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The CBA11 Youth Conference on Climate Change opens in Kampala




Youth and invited guests pose for a group photograph with the Chief Guest Alhajji M.Jalllow (In white Kanzu) after the opening ceremony at Hotel Africana in Kampala -Uganda


Governments, development partners urged  to increase support  for youth in climate change adaptation and mitigation to contribute  to the SDGs and NAPAs


The 11 Community Based Adaption (CBA11) Youth  conference was opened on 28th June, 2017 at Hotel Africana in Kampala on the theme , “ Enhancing  the ability of youth to build ecosystem resilience”.

The conference was officially opened by the FAO  Country representative for Uganda, Alhajji M.Jalllow and attended by  the EU   Acting Head of Cooperation Mr. Cedric Merel.

The Youth conference was organised by Makerere University  in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Ministry of Water and Environment .

The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. John Ddumba -Ssentamu, the Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Prof. Bernard Bashaasha and Coordinator Makerere University Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovations (MUCCRI) Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi also attended.

The Youth conference is a break away session of the main CBA11 International conference that was opened on 26th June 2017 at Royal Suites in Kampala.

Over 150 youth attended both international and local. The output from this youth position will be presented on climate change will be presented at the closing of the  main conference.

Presiding over the function as Chief Guest, the FAO Country representative for Uganda, Alhajji M.Jalllow observed that 90% of all disasters facing humanity today are climate related such as floods, landslides and hailstorms.

“It is important to note that climate change affects more than one component in the ecosystem and the indirect effects may outweigh the direct effects for example climate change may make certain areas habitable by particular invasive pests”.


L-R: Prof. Bernard Bashaasha Proncipal CAES, Prof. John DDumba Ssentamu Mak VC, Mr. Cedric Merel-EU, Alhajji M.Jalllow-FAO, Dr. Saleem Huq-IIED and Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi -MUCCRI at the opening ceremony.

Jallow noted that  many ecosystems in Uganda have been immensely compounded by climate change and degradation has almost surpassed the recuperative capacity of such systems.

He said in order to fast track the achievements of the global sustainable Development Goals, such as the second National Development  Plan and the Uganda Vision 2040, youth need to be at the fore front of the international and national development agenda.

“The youth form the bulk of Uganda’s   population, thus the need to build their capacity and create awareness on climate change, how daily production  and consumption patterns contribute to climate change and the actions needed to combat climate change should be prioritised.” He said.

This, he envisaged will create attitudinal change among the youth, consequently impacting on their consciousness to work together as a community to build the resilience of degraded ecosystems and ensure sustainable production of food, animal, feed and energy for the present and future  generations.

He reported that FAO is implementing a number of projects that support different youth activities including support to their activities like the annual school farm camp, international dialogues between Ugandan secondary  schools and those in Europe.

“Through the Decent Rural Youth Employment project, FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries developed a National Strategy for Youth in Agriculture Employment (NSYEA) which will guide all state and non-state actors in Uganda to engage and create decent employment for youth in Agriculture.”

Mr. Jallow expressed FAOs commitment to continue integrating the youth in community adaptation program through awareness creation, training and directly financing climate change adaptation initiatives in their projects.

He called upon government, development partners and civil society organisations to increase support for youth in climate change adaptation and mitigation to contribute  to building a world of pride living in  today and  for the future generations.


                            A section of the youth participating in the conference

The Vice Chancellor  Makerere University,  expressed gratitude to the Government of Uganda for supporting Makerere University and accepting to host this 11th Community Based Adaptation Conference (CBA11).

Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu also extended gratitude to the development partners for choosing Makerere University their higher  institution collaborative associate saying, Makerere treasures this trust and is committed to further enhancing the mutually beneficial collaboration.

The Vice Chancellor told participants that Makerere University is passionate about Climate Change and related research activities. Motivated by the  core functions of Teaching, Research and Innovations and Knowledge transfer,  Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu said the University takes part in organizing and actively participating in events such as this, that seek to directly interface with the youth.

He noted that Africa and specifically Uganda, 80% of the population depend on natural resources for their livelihoods and development. However added that, the region is facing development challenges occasioned by natural resource degradation, decreasing agricultural productivity, changing and variable climates, rapid population growth and high poverty levels.


               MAK VC Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu giving his welcome remarks

The Professor said that in order to address Africa’s development challenges and to increase productivity and economic welfare of her population,  universities, donars, private and civil society organisations must work together and capitalise on their  strengths to ensure percolation of mutual benefits.

“As a higher education institution, Makerere University has contributed to the generation of solutions to avert these development challenges by supplying knowledgeable and multi-skilled graduates, providing evidence-based options and solutions to support formulation of interventions and appropriate policies for accelerating national and regional development”, he said.

Other initiatives taken by the university according to the Vice Chancellor include the establishment of the Makerere University Climate Change Centre for Research and Innovations (MUCCRI) increasing climate change research capacity, extension outreach and mainstreaming climate sciences in undergraduate programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES).

“This 11th Community Based Adaptation (CBA11) Youth conference therefore, is a welcome opportunity to expose our students and other youth in public and private institutions to the latest information on key activities undertaken by different stakeholders, as well as climate change projects in Uganda.”

“I therefore urge our participants take keen interest on the keynote addresses and subsequent discussions. I implore all participants to seek for knowledge related to climate change as a critical driver for our development as a nation and a global community.” The Vice Chancellor explained.

The EU Acting Head of Cooperation, Cedric Merel appreciated  universities, leaders, media and youth for roles  played to create  awareness about climate change.

Cedric noted that youth make  up about 70% of the population in Uganda and many African countries have similar demographies.  He underscored the role and inevitable engagement of the youth in the global phenomenon of Climate change.

‘This conference is one such platform as it will provide for the youth to express their ideas and innovations with a view of finally incorporating these into policy recommendations. We encourage replicating this approach at all levels of climate change action say, at local authorities, community level action, in research and innovation, academia and entrepreneurship.”


              EU  Acting Head of Cooperation Mr. Cedric Merel addressing the youth

He added that EU aims at encouraging and nurturing youth engagement in climate action in a long lasting, beneficial and sustainable manner.

He urged the youth to take advantage of such platforms and  to be champions of change.

“There will be lots of sessions for sharing successful and not very successful stories, nurture networks for knowledge sharing, encourage a sense of champions for change and also learning from experts and practitioners in response to climate change”.

He described the conference theme as befitting considering that most economic growth sectors such as agriculture, tourism and energy are naturally resource based.


Report  compiled by;

Jane Anyango

Communication Officer,

Makerere University,

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES).

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