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Knowing our changing climate in Africa

What are African herders observing about their weather, knowing and learning about their climate and doing to adapt to change?

➢ Are you from a pastoral community in sub-Saharan Africa? Do you work with pastoral peoples to address their issues and concerns?
➢ Are you willing to take on the challenge of bringing together pastoral communities, scientists and government policy-makers?
➢ Are you interested in engaging pastoral peoples and herder knowledge of weather and climate in national planning processes for climate change adaptation?

To be eligible, the proposal must involve pastoral peoples from one or more of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda



UNESCO’s Climate Frontlines initiative is launching a new project for pastoral/herding communities in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (see eligibility criteria below). The project aims at understanding pastoral peoples’ own knowledge of weather and climate, their forecasting skills, and their observations of environmental change.
The project goals are:
• to build dialogue between community members and climate scientists,
• to strengthen local capacities to engage with national policy-makers on climate change adaptation.

Support to successful applicants will take the form of small grants, capacity-building workshops and dialogue sessions involving knowledgeable men and women from herder communities, scientists and policy-makers. 

UNESCO is looking for dedicated, dynamic and reliable individuals who will work with their communities to achieve the project’s goals.

Successful applicants will work with their community to document how men and women read the weather and cope with environmental uncertainty and change. We ask that you propose appropriate ways to develop this documentation. You will help build dialogue between knowledgeable community members with natural and social scientists. These exchanges will contribute to climate policies based on both indigenous and scientific knowledge that address the concerns and needs of pastoral communities. You will need both the time and the skills to work with a variety of stakeholders including researchers and policy-makers, supported by UNESCO, our partners and other successful applicants.

The work you will do with your community will contribute to addressing key questions like the following:

• How do people in your community read the weather, forecast rain or drought, and use their meteorological knowledge to guide day-to-day decision-making?
• What environmental changes and trends are being observed by men and women, and how are these affecting herding livelihoods?
• Is your community witnessing an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, and if so, how are you adapting?
• Have people in your community had the opportunity to dialogue with national meteorological services or engage in national debates on climate change adaptation? How might such opportunities be increased and enhanced?

If you and your community are interested to contribute to the project “Knowing our changing climate in Africa”, please read carefully the following information and fill out the form.

• The proposals must involve herding/pastoral/agro-pastoral peoples based in one or more of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania or Uganda.

• The proposals must be carried out in communities that consent to participate in the initiative. During the application process, applicants will be asked to prove that the communities are aware of and consent to the proposed initiative.
• The proposed activities must be carried out in 2015-16 and finish in 2016.
• The proposal budget can be up to but not exceeding 5,000 USD.
• Applications from indigenous peoples and local communities are encouraged.

For the first round of selections, applications will be assessed according to the following:

1. Application form must be submitted to the office via by XXX. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
2. The application must fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.
3. Applications that pass the first two checks will be evaluated based on the relevance and the design of the proposal.
Questions we will ask include:
    a. How relevant is the application to the goals of the project?
    b. How clear is the background information? Do we understand where the community is and what the key issues are?
    c. Is the proposal feasible? Will it result in a report that documents the knowledge of the community in an appropriate way?

Only the best applications will be considered for the second round of selections. We will contact these applicants separately to invite them to complete a full proposal form. Therefore, please ensure that you leave a working email.

The second round of selection will go into more details and will include a verification process.

This project is supported by the Japanese Funds-in-Trust to UNESCO.

IPBES Task Force on Indigenous Knowledge Systems

If you know of projects or publications dealing with indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) about plant pollinators such as birds, bats, lizards or insects like domestic/wild bees, butterflies or moths, then please let us know!


Learn more here