2019 Global Commission on Adaptation Report, UN staff support youth-driven global action on climate crisis, Ahead of UN summit, leading scientists warn climate change ‘hitting harder and sooner’ than forecast, Climate Action: It’s time to make peace with nature, UN chief urges, FROM THE FIELD: Turning waste into a business in the slums of Yaoundé, Cameroon, ‘Ground-breaking innovation’ needed in cities, where battle for sustainable development will be won or lost, says UN agency chief. I traveled there to find out what people on the ground observe. A startling new report on climate change was released in early 2014. The solution There is significant evidence that securing community rights to land and resources is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty, preserve biodiversity, halt deforestation and reduce the harmful effects of climate change. At 475,440 km 2 (183,570 sq mi), Cameroon is the world's 53rd largest country. And in addition to the long-term solutions that require a change in the way our economies operate, we can all make personal choices to alter our lifestyle and consumption patterns. Present in Cameroon since 1978, CARE Cameroon has a long history of working on agriculture, natural resource management, and climate change adaptation, and is present in six of the country’s ten regions. In addition,most of the ever-increasing number of buildings still use fossil fuels for their energy needs. There is therefore an urgent need for alternative coping strategies to mitigate prevailing circumstances.". My research involves not only studying the Earth's climate, but also working to find clean energy solutions that will enable people and regions to have access to reliable electricity without increasing emissions of heat-trapping gases. Dr. Asong Zisuh told me, "The mission of CUIB (the entrepreneurial university) is to prepare servant leaders with moral and spiritual values to contribute to the sustainable development of their communities. Let's hope that's the case and let's support their efforts. Data drives Bloomberg’s support for climate solutions, says Antha N. Williams ... by rising sea levels driven by climate change. Cameroon, just like any other country in Africa and the world at large, joins the fight against climate change. First, readers of this column will note that I take a particular interest in the impacts of climate change that are being felt at regional or national levels. Finally, Cameroon's limited financial resources make adaptation particularly difficult. For example, most of the new buildings in the next 30 years will be in Africa and Asia which should move away from air conditioning and maximize natural ventilation. The commissions will be part of the cultural programme in the build up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which the UK is hosting in Glasgow in November 2021. Ongoing student projects in the the School of Engineering include: construction of wind turbines to generate clean and renewable electricity; construction of a solar drier to help conserve local farm products; drawing building plans for local housing that incorporate energy conservation practices; developing concepts for sustainable management of solid and liquid waste by local councils; biogas production for small scale use; and production of briquettes from bio-residues.". We are inviting collaborative applications from individuals and organisations in the UK with partners from eligible countries and states overseas. I know that humans have the capacity to solve our climate and energy problems, we only lack the will. Maybe, just maybe, innovators like I've met at CUIB will be the change agents needed to preserve our future. All of these very advanced and innovative ideas have been generated by enthusiastic undergraduate students. It is slightly larger than the nation of Sweden and US state of California. States are thus looking at solutions for people to be able to migrate safely and through regular channels, and at solutions for those already on the move. The new 35% average co-benefits target will be embedded in the Second Climate Change Action Plan, which will cover 2021-2025. They can manage this by becoming more energy efficient and using renewable energy sources. Cameroon is a tropical country that receives a significant amount of daily sunshine and experiences a high generation rate of bio-residues, especially from agricultural activities. Watch here how a community in Liberia has been displaced by the sea: The whole world is threatened by climate change but developing countries are often hit the hardest. Cities in developing countries also face barriers in accessing climate finance including a lack of focus on cities as a strategic priority. Resilient shelter will only work if we have resilient communities. And all of this brings us back to the university CUIB. Climate change is bigger than politics. Climate change is the biggest issue facing the planet. Effects of this include among others, difficulty in following cropping calendars due to unpredictable and unseasonably long rainy periods, decline in crop yields, high disease incidence and crop losses, increased post-harvest losses and high labour costs, coupled with increasing incidents of HIV/AIDS. People, species, and our precious environment are all at risk. (2011). Cities, while being the main cause of climate change, are also the most affected. Our focus on “Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action” is part of the larger UN-Habitat Strategic Plan to build climate resilience worldwide.". In most of these countries such as Cameroon, forest can play important role in achieving broader climate change adaptation goals. Climate Change “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate.” - Barack Obama. The least well