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Adapting Rwanda's economy to a changing climate

Date
Time (GMT +01) 11:00 12:30
Hero image description: Women farmers with their coffee trees, Rwanda Image credit:UN Women/Ana Lukatela

Adapting Rwanda's economy to a changing climate

Chair

Dr Nicola Ranger - Climate Advisor, DFID

 

Speakers

Dr Paul Watkiss - Global Climate Adaptation Partnerships

Alex Mulisa - Coordinator, Government of Rwanda Climate and Environment Fund FONERWA (via video link)

Dr Emily Wilkinson - Disaster Risk reduction and Resilience Specialist, ODI

Description

Climate change is already under way and set to continue for the next few decades, even as countries take action to tackle its longer-term effects. With the mercury rising and extreme weather events such as heatwaves, drought and heavy rains becoming more common, climate change is  a development issue now. Developing countries that depend heavily on farming, fishing and forestry are especially vulnerable. Rwanda is such a case: its lucrative tea and coffee sectors employ millions of Rwandans.

Doubling Rwanda’s area under tea and coffee cultivation is at the core of the government’s medium term development plan and promises to transform the country’s landscape; but tea and coffee plants are sensitive to changes in temperature and rainfall. Are the government of Rwanda’s plans realistic? Are there affordable options to adapt to challenging climate conditions and keep these industries profitable?

Panellists at the event discuss a ‘decision first’ approach to adapting to climate change in Rwanda’s tea and coffee industries. This approach lowers climate-related risks even if we don’t know the exact profile of climate change in the decades ahead. Rwanda’s real challenges showcase how the ‘decision first’ climate adaptation framework works in practice. Speakers explore how the principles can help other countries and sectors to become more climate-resilient. This work is an early product of the Future Climate for Africa programme, which is generating fundamentally new climate science in Africa, and ensuring that this science assists human development.

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