1. Latest research on climate science of Africa
This theme will focus on the analysis of observations, re-analysis and modeling of African climate with strong focus on variability across multiple timescales (from days to decades, including weather) and the frequency of extreme events. It includes new results from global and regional high resolution climate model simulations and evaluations of climate processes in models across different scales throughout Africa with a focus on key global, regional and sub-regional climate processes.
2. Latest research on the science and projections of future climate change in Africa
This theme will cover modeling of future African climate with global and regional (high resolution/convection permitting) climate models across multiple timescales (including the future 5 to 40 year period). Other topics include:
3. Evidence for action: climate change risk analysis
This focuses on gathering and using evidence on the impacts and risks of climate change and the need for adaptation. It covers compilation of data on climate impacts and vulnerability; assessing climate risks to society; attribution of extreme climate events; and exploring the best way to use this knowledge to protect the public and inform policymakers, including addressing the needs of specific sectors and stakeholders.
4. Delivering resilience in the face of climate change uncertainty
This covers the way in which we can address management of risks and uncertainties of climate change by building societies, ecosystems and long-lived infrastructure that are resilient to environmental and socio-economic change. It includes risk and uncertainty assessment; scenario development and planning participatory modeling; and developing transformative adaptation pathways that can cope with a wide range of future conditions. Sector specific options for improving resilience are also covered within the theme on crosscutting issues. This will present tools and guidance that support climate-risk management from pilot studies and real-life applications.
5. Co-production of knowledge between science, business, policy, practice and local communities
This theme will explore collaborative processes for developing climate services and aims to encourage interactions between the policy, practice and research communities, including the private sector and local community groups. It will showcase different approaches that demonstrate how these groups can work together to co-produce knowledge around climate change information and adaptation options. Included here are approaches to achieve a cohesive ethical framework to govern development and application of climate services (quality assurance and ethics).
6. Information distillation and communication
Information distillation relates to the process of constructing climate information within a broader co-production context. In contrast to the co-production theme, this theme will focus directly on how science engages with the broader context and process. Particular issues that fall under distillation are: determining the underlying problem and question framing and how this impacts choices around data, models, methods, and communication; identifying and determining assumptions and their consequences for the resultant information, communication, and uptake; dealing with contradictions and disagreements within disciplines (e.g. datasets, models, method), between disciplines, and practice/experience; involving other disciplines and practitioners in the distillation process; and transparency of the process and resultant communication methods.
7. Mobilising investment in climate and weather services
This will reflect on the importance of increasing investment to enhance the development and delivery of weather and climate services in Africa, by the private sector, state and voluntary sectors. It will also focus on demonstrating the value of weather and climate services to donors and investors. These entail sharing weather/climate services business models for private sector, research, academia and practitioners to learn and innovate together and create scalable services, as well as exhibition of successful creative solutions to share experiences; and methods for valuing weather and climate services to determine the socio-economic benefits such as development opportunities, avoided losses, reduced disaster risks, and enhanced productivity of economic sectors.
8. Cross-cutting issues: water-energy-food-health nexus:
This theme will consider climate change adaptation actions in various sectors (water, energy, food security, health, disaster risk reduction) in terms of practical methods and policy guidelines that enhance resilience, taking into account the interconnections and interdependence among the sectors. It will include potential synergies, trade-offs, and a broader framework for making adaptation responses and decisions more effective at multiple scales (including approaches to decision-making under uncertainty). Research, policy and practice that attempt to take this wide view across multiple sectors or scales will be covered. Sectors under this theme includes, but not limited to:
Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods – Use of weather and climate information in decision-making to enhance adaptive capacity of local communities through increased resilience of agriculture, including linkages with food security and livelihoods.
Urban Planning, Energy and infrastructure – Includes the design, implementation and assessment of options to increase resilience to climate change impacts on energy and urban infrastructure (including water supply and sanitation); energy supply and demand management; transport; as well as planning for disaster risk reduction in these sectors.
Surface and groundwater resources – Will consider how adaptation to changes in extremes (floods and droughts) and longer-term water availability can be delivered through improved risk assessment methods, catchment management, behavioral change (e.g demand management), technological solutions (e.g. storage or improved water treatment), and improved groundwater and surface water quality and quantity assessment (including scenario planning).
Health – Provides a venue for work that focuses on the way in which adaptation can address climate impacts on human health and wellbeing, with a view to increasing resilience to disasters, and advancing our understanding of temperature-related health impacts, air quality impacts, impacts of extreme events on human (and animal) health, vector-borne diseases, water-related illnesses, nutrition, mental health and populations of concern.