PROCOL Kenya First Workshop: Public Understandings of Climate Change in Eastern Africa

Date: November 3rd 2018

Time: 10:00 - 15:00 EAT

The event

This workshop explores common misconceptions between scientific, institutional and public understandings of climate change and examines how more effective methods of communication and behaviour change may be developed. It focuses on sharing knowledge and approaches across the sciences, and on breaking down differences of understanding.

The workshop will focus on three panel discussoins with leading UCL, UK and East African figures. Panellists will present short "think pieces" designed to stimulate debate with the audience.

Attendance is open to all on a first-come-first-served basis.

Why this workshop?

Africa is generally recognised as the continent most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Understanding and responding to these vulnerabilites requires knowledge and cooperation across sectors, disciplines, institutions and diverse audiences. Effective climate research must engage with policymakers, businesses and different public groups.

However, genuinely trans-disciplinary perspectives and research teams remain rare, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Regional understandings of the nature and impact of climate change remain limited with local academics and policymakers often lacking the research data and tools to inform effective responses. Current drives towards change are often led by disconnected, project-level approaches with disconnected funding agendas. In addition, environmental science in sub-Saharan Africa has at times been associated with top-down and repressive policies and practices which marginalise African citizens.

Climate change knowledge, capacity and responses remain patchy.

Future responses to climate change must avoid longstanding associates between science and colonial/post-colonial power dynamics. There is a need for fresh approaches that involve the co-production of knowledge and action across the sciences, with stakeholders from government, civil society and business. Communicating the nature of research and developing common understandings of climate change are essential to this.

This event will be run by Professor Jacqueline McGladeDr Matthew Davies, Dr Freda M'Mborgori, and Professor Henrietta Moore. It is being organised by the Institute for Global Prosperity, UCL and the British Institute in Eastern Africa, with funds from the UCL Global Engagement Office.