Climate change is no respecter of boundaries and looking at approaches that can be implemented with the cooperation of all countries that share common ecosystem resources is the first entry step to addressing regional challenges. The UNEP Regional Ecosystems based Adaptation approach Programme is charting a new paradigm shift towards making the case that addressing food security across the continent, needs to be looked at a regional rather than national level and that regional integration if driven by foods security concerns has a lot of potential for development in Africa.
This strategic approach was launched last Friday 14th November in Zambia coming after similar inception workshops in Malawi and Mozambique.
These three countries will implement the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Food Security (EBAFoS) – project using a new operational approach aimed at enhancing efficient implementation of the programme and enhancing country-level participation. Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia serves as a test case for the regional approach which will take into consideration regional inter-dependence of ecosystem services. Premised on the principles of a "fiscal stimulus", the use of limited resources as a catalyst to broader change is to be utilized with focus on how the actions will address food security, build climate resilience as well as enhance the productivity of this trans-boundary ecosystem which is providing a multitude to services to the millions of citizens in these three countries.
As in EBAFoS national processes all the inceptions in the three countries was organized using a national entry point normally the climate change focal point’s institution as the host and working closely with the UNDP country office, they jointly prepared the organization of the inception workshops and the identification of participants as well as raising media awareness of the coming of the EBAFoSprogramme. The engagement of UNCO, UNDP CO, FAO, IFAD in laying the groundwork for their involvement and serving as the EBAFoS entry point under the UN system was strictly followed
The Malawian, Mozambican and Zambian inception missions captures the operational pillars of implementation especially with regards to bringing together the right stakeholders, and setting the participatory dialogue forum required for the integration of EBA for food security country projects, into other ongoing bigger food security and adaptation initiatives and as part of the national and regional food security and adaptation programme of action that represents priorities for Ecosystem based adaptation. The buildup of national and regional interest and the mobilization of the national governments, civil societies, and together with other stakeholders following the inception workshops provides the type of enabling environment for country and regional project implementation and the opportunity for capitalizing on the momentum of the beneficiaries of the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Food Security (EBAFoS)–project.