27.05.2019 - UNESCO Office in Harare

Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis Training Workshop opens in Cape Town

CRIDA Workshop delegates pose for a photo

The Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) Training Workshop opened in Cape Town, South Africa today. The workshop which runs until 31st May 2019 seeks to train Southern African stakeholders on the use of the different steps of the CRIDA approach and to lay the groundwork for the development of a full project proposal to generate a CRIDA case study in the region.

The CRIDA approach provides guidelines to assess water security vulnerabilities due to climate variability and change, and provides guidance on the development of adaptation pathways for robust water resources management.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Prof. Hubert Gijzen said there is need to identify pathways to integrate the science-based understanding of climate impacts on water security into mitigation and adaptation policies. 

Climate Change is increasingly causing extreme weather events with severe drought and floods, resulting in unprecedented hardship, loss of billions of dollars in damages, and increasing threats to water and food security. The El Niño event three years ago resulted in the worst drought in much of southern Africa. Together with the recent cyclones IDAI and Kenneth, causing massive floods and damages, these extreme hydrological events have catastrophic effects on food security and livelihoods of millions of people across the region.

Prof. Gijzen said humanitarian responses to these extreme events come at huge costs, hence the need to be proactive and come up with medium to long term development responses.

“We need to complement ad hoc humanitarian responses with a strong medium to longer term development response, aimed at building preparedness, resilience and reducing the impact of future extreme weather events,” he said.

“Let’s remind ourselves that prevention is better than cure! It is moving to see so many partners come in to support when disaster strikes. However, I ask, what have we learned from previous events, and what have we done to prevent or reduce their impact? We need to get it right,” added Prof. Gijzen.

Speaking at same occasion, Stellenbosch University Water Institute’s Senior Director Robert Kotze, expressed the university’s aspiration to become Africa’s leading research-intensive University by 2040. John Kucharski, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the UNESCO International Center for Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) representative also expressed commitment to continue working with UNESCO in programmes that seek to reduce the impacts of climate change in the region and beyond. Steve Collins of the USAID Resilient Waters Programme highlighted that the current UNESCO water programmes dovetail well with the US-funded programme in the Limpopo and Okavango water basins. Deltares representative Sadie McEvoy reiterated the commitment by the institution to contribute to water resources management initiative in the region.

More than 40 delegates are participating in the workshop organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Zambezi River Basin Commission, Stellenbosch University Water Institute, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Deltares and the USAID Resilient Waters Programme. 

For more information, please contact: k.verbist(at)unesco.org.

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