off in our cities and communities will bear the brunt of climate change in the form of  floods, landslides and extreme heat. But we know the solutions. Thus, harnessing these available and inexpensive opportunities is required for the sustainable and economic development of the country. Second, Cameroon is heavily dependent on agriculture, which, in turn, depends on climate. UN-Habitat is supporting one of the nine action tracks designated by the Secretary-General “Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action” under the leadership of the Governments of Kenya and Turkey. They often do not have the capacity to face extreme weather events and have insufficient governance frameworks to manage climate challenges. Such initiatives also require new and sustained funding sources. The huge carbon footprint created by our cities results from poor planning and layout. The Country Programme also integrates risks from climate change into its own work, while influencing key local and national adaptation planning processes with a view to contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and increasing the contribution of adaptation to the Cameroon … The latest example of how devastating climate change risks can be … To participate in the mitigation of global warming, Cameroon has decided to engage in quite an impressive balancing act. Reducing risks to food security from climate change is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Changing how we plan, develop & run cities is #ClimateAction. Electric public transport, powered through renewable energy could prevent 250 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030, as well as improving people's health, and lowering noise and air pollution in our cities. Perhaps the most detailed study regarding Cameroon's susceptibility to climate change was completed by the World Bank, which related agricultural output to climate change, in particular to changes in temperature and precipitation. These are opportunities to address climate, create low carbon communities & ensure livable cities. https://t.co/tP8hOSBO6W#GlobalGoals pic.twitter.com/GAgtUtCcZC. “However, where climate change impacts are too intense, another priority put forward in the Compact is to “enhance availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration”. The extraction and manufacturing of materials for buildings such as steel and concrete and construction processes produce carbon dioxide so using low carbon infrastructure will also slash emissions. So, how will a country like Cameroon plan for climate change and how do universities like CUIB contribute to those plans? It is comparable in size to Papua New Guinea.Cameroon's landmass is 472,710 km 2 (182,510 sq mi), with 2,730 km 2 (1,050 sq mi) of water.. UN News asked the UN-Habitat Executive Director what role cities should play in slowing down climate change. In Cameroon, CARE works in three main areas: (1) effective, sustainable and inclusive economic development for youth and women, including climate change; (2) […] To power our cities we must generate clean, resource-efficient energy and move away from fossil fuels. While climate change threatens most crops in Africa, its impact could be less on cotton cultivation in Cameroon. This can include early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure and housing, and investments in water resources. Students are required to undertake entrepreneurial projects on issues related to sustainable development. Cities use a large proportion of the world’s energy supply and are responsible for around 70 per cent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions which trap heat and result in the warming of Earth. I have recently met the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, and other world leaders and we are committed to working together to ensure we build back better. More recent work confirms the vulnerability of Cameroon's forests to climate change. "Farmers in this region are dependent on rain-fed agriculture and have observed erratic rainfall patterns and intensity which adversely affect agricultural activities and their livelihoods. If the battle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to be won or lost in cities, then they need to “achieve a lasting impact on communities and to ensure that no one is left behind,” the head of the UN agency dealing with sustainable urban development said on Wednesday. The motivation for these environmental-conservation and climate change projects is not only related to the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but also to meet the growing demand for energy amidst huge supply shortages. Though particularly vulnerable to climate change, students in Cameroon are developing innovative technological solutions, A man rides a bicycle in Cameroon; a country very vulnerable to climate change that it didn't cause, but developing innovative solutions to the problem. However, given their role as hubs of innovation and creativity, we also look to cities to provide us with answers. Health impacts related to climate change have been given increasing attention during recent years. Our expanding cities, towns and villages can create buildings and infrastructure that are highly energy efficient and designed with the local climate in mind using innovative technologies. Countries that contribute least to climate change tend to be the most vulnerable to its impacts, according to Samson et al. We will bring together young scientists, entrepreneurs, and advocates for a live event focused on the most innovative inventions, proposals and solutions to combat climate change. It didn't mention exact dates or specific forecasts for the future, but it did foreshadow consequences of climate change … Every year, an estimated 11.2 billion tons of solid waste are collected worldwide, according to the UN Environment Programme. Fighting climate change is vital to equitable global development and poverty reduction—and international trade can have an important role to play in this endeavor. Ms. Sharif will be joining world leaders at United Nations headquarters in New York next week at the Climate Action Summit convened by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Organic matter emits methane as it decomposes, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide in the short-term, so it’s key to minimize organic waste by improving waste management methods and to take steps to capture and use the methane emissions from landfills. This affects everyone. UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif (2nd left) with women she met during her visit to a new UN-Habitat settlement house in Turkana, Kenya. Well designed, compact, walkable cities with good public transport greatly reduce our per capita carbon footprint and are key to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals of which climate action is a key part. Of course, Cameroon can, and will, play their role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Most cities are situated near water putting them at risk from rising sea levels and storms. Ultimately climate change does not respect borders – everyone will all be affected and we all need to act together to stop it now. Energy, building, mobility and planning solutions and innovations in cities have the potential to deliver major emission cuts. Since 2009, the cost of renewable electricity has dropped both for solar and wind power and will keep going down as more of us use them. The effects of the recent changes in the planet’s climate, as well as expected future climate risks have pushed about a thousand cities worldwide to declare a climate emergency. Those researchers found that while the people in Cameroon expressed a great deal of understanding and appreciation of climate change, the ability of the country to adapt to climate change was limited. There, in a town near the coast called Buea, I spent two weeks with my family and colleagues, working with a new university (Catholic University Institute of Buea, or CUIB for short) but more about that later. Living in Cameroon, a country at the frontline of climate change, I see people suffering greatly from the impacts of climate change. Levels of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas, are at the highest levels ever, mostly due to the burning of fossil fuels for energy. Cameroon - Cameroon - Transportation and telecommunications: The difficult terrain and heavy rainfall in the south have challenged the development and maintenance of an adequate transportation network. Climate adaptation, whereby cities adjust to actual or expected future climate, is a sound investment. Cities around the world are the “main cause of climate change” but can also offer a part of the solution to reducing the harmful greenhouses gases that are causing global temperatures to rise ... a slum area in the middle of Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé. I quickly learned that innovative ideas from the young and entrepreneur-minded scientists and engineers might serve as a role model for us all. Climate change risks are gaining increasing attention from investors, financial institutions and asset managers. A man rides a bicycle in Cameroon; a country very vulnerable to climate change that it didn't cause, but developing innovative solutions to the … Initiatives included insurance for the most vulnerable, assistance for smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change, as well as support to prevent disasters. A new study shows that the expected climate change over the … Introduction. Some areas are struggling with its effects, however, a … According to the World Health Organization, in 2000, climate change was estimated to be responsible for approximately 2.4 per cent of worldwide diarrhoea and 6 per cent of malaria in some middle-income countries1 – diseases that This was one of the questions I asked as I sat down with the Dean of the School Engineering, Dr. Asong Zisuh and his students. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that the average surface temperature of the Earth is likely to increase by 3.2 °F to 7.2 °F (1.8 °C to 4.0 °C) by the end of the 21st century, relative to 1980-1990 (IPCC, 2007c). UN-Habitat/Julius Mwelu, ♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox -. Another study focused on the impacts that land-use changes and climate change have on Cameroon's forests; the study found future effects will be profound. I spoke with the Dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Laetitia Ako Kima. By this naïveté, they are sometimes able to accomplish what we old folks think is impossible. Low-density suburban sprawl with little public transport and homes far from work and shops means more cars on the roads emitting carbon dioxide. For instance, some studies that focus on the impacts of climate change on the water cycle project that increases in rainfall and evaporation from lakes, rivers, oceans, and plants will have impacts that must be considered in future development planning. Our carbon pollution will have impacts all over the world - including here in Aotearoa New Zealand. The north has traditionally been isolated from the south, and transportation infrastructure is more developed in some regions than in others. Huge gains, in terms of reducing harmful gases, can be made by changing how we plan, build, manage and power our cities and towns. the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, not caused the problem but may be impacted more significantly. 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