Climate Change

RCEzinaida's picture

JOIN NOW! 8th Global RCE Conference Climate Change Discussion Group

Welcome to the 2013 Global RCE Conference Climate Change Discussion Group! Please join in the pre-conference discussions today by sharing your thoughts on the topics you feel most need to be addressed in the group meeting during the Global Conference in Nairobi.


RCEbuea's picture

I am Masango Sone from RCE Buea, Cameroon. It would be nice for me to learn some local mitigation and adaptation techniques that communities are using and how effective they have been.
RCEtichpesanayi's picture

Dear Masango, dear Colleagues,

The subject of climate change seems not to be receiving much discussion on the portal. However CC impacts are threatening the already vulnerable livelihoods of rural (and even urban) communities regarding food production and accessibility (security) and water access and availability.

In brief I can only share a few adaptation measures I have witnessed in South Africa and Zimbabwe which include low-cost in-field water harvesting innovations by determined small-scale farmers gaining resilience in semi-arid farming areas.

In addition, the KZN RCE is currently facilitating climate change adaptation and mitigation capacity development for operational managers and community development leaders living in Trans-frontier Conservation Areas. We hope to get results from change projects from early 2014.

I am sure there are many other good examples from our continent where we can share and learn best practices.
RCEchandigarh's picture

Hi, I am Neelima Jerath from RCE Chandigarh. We are presently working towards preparing an Action Plan on Climate Change. Managing agricultural residue is a major challange. Inputs are solicited
RCEgreaterdhaka's picture

Dear Neelima, could you please elaborate a little bit Agricultural Residue that I can share with some inputs?
RCEzomba's picture

Hi, I am Marlene Chikuni from RCE Zomba, Malawi. I am interested in learning about studies related to post-harvest management in light of climate change. are there any techniques that communties especially women can/do engage in to minimise losses of agricultural produce?
RCEclementtikiwa's picture

Hi, I am Clement Tikiwa from Zomba RCE, Malawi, I am interested to learn about lessons emanating from the Africa Adaptation Programme on Climate Change, considering that much of what Africa can do is to adapt to the impacts of Climate Change.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Dear Mr Tikwa,
Thanks for your interest in adaptation. Two months ago i happened to have been among those who attended 1st Africa Food Security and Adaptation Conference at Nairobi.
I shall be posting to you through this media some files from the conference and we may discuss them too. I also attended mountain as water towers in Africa and climate change, where we learnt need to protect all mountains because they are source of our water towers. I shall post these files to you so we may discuss.
RCEbuea's picture

Hello Evans! I am also interested in these files. Thanks for opting to share.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Thansk Mr. Masango,
I hereby attach the conference report for your perusal. Let me know if you see anything in the report that may help us prepare for the conference. Aslo share with Miriam, Maderm, Tikwa and Atiti.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Mr Masango, i attach the second file on objectives of the conference. Share same again with Miriam, Maderm and Tikwa.
RCEclementtikiwa's picture

Hi, I am Clement Tikiwa from Zomba RCE, Malawi, I am interested to learn about lessons emanating from the Africa Adaptation Programme on Climate Change, considering that much of what Africa can do is to adapt to the impacts of Climate Change.
RCEgreaterdhaka's picture

What sort of climate change has occurred in Africa during the last 50 years? I think we need to aware about our resources and compare our activities with the developed world and just not run after the issues. Adaptation practices only for the same region, outsiders can not provide any solution or prescription
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Prof Maramhan, that's true, i agree. Lets only deal with our own climate and adaptation issues for Africa. I don't think there will be any comparable models outside, that present similar problems, and if there will be we'd be glad to be advised accordingly.
RCEgreaterportland's picture

My name is Kim and I am the coordinator of the new RCE candidate Greater Portland. Many of our colleges and cities have Climate Action Plans and we are trying to start implementing them. It is good to align our educational efforts with their objectives. If you are not familiar with the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, it's worth checking out:
RCEbuea's picture

Hello Kim, thank you for sharing.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

G/morning colleagues,
My names are Evans Kipngeno. I come from Nairobi Kenya.
Talking about climate change, we have in our community a plant that was used long by our forefathers to forecast
weather patterns in the country, so as to either make preparations for planting or seek alternative food sources to feed community at large.
This plant is called "leldet' its a single tuber that sprouts from ground and has a single bright red flower that lasts a day or two then disappears.

The plant was and is still, being used by my native community to predict weather pattern. The elders would watch out for the bright red flower around march and April in Kenya, if the plant is sighted, they would be numerous in the village, and the community would rush and buy seeds and fertilizers to prepare to plant. It would usually rain a day or two after the flower is sighted.

This was an important and accurate tool for weather forecasts in our community in the years 1700s to 1960s before the emergence of the conventional technology to predict weather.

I would also like to know if there are similar trends in other communities in the world. I shall remember to come with the flower or plant to show at conference.
RCEbuea's picture

Hello Evans, quite an interesting plant there and yes, I am looking forward to seeing it. Please I am very interested in knowing if these plant's weather forecasting ability is still accurate today.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Thanks Mr Masango for your interest in the flower.

I will bring it along to the conference. For your question whether its still being used, i will say yes indeed, and its the most reliable weather prediction so to say, that may not be comparable to any other. I think its an attribute from God himself, that where conventional weather forecasts will fail, this one will surely carry the day.

May be it would be of interest too, if a meteorological society can take up this flower and study it in order to predict our erratic weather pattern accurately.

I will try to post the photo of the flower to this site before the conference maybe you may be able to recognize it. Best.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Hello Mr. Masango,
Glad to post you this article it may interest you to dig for more information, on the role of wild flowers in weather prediction.
I shall post you the other red wild flower we Africans use to predict the weather.
I ma sure we may later create a forum, to go back again and re-visit the ancient times knowledge, on weather management that was used at that time. I know it will be of help. Best
RCEbuea's picture

Hello Evans, thank you for the attached documents and sorry for my delayed response as I was away for a while. I am getting the documents now and will get back to you should I have any thing that merits your attention, Masango.
RCEgreaterportland's picture

This is so fascinating. Thank you very much!
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Hi Mr. Masango, glad to post you the flower. Its called scarlet pimpernel. It opens at 8 am and closes at 3 pm. during the day.
When the flower detects rain in the day, it will not open up and will stay closed the whole day. So it can be a good sign for those seeking to predict whether for that day.

This is a wild flower, and am sure nature has a way of forecasting her own events, so we should treasure these wild nature and adapt ecosystem preservation for the flowers.

Other signs of impending rain, are ants climbing uphill, and frogs coming out of rivers to open land. It will be few days before it rains. Best.
Abdullahi Tijjani's picture

Mr Evans .
Quite an interesting finding can you please collaborate with a botanist so as to identified biological name of the flower to see weather we can conduct research on can also share some ideas from others if thy have similar finding . we can thinks of traditional plan for weather forecast. This is good finding,
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Thanks Mr Tijjani,
Musch obliged. I appreciate your comments on the flower.
Mr Tijjani, there are many wild flowers of this nature that
give climate change forecast; it can be 8 hrs,24 hrs or even 48hrs. Your idea is welcome to collaborate a botanists to research on the wild flowers to establish how they are able to do that. Once established, which i am sure they will, the next process may be, to convene another forum on wild flowers as predictive for weather change and conservation and preservation methods to be adapted on their conservation. Our meteorology weather departments, can benefit from this too because sometimes, their conventional methods of predicting the weather may fail, thus will benefit from the wild flowers as only source to confirm weather behavior in a given day or week.

To this end, i do not know if you are now suggesting that we discuss this item alongside other in the climate change forum? May be you can confirm that, because mine was just to give my view on what wild flowers as weather predictive instruments that can be used by weather departments if everything else fails for them.

One more thing Mr Tijjani and colleagues, who may be interested in this too - did you know that in 1800s when Mt Krakatoa erupted. that 24 hrs before it happened, the cocks ran haphazardly here and there and making strange noises that have never before been heard before in history?

It is said that, moments before the eruption, and even before there were any sign on top of mountain that there would be any eruption, the chicken were worried and scared. How did they know that? It is said that the chicken can pick up minute sound and frequency wavelengths
that cannot be detected by any conventional instrument even in this advanced digital technology age. That if the community that lived near the mountain knew the strange behavior of the chicken they would have evacuated from the edges of the mountain hours before eruption! That's strange isn't it? and it sounds absurd too! But it is true.

We can use wild nature to help us evade some disasters.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am already a member of three communities. I am member of Climate Change, Africa an Research & Development group.
I hope we can discuss in the shortest time possible, brainstorm issues at hand, prioritize our lists and come up with issues to tackle at the conference.

Looking forward.

RCElylebenko's picture

The website mentioned below did not enter the edited message, so hopefully you can get to it by the following link:

As an update to some of the requests, you may wish to go to the "Climate Change Saskatchewan" website
I was fortunate to be the Director of Climate Change Education Saskatchewan at that time. You may find the links to "Youth" and especially "Educators" of significance. They are already a bit dated, but one of the few surviving websites for curricular support that survived our federal government CHANGE a few years ago.
I am looking forward to learning more from each of you and especially in sharing with the variety of experiences and "expertise" we have all gained through previous work and research in Climate Change. I was fortunate to CHAIR the 5th RCE Global Climate Change session in Montreal, and also the 6th RCE Global Climate Change Session in Curitiba, Brazil. I am looking forward to learning more at this 8th conference. All the best from RCE Saskatchewan
RCElusaka's picture

My name is Mirriam Moonga from Zambia and Secretary RCE Lusaka. As Environmental Educators, we had a number of courses we were offering in Climate Change. With effect from 2013 academic year, we combined all these courses into one full year course called "Climate Change Education". We are looking at climate change from the education perspective. As RCE Lusaka we are working with a number of students' associations and clubs which are promoting climate change awareness, mitigation and adaptation. I invite comments from other members as to how they have tackled issues of climate change in Higher Institutions of learning.
On the other hand, I would like to support Evans from Kenya that we should use both indigenous knowledge (IK)as well as conventional technology in order to deal with climate change adaption issues sustainably. In Zambia, there is a lot of IK being used in climate change adaption especially in areas such as agriculture and biodiversity conservation.
RCEgreaterdhaka's picture

Dear Mirriam,

Climate change education is a tail less subject, because if you are given 100 billion dollars then what will you do against the climate change issue? It is only the restoration of the natural habitats, ecosystems, hydrological cycles, biodiversity conservation through landscape management. So prepare your lesson accordingly.
RCEjosephmacharia's picture

Hi collegues
Am joseph macharia of RCE Mau complex- june 2013, i attended a workshop on Clmate Change orgainsed by Egerton University. from the presentation, alot has cahnged in the last 30 years particularly in the Mau Complex. climate change is a reality even in RCE mau complex. In the 1980s maize crop in highlands of Mau was taking 12months to mature, that is no more, it now take now 3-6 months.Beans were not grown but nowdays is in plenty. Malaria parasite was then associated with hot places but now days many cases are reported, most of the rivers have become seasonal. if the highlighted cases cannot be attributed to climate change what is it then ? if no measures are not taken ,then we should be prepared for worst. Effect of climate change should be made known to all, young and elderly. Climate change should be incorporated at all levels of curriculum implementation whether formal or informal.
RCEgreaterdhaka's picture

Dear Joseph,

Did you understand my points? who are the drivers of climate change? Why are we victims? What is our contribution in climate change? Of course we need education but not for fund which is again goes to the donors, pockets including our resources in the name of prescription. Plants and animals need dark for sleeping and recharging, and some need dark for hunting and preying. Then why in the urban areas we keep on lighting with millions of bulbs. For security? I have told not to run after the so-called prescription. You cited some examples but why? we have to find out the reasons, may be Biopiracy or for techno-trading, GMOS, HYVs? Again, I emphasize on the restoration of the natural habitats, ecosystems, hydrological cycles, biodiversity conservation through landscape management. So prepare your lesson accordingly.You need to find out the reasons but please do not blame the Climate. Since we are the culprits expediting the change, but climate will be changing, we can not stop it.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Dear Colleagues, Another issue i thought we should suggest for discussion, is 'rural energy alternatives to save forests' Our research indicate that, rural folks who live on edges of forest boundaries do use forest wood for fuel.

The conference should then discuss energy alternatives, the state may provide the forest community who live by edges of forests so that they don't log from the forests. If the state will not think of this, then any effort to discourage wood fuel from forests would be futile. About 80% of all rural folks or forest community, use wood for fuel for two reasons 1. it is affordable, in fact they get it for free from the same forests we are trying to conserve 2. It is available for free and even forests guards are also compromised.
There is a notion that forest community should help themselves to the dead wood from the forest. Wrong, dead wood is not to be harvested from forests, because they provide the soil with nutrient balances the trees need for sustainable growth.

If the state provide alternative fuel for the forest community, then the forests should be considered very safe.
RCEbuea's picture

Dear Evans, I do share your concern on this. Energy alternatives are crucial for forest communities. Coming from a community bounded by a forest and national park, I understand how difficult it is to keep communities from logging from their forest. I am sure that at one glance, alternative energy sources would be cited to you, reason why I would love to highlight the elements of cost and affordability. We are currently running a forest saving stoves project here that works on reducing the rate of consumption but we are faced with issues of efficiency and durability. I therefore think the issue is worth discussing, Masango.
RCEzomba's picture

the issue of alternative energy uses to save forests is important because we also face a similar problem in Malawi. there is encroachment into the protected areas mainly due to poverty but also culture ( the people are used to eating game meat!). one initiative being promoted is co-management whereby communities are part and parcel of managing the forests and in return, they are allowed to utilise non-forestry products (NFPs) eg. honey, limited deadwood, limited grass but not poles. for timber resources, the communities are provided with seedlings to establish village woodlots through village forestry committees and in pilot areas, it seems to be working. i guess there is hope for natural resources management if local people are made to feel and know that they are co-owners with 'govt' otherwise, its tragedy of the commons.
RCEgreaterportland's picture

In addition to the many good points about technology, I really appreciate your point about the need for a cultural shift, Marlene. To have people see each other as co-owners, with shared interests and responsibilities, is key to addressing the tragedy of the commons. I have been doing a lot of work on how to create a "triumph of the commons." Perhaps this short article might be useful.
atiti's picture

Kim, I like your article. RCEs through ESD need to promote collective actions aimed at achieveing a cultural shift.
RCEgreaterdhaka's picture

Interesting to note that, many of the forest exploiting countries like Japan, Germany and even UK have successfully established or conserved their forests e.g. Japan has 76% forests now, but Japan collected timber from Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand etc. and forests of these countries have been reduced drastically; now the point is there are climax forests especially in the equatorial and tropical monsoon zones and they have peculiarity in their habits. Some plants love sun, some partial shade and some favor shades; some loves shade in their early life but later they need bright sun. So these sorts of habit and habitats are essential to be respected, Unlike the conifers, the tropical and equatorial forests are very difficult to establish. Therefore, we must know the art of forest establishment. In some countries people are planting fast growing exotic plants like Eucalyptus and Acacias in the humid region but these plants have very low numbers of stomata for transpiration and thus spoiling the hydrological cycle of evapotranspiration and thus forcing anomaly to rainfall distribution. (Please note that about 95% water transpirate by the plants of equatorial and monsoon forests) Not only this, undergrowth and biodiversity is very poor in these plantations with exotic xerophyte species . Therefore, in our ESD learning we must include these. We must not clear fell during timber extraction. 'Forest grows from forest' be remember this. Our forests need special treatment.
RCEgreaterdhaka's picture

Forests alone can contribute a lot in mitigating climate change effects.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Ok. Thanks, so we have 'alternative sources of energy as topic for the conference?' that sounds good. Lets prepare.
What about safeguards for water and streams invasion prevention? Should we include it as well? I mean, along the boundaries of rivers and streams, you will find invasive habits by local community who want to farm by the river edges. If NEMA are reading this please note that every stream here in Kenya, has been invaded by the local community in such of productive and watered farming land. And this is readily available along the edges of rivers and streams. I have evidence of this encroachment in many rivers and streams and nobody has intervened.

NEMA please say something on this as well if you are reading this.
RCEzinaida's picture

Dear Evans, dear colleagues! It seems we are at the stage when the agenda for the session in Nairobi becomes more clear! May I urge you to focus on the learning/education/capacity development component of the key areas? Discussion of new technologies, innovative management practices or programmes is important but our task is creation of LEARNING SYSTEMS to analyze, improve and upscale these innovations as well as bring forward new ones. Look forward to your views!
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Dear Zinaida,
I appreciate your guidance on the summaries you have drawn above. Learning Systems and components on new technologies
and innovative management practices and programmes are very
important, as they will guide us on how we achieve the desired objectives per topic discussed. Without this we have no target to focus. I agree. What do rest of our colleagues in this area also think? Could we just do this now, and complete in two or three days time, because we have no time to cover all areas as per the perspective you have given us for guidance? Let us hear from you too.
RCEgreaterdhaka's picture

Dear Evans,

In many regions of the world river water is the important source for agriculture. But we must not disturb the natural water flow by making dams or embankments.As we know river waters are coming from either mountain glaciers or snow melting, rain forests, excess waters from the catchments after rain fall. In the tropical region forest trees play very important role holding water tables up and thus water flows continuously throughout the year and the streams remain alive i.e. parennial. If the water flow is disturbed siltation occurs and causes impediments and thus the porosity of the hill stratum get blocked; moreover, the flows of the rivers hamper. You can see what happens in India due to blocking of water flows of many rivers like Ganges Godavari, Narmada etc. there is a huge water crisis in the dry season and conflicts between the states and also Bangladesh has been suffering a lot due to up stream withdrawal of water. Since Bangladesh using ground water but the water table of the aquifer are falling down and you will see Bangladesh as like as Yemen. Heavy siltation in Koshi Dam in Nepal has made a huge cropland into sand desert. So, it must not be wise to divert water by making dams and internationally it should be banned. We must obey the natural flow of water.
Evans Kipngeno's picture

Prof Marahman, I agree, diverting waters is unacceptable and causes the problems you have stated. As a result, the communities that depend on the diverted waters end up starving because they have no water to use for irrigation, domestic use, livestock, industries etc.
Transnational boundaries water treaties are an example.
Recently Ethiopia diverted the Blue Nile waters that feed the Main river Nile. They said the treaty that was signed in 1929, Ethiopia was not party to it, and thus should not be dictated by such treaties as regards how they want to use their own waters. I would like to know how river Ganges from the Himalayas is regarded in as far as such treaties are concerned. Do you have such treaties yourselves out there? How do trans boundary states react when there is such situation, and how often is this resolved, using which mechanisms? I would like to know too
if there are International Disputes Mechanisms that may be applied when there is a situation like this, and how
can climate change benefit from this intervention mechanisms? I think this is very important and can be discussed at conference Best.
RCEzinaida's picture

Dear colleagues and friends, this morning I got an invitation to the webinar, Climate Change 2013, Towards Warsaw and beyond: Science, policy and ethics. The webinar is run by Earth Charter International and held today, the 13th of November, at 11am GMT.
For more information follow -
To access the webinar please follow -
Earth Charter International is planning to repeat it this month for America.
Though it is a very late notification, perhaps some of you could join! Zinaida
RCElylebenko's picture

Although I will not be in Nairobi (in person) to participate in this session, (I was hoping to attend virtually via SKYPE with Unni's asssitance?); I am hoping that your RCE Saskatchewan YOUTH Coordinator (Jon Yee) will be able to update you on several of our initiatives and work with YOUTH and Climate Change. There has been many ACTION Projects and some research done by our YOUTH, and I hope they have a representative VOICE during these discussions.
Lyle Benko (Co-coordinator RCE Saskatchewan)