NAIROBI, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- A three-day pan African conference kicked off in Nairobi on Wednesday to explore new ways to boost climate resilience in a continent suffering from the negative impacts of rising atmospheric temperatures.
Keriako Tobiko, cabinet secretary for environment and natural resources who opened the 7th conference on climate change and development in Africa (CCDA-V11), called for increased financing, technology transfer and capacity development to shield rural communities from climatic shocks.
"Climate change presents one of the most existential threats to Africa's survival and progress. It has impacted negatively on our economies and entire livelihoods," said Tobiko.
"We must strengthen our commitment and collective engagement towards combating the negative consequences of climate change that include severe food and water shortages," he added.
More than 700 delegates who included lawmakers, policymakers, researchers and grassroots campaigners are attending the three-day pan-African conference to inject fresh vitality in the fight against climate change.
Representatives of multilateral lenders and regional blocs are also attending the summit that is expected to come up with a new master-plan to revitalize climate change response in Africa.
Tobiko said that African countries should focus on innovative financing and robust community engagement to ensure that climate change adaptation and mitigation projects are successfully implemented.
The minister noted that climate change presents an opportunity for African countries to invest in green technologies and accelerate their low carbon development.
"Committed leadership and green investments will put our continent on solid low carbon development pathways," said Tobiko.
African countries have embarked on dialogue to harmonize policies aimed at supporting high impact interventions to boost climate resilience.
Olushola Olayide, a senior policy officer at the African Union Commission (AUC), said that experience sharing coupled with knowledge and skills transfer is key to boost climate resilience in a continent already reeling from extreme weather events.
"We must speak with one voice and share lessons on the best practices that should be adopted to help local communities cope with natural disasters triggered by warming of the planet," said Olayide.
James Kinyangi, the Chief Climate Policy Officer at the African Development Bank (AFDB), said that mobilizing domestic resources as opposed to over-reliance on foreign donors is key to sustain green investments that will promote climate resilience while generating new jobs for African youth.
"African countries require targeted investments to accelerate transition to low carbon emission development pathway and bold actions from political leadership is key to realize that objective," said Kinyangi.
Pan-African lobby groups have rallied behind community-led interventions that have proved effective in minimizing harm to livelihoods and ecosystems as a result of climatic shocks.
Mithika Mwenda, the secretary general of Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), said that financial and technical support for local communities is key to realize the success of climate resilience programs.