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Cape Town hosts midterm FCFA conference

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) programme recently held its midterm conference in Cape Town, 4-8 September 2017. Over one hundred participants from across Africa and the UK, representing all five FCFA research consortia and the Cape Town-based knowledge exchange unit (CCKE), converged to share the progress they have made over the past two years and plan their next steps. Dr Rosalind West and Dr Helen Pearce represented the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and National Environmental Research Council (NERC), respectively.

The Walker Institute was represented by Dr Grady Walker from the HyCRISTAL project, and Dr Linda Hirons from the IMPALA project. Additionally, team members from collaborating institutions representing each of HyCRISTAL’s thematic areas—climate, water, urban, and rural—were among the participants in Cape Town. Dr Walker presented a thematic poster on rural livelihoods with Mr John Owuor, HyCRISTAL Co-Investigator from Maseno University in Kenya. Their poster and presentation to the plenary highlighted the livelihoods work being undertaken by Walker Institute research partners in two pilot locations: Mukono District in Uganda and Homa Bay County in Kenya—both on the shore of Lake Victoria, which is HyCRISTAL’s region of focus.

As part of the HyCRISTAL project, partners at the Walker Institute are developing pathways for new climate research to support the resilience of rural communities vulnerable to climate change, with an emphasis on the sectors of agriculture and fishing, and in the context of other drivers of change such as shifts in land use and population growth. They are piloting a knowledge exchange approach that recognises the complexities of decision making in the Lake Victoria Basin. 

The conference concluded with a training day for early career researchers (ECRs), which both Dr Walker and Mr Owuor attended.

To learn more about FCFA and HyCRISTAL, please visit the FCFA website.

PICTURE: Photograph by Gregor Röhrig ( for SouthSouthNorth. Copyright 2017 Gregor Röhrig.