Why are we running this project?

The African continent is already being harder hit by the climate crisis than other regions around the world, yet historically the continent has contributed the least to causing the crisis.

The negotiations at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference COP 27 in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt and other political processes are an opportunity to draw global attention to the impact of climate change in Africa. One particular focus in this context is on how people can make the necessary adaptations to the consequences of climate change and thereby preserve their livelihoods, and on how to finance adaptation strategies. These existential debates require constant and committed involvement from representatives of affected groups that have hitherto been underrepresented in international and national climate policy processes. These especially include farmers, indigenous populations and young people and women living in rural areas, who are already suffering from the effects of climate change and its consequences for land use. 

A systemic transition to climate-resilient land use requires intensive exchange and cooperation between civil society organizations, African decision-makers and local communities.

What are our goals?

To strengthen effective participation of African stakeholders in international political debates on climate-resilient land use, Powershift Africa and Germanwatch take action on four levels: 

  • Consolidating knowledge about climate-resilient land use in science and politics, as well as knowledge about associated land rights, lays the foundation for the qualified participation of underrepresented groups and decision-makers in national and international debates and decision-making processes.
  • Indigenous groups, women and young people from communities in Kenya and Tanzania, who are particularly affected by land rights violations, and civil society organizations that engage with land, food and climate adaptation issues, are able to effectively represent their interest and positions in national and international decision-making processes relating to land use.  
  • African civil society and state organizations can build capacities that will allow them to jointly define their positions and contribute central aspects of climate-resilient land use to political negotiations from the local to the global level, e.g. via the African Group of Negotiators at the COPs and the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment relating to questions of land use, land rights and climate adaptation.
  • By raising the profile of African viewpoints in German and European policy, joint transcontinental positions and strategies can be formulated and broad support generated for international climate policy negotiations.

How does the project work?

In a first step, Power Shift Africa identifies those civil society actors and local communities in Kenya and Tanzania for whom climate-resilient land use is particularly important. In various workshops, representatives of both groups use previously conducted analyses to develop a common understanding of the social and political issues surrounding climate-resilient land use. For example, a strategy paper will analyze the extent to which sustainable land management is taken into account in the individual climate protection plans of African countries. Subsequently, participants contribute their positions to national forums in both countries – for example in exchange with representatives of the African Group of Negotiators, who represent Africa’s interests in the international climate negotiations. 

At the pan-African level too, the establishment of a civil society network fosters the sharing of knowledge and best practices and the development of joint political positions on climate-resilient land use.

In addition, Germanwatch and Power Shift jointly organize events and dialogues between German, European and African stakeholders on the sidelines of conferences such as the International Climate Change Conference COP27, the G7 or the G20 summit.