr. Kehinde Ogunjobi, Dr. Budzanani Tacheba and Dr. Wilfried Kraus.
The Climate Forum provided an ideal opportunity to engage in conversations and networking as well as promote future collaborations. Students from Mittweida University engaged with the different partners and offered guided tours through the university and the university town of Mittweida.
Attending delegates were treated to a tour of the small University town of Mittweida