A research team from the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam visited the Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology & Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Nairobi on February 7, 2022. The team comprising Associate Prof. Anne Van Loon and her PhD students; Rhoda Odongo, Ileen Streefkerk, and Tim Busker was received by Dr. Oliver Wasonga (lead researcher for Down2Earth at UoN).
IVM team is undertaking stakeholder consultations with policy makers and various institutions ahead of fieldwork in Isiolo County under the “Translation of Climate Information into Multilevel Decision Support for Social Adaptation, Policy development, and Resilience to Water Scarcity in the Horn of Africa Drylands (DOWN2EARTH) project”.
Down2Earth is a 4-years (2020-2024) project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 programme. The project aims to improve: existing climate services frameworks; decision support to governments and NGOs; and community-centric adaptation and resilience to climate change. Partners include: Cardiff University (Lead institution), University of Bristol, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Hohenheim, University of Nairobi, IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC), Ghent University, University of East Anglia, Food and Agriculture Organization-Somalia Water and Land Information System (FAO-SWALIM), Climate Analytics, BBC Media Action, Action Aid, Transparency Solutions, and Addis Ababa University.
Role of Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (IVM-VU Amsterdam) and LARMAT (UoN) in Down2Earth Project
Within this project, the IVM team is responsible for the analysis of the relationship between drought hazard and drought impacts, the modelling of the effect of drought adaptation measures on society and the environment, and the assessment of use of forecast information and policies to increase drought preparedness in the dryland regions of HAD. UoN in partnership with University of East Anglia, Action Aid and Addis Ababa University are responsible for the analysis of social dimensions and human dynamics of climate change adaptation and resilience in the project areas in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somaliland.
LARMAT and IVM Collaborate in Research Project DOWN2EARTH
Among the issues discussed with IVM team and the Dean Faculty of Agriculture and Chairman LARMAT during the meeting were possibilities of:
- Exchange programmes for staff and students between IVM and LARMAT given the common research interests and degree programmes. This was envisaged to start straight away by engaging the PhD students from IVM in Departmental graduate seminars and tutorials;
- Joint webinars where staff from IVM and UoN can present on various topics of interest to the two institutions;
- Future collaborative research and capacity building grant writing between the two institutions; and
- A bilateral collaborative agreement between IVM and UoN to serve as a formal basis for future engagement between the two institutions. It was agreed that Prof. Anne Van Loon will share a template for customization and approval.