IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Enhancing African capacity

A need exists for African recognised ‘hubs’ or centres of excellence established by Africans and developed by African scientists. There is the need to also enhance institutional ‘absorptive capacity’ in the various regions, providing opportunities for young scientists to improve research in the fields of climate-change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. Knowledge for action

Much of the research on climate has been driven by the atmospheric sciences community, including, more recently, greater interaction with biophysical scientists (e.g., global change programmes including IGBP/WCRP). However, this chapter has shown that there is much to be gained from a more nuanced approach, which includes those working in the sociological and economic sciences (e.g., IHDP and a range of others). Moreover, the growing interest in partnerships, both public and private, as well as the inclusion of large corporations, formal and informal business, and wider civic society requires more inclusive processes and activities. Such activities, however, may not be sufficient, particularly if change is rapid. For this reason, more ‘urgent’ and ‘creative’ interactions (e.g., greater interactions between users and producers of science, stakeholder interactions, communication, institutional design, etc.) will be required. Much could also be gained by greater interactions between those from the disaster risk-reduction, development, and climate-science communities.

Finally, despite the shift in focus from ‘impacts-led’ research to ‘vulnerability-led’ research, there are still few studies that clearly show the interaction between multiple stresses and adaptation to such stresses in Africa. The role of land-use and land-cover change is one area that could be further explored to enhance such an understanding. Likewise, while there is evidence of researchers grappling with various paradigms of research, e.g., disaster risk-reduction and climate change, there are still few detailed and rich compendia of studies on ‘human dimensions’ interactions, adaptation and climate change (of both a historical, current, and future-scenarios nature). The need for more detailed local-level analyses of the role of multiple interacting factors, including development activities and climate risk-reduction in the African context, is evident from much of this chapter.