Adapting to Climate Change Project Launched
April 20, 2023
South Sudan is extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts. Rising temperatures and the increasing severity of drought and flood events have had a negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of the people in South Sudan. The impacts are compounded by widespread food insecurity, conflict, and a macroeconomic crisis. National institutions and inadequate warning systems make it difficult to predict and share information about climate hazards. As a result, people continue to struggle to adapt to changes in the environment.
On April 19, 2023, the UNDP, and the Government of South Sudan represented by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, launched the Strengthening the Capacity of the Government and Communities to Adapt to Climate Change Project. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It will be implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in South Sudan and local partners. It represents the largest ever ecosystem-based adaptation project in South Sudan.
This five-year project will put in place three components to address current and future impacts of climate change in South Sudan: (1) a multi-hazard early warning system, (2) a practical ecosystem-based adaptation process for people in flood affected areas, and (3) setting up a Climate Change Centre at the University of Juba. Over the next five years, the Adapting to Climate Change Project will establish a multi-hazard early warning system made up of five (5) manual and three (3) automatic synoptic stations. There will also be one national hydro-meteorological station with a nationwide weather and climate database. The government will be supported to sustain these facilities.
The project will also assist people in local communities to adapt to the impact of flood and drought through practical ecosystem-based adaptation including restoring 16,000 hectares of land, providing water to pastoralists, and introduce Climate Smart Agriculture processes.
Dr. Samuel Doe Resident Representative UNDP, stated during the launch, “It is expected that 75,000 people will benefit from the initiatives and 30,000 pastoralists will have better access to water for their livestock. Furthermore, 13,000 women are also projected to benefit from ‘climate-smart’ agricultural practices introduced by the project.”
To continue the search for climate change solutions and to build the next generation of experts, the University of Juba will establish a Climate Change Centre within the School of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies. As part of this project, they will develop a research-based curriculum for a master’s program in Climate Change.
The Minister of Environment the Hon. Josephine Napon officially launched the Adapting Climate Change project on April 19. 2023. “The climate crisis is worsening in South Sudan. Over 2,000,000 people are internally displaced due to flooding and drought. This Climate Change project will be of great assistance to the people of South Sudan. To start, this project is being implemented in Kapoeta and Terekeka, but it will be scaled up and replicated in all the other states and the three administrative areas.”
The UNDP team has been working hard since January 2022 to put all the pieces in place to get the project started. The team is comprised of dedicated South Sudanese professionals who are committed to ensuring communities have the tools and resources they need to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Kuach Pech is the Climate Adaptation Project Manager and he brings 15 years of experience in the development sector mainly in South Sudan, with some surge support in Kenya, Somalia, and Syria. He joins UNDP’s Climate Change project from the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) where he was a Resilience Policy Advisor managing the UK’s largest resilience program in South Sudan. Kuach’s mix of managerial competencies and technical expertise will ensure the success of this project. Kuach holds a bachelor degree in management from Africa Nazarene University and a masters in International Development from SOAS, University of London.
Kaluma Beatrice Venisto Zira is one of the Climate Officers. She is from Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan and studied at Nkumba University, Uganda. She came back to South Sudan in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with the hope of using her knowledge to serve her community. Kaluma is an enthusiastic Environment and Climate Change professional, bringing her more than ten years of valuable experience with international environmental programs conducting environmental impact assessments, auditing, policy analysis, and advocacy. She is excited about UNDP’s Climate Change project because she will be liaising with relevant project stakeholders including internal teams and government counterparts to ensure cohesion and collaboration to help communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Kaluma is also pursuing a masters in climate change at the University of Nairobi and a master’s in Environmental Health at the University of Atlantic Technology University, Ireland.
Akuei Abuol is the Climate Change officer for Kapoeta. He holds Master of Science in Climate Change from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management from Kampala International University, Uganda. Akuei bring over nine years of experience in the field of community resilience building and climate change, he believes this project will be of great benefit to South Sudan, especially with the establishment of synoptic stations and one central weather station. He hopes that more Climate Change projects can be streamline across other ministries to gather the strength to affect change under SDG 13.
Unzima Jino is the Admin and Finance Assistant, working with the team to ensure the project runs smoothly for the next five years. Jino was born in Loa, South Sudan. He brings extensive education and training in finance and project management. His experience with Medicines Sans Frontiers France (MSF France), the IRC, and cooperative Bank of South Sudan will be invaluable to this project.
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