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Supporting EU-African Cooperation on Research Infrastructures for Food Security and Greenhouse Gas Observations

Africa is among the world’s regions most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The effects of Climate change affect in particular the agricultural sector and consequently food security. At the same time, according to estimates the continent of Africa contributes least to global greenhouse gas emissions.
However, while the African GHG emissions are low compared to other continents, the emissions caused by land-use change are significant and steadily increasing. Further-more, high population growth, economic development and rapid urbanization go hand in hand with increased GHG emissions.

At present, the role of the terrestrial biosphere in sources and sinks of greenhouse gases across Africa are not well understood or quantified, resulting in a high uncertainty regarding the African greenhouse gas budget. In fact, the African continent currently contributes the largest uncertainty to global greenhouse gas estimates. Reducing this uncertainty would not only enhance the ability of African countries to meet global reporting demands to the new guidelines of the IPCC and the UNFCCC in line with the Paris Agreement, but also enable the development of appropriate climate change mitigation and adaptation responses across Africa. In this regard, this information would enable the development of Climate-Smart Agriculture practices, which are crucial to enhance food security and livelihoods across Africa.

This objective, however, calls for the availability of systematic and accurate observations of the climate system. The African continent is not completely devoid of observational networks, but large parts of the available infrastructure have major limitations in terms of their ability to measure greenhouse gas dynamics in an appropriate manner. The SEACRIFOG project aims to address these gaps through the integrative design of an effective and long-term research infrastructure.  


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