Mainstreaming climate change into agricultural education: challenges and perspectives uri icon

abstract

  • Good education should provide solutions to developmen t challenges. There is a strong positive correlation between levels of education and economic development in any given country. The major challenges facing humanity currently are associated with the negative effects of climate change, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Climate change is adversely affecting practically all economic sectors. Africa is projected to have a future associated with scarce water, declin ing agricultural yields, encroaching desert and damaged coastal infrastructure. The prognosis on the negative effect s of climate change for SSA is therefore very grim. It is gratifying to note that African educators themselves are taking a leading role in assessing what needs to be done for our educational institutions to make a sign ificant contribution in providing solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. This Working Pa per is an outcome of a symposium organized to share information on climate change challenges for agriculture in SSA; explore methods of mainstreaming climate change knowledge into agricultural education; and identify recommendations on effective policies, institutions and capacity. The Working Paper lays down the key issues in climate change: who is affected and what direction we are taking if the negative effects presented by climate change are not checked. It presents a compelling argument on the role of tertiary education in making meaningful contributions and goes further to present a very reasonable action plan to be followed if we are going to keep on track with climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. The recommendations proposed in this Working Paper shou ld be taken seriously by tertiary agricultural and natural resources management institutions in the whole of SSA and indeed governments in the sub-continent on mainstreaming climate change. Only if the educational institutions, in tandem with governments in Africa, take a leading role in combating the challenges posed by climate change to rural livelihoods, can we begin to see progress in this area

publication date

  • 2009