Key issues

OUR RESEARCH, LEARNING AND INNOVATION AGENDA IN EAST AFRICA

Drylands:
fragile ecosystems

Worldwide, billions of people live in drylands. Their lives and livelihoods are shaped by natural and human shocks, such as droughts, locust invasions, conflict or climatic changes. Their opportunities to enjoy healthy, productive and resilient lives is ‘stunted’ by exclusion, lack of access to services and fast-evolving and recurring shocks. Drought can wipe out lives and assets, forcing people back into poverty and away from homes and grazing areas. 

Adaptation and coping options for the roughly 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa that rely on pastoralism and agro-pastoralism for their livelihoods are limited because, aside from livestock raising, these rangelands are often remote and are not well suited to other productive agriculture.

In the absence of reliable data and evidence as well as tested solutions, pastoral groups as well as other organizations that serve them struggle to determine where and how best to intervene to anticipate, prepare for and respond to climate-driven food security and nutrition shocks. Through dialogue with partners in the region, the Observatory has identified five key challenge questions to prioritise in its work.

Critical challenges

Data for effective early action

How data and decision-support systems can be enhanced and harmonised for more user-friendly, trusted and timely products that facilitate early action against environmental shocks threatening people in drylands.

Finance & Coordination for early action

How decision-makers, practitioners and private sector actors can more effectively coordinate and finance efforts to prepare, predict and respond to emerging environmental shocks.

Effective early action with communities

How local communities can be empowered so their knowledge, expertise and voice are included in early warning systems and decisions andf they co-create solutions that build resilience against environmental shocks.