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The Pan African Climate Education (PACE) Centre

Pan
African Climate Education (PACE) Centre.
“Setting the PACE for Combating Climate Change in Africa”

Background

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced and Africa now finds itself at a critical juncture. There is an increased concern about the impacts of global climate change which affects the developing countries of Africa most of all. Africa does not bear the responsibility for the causes of climate change yet agreement must now be reached among the international community to combat its devastating effects.

There is a global concern that while climate change has a wide range of impacts on all the sectors and regions, the solutions need to be worked out in a collective manner. The 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC provided regional assessments which showed Africa to be the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change with the least adaptive capacity. Furthermore, it is the poorest people within those African communities who are the most vulnerable and who most urgently need assistance.

The region faces critical climate change related challenges in the areas of:
 Food security
 Water security
 Energy security
 Ecosystem management
 Human health, affordable fuel, sanitation and hygiene
 Urban and coastal communities’ security
 Transport infrastructure

These challenges include aggravated land degradation, water scarcity, augmented disasters such as floods and droughts, and climate change forced migration, low accessibility to energy resources and poor energy use efficiency, and changing disease prevalence. There is also the alarming rise of armed conflicts related to diminishing access to natural and vital resources. These challenges are exacerbated by multiple-stresses and limitations including low adaptive capacity, limited access to knowledge and technology support, extreme poverty, weak policy support, lack of integrated approaches for strategic planning and regional cooperation. The most vulnerable groups include women, children, youths, the elderly and persons with disability, who suffer the most because of climate change impacts.

These challenges which will jeopardize the prospects of achieving and sustaining the 2015 MDGs, require collective action as was envisaged in the Addis Ababa Declaration (2007) on Climate Change in Africa. The declaration embodies the commitments of the African Heads of States and Government to integrate climate change into national, sub-regional and regional development policies and programmes. In this endeavour the citizens of Africa will have a critical role to play.

The General Assembly special session devoted to climate change (September 2007) was convened to reflect the high priority the governments and world community should accord to climate change. The session sent a strong signal regarding the bold measures that was taken to the UNFCCC COP15 which was held in Copenhagen, Denmark 7-18 December 2009, calling for the citizens of Africa to demonstrate a strong leadership role. The Pan African Climate Education (PACE) Centre has a special role to play in mobilizing and facilitating key stakeholders towards addressing the critical concerns of climate change impact on Africa. The declaration on integrating climate change into development cooperation, adopted by the development and environment ministers of OECD countries (April 2006) provides an additional compelling reason for European and other developed countries citizens in partnership with their counterparts in Africa, to mobilize the necessary actions.

The COP17 in Durban -South Africa, December 2011, provides a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between commitment and action, particularly as it relates to the needed adaptation and mitigation measures in Africa. Once the agreement is reaches in Durban, there will be the need for a strategy to implement the commitments. Special attention must be accorded to the role of the citizens in the following:

 Ensuring the development of climate change-related policies and legislation
 Ensuring adequate budgetary allocation to climate change initiatives
 Awareness-raising of the climate change issues in Africa.

In addition to ensuring an enabling environment will be needed for capacity building, multilateral and other forms of cooperation, including additional resources foe key stakeholders to undertake their roles and responsibilities.

It is in this context that the Pan Africa Climate Education (PACE) Centre was set up in December 2008 to promote climate education and raise public awareness about climate change concerns across Africa. The PACE Centre aims to promote dialogue, learning and cooperation on climate change concerns in Africa.
Our Vision

“An Africa where every citizen is equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience to combat climate change and promote sustainable livelihoods and development in their communities”.
Our Mission
To promote and facilitate climate education across Africa to influence policy and practice towards a Green, Low Carbon Social and Economic Development

Our Aims
 To support a network (PACENET) on climate change concerns in Africa amongst key stakeholders
 To provide access to information and ideas on current policy development in climate change concerns in Africa/globally
 To assist, identify, monitor and analyze the needs of African citizens and to increase the role they play in their own development and in combating climate change within their communities.
 To provide a platform for collective voices and actions for climate change concerns in Africa.
 To cooperate with other organizations, networks and associations with similar aims and objectives
 To advance dialogue between African governments and other key stakeholders on climate change concerns in Africa and globally.
Who We Are

 The PACE Centre seeks to become a regional centre in the promotion of climate education across Africa.
What We Do
The PACE Centre works to achieve its aims/objectives by the following activities;
 Maintaining a communication and information system in English via a website, e-group, e-bulletins, newsletters, meetings, conferences, workshops etc
 Raise awareness on climate change issues among young people, women and other vulnerable groups.
 Present the views of PACENET at important policy events in Africa and Internationally
 Promote the experience and good practices of the PACENET to a wider audience and to key stakeholders, decision makers, supporting national PACENET and coordinating across Africa.
 Training in advocacy, research and writing skills, networking and activities in the thematic areas.
 Developing and Publishing educators and student resource materials and Climate Education Curriculum and Activity guide books.
 Maintaining a functioning Secretarial (PACE Secretariat) supported by the Executive Committee.
 Developing tracking an alert mechanism which would regularly key stakeholders on the status of policy formulation in critical climate challenges that face the continent.
 Publish directories of African NGOs, resource centres and other organizations working on climate change concerns in Africa/internationally.

The PACE Centre Secretariat
The PACE Centre regional office shall be based in Accra, Ghana and shall be responsible for the day to day management of the PACE Centre and Programme. It shall be staffed by PACE Regional Coordinator (International Coordinator) and other assistance for the smooth running of the centre. Other sub-regional centres shall be based in Durban, South Africa-Southern Africa, Yaoundé, Cameroon-Central Africa, Cairo, Egypt-North Africa, Lagos, Nigeria-West Africa, and Nairobi, Kenya-East Africa

